Create a vision board: Dedicate a bulletin board or part of your refrigerator to posting your goals and progress. By seeing your goals and progress physically posted on the wall, you will never have an excuse to forget a workout. This board could also include recipes, meals for the week, and motivational quotes or pictures. It’s simply a space dedicated to your health! If physical boards aren’t your thing, try making a blog, or using social media. By posting your goals and progress online for your friends and family to see, you will become more motivated to show everyone how good of a job you’re doing.
Set SMART goals: Make sure your goals are SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. You want your goals to be more than “I want to lose weight.” Instead, it should sound something like “I want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months by running 3 days a week and going to yoga 2 days a week”. This is more specific, it’s measurable (you can weigh yourself), it’s attainable (2 months is plenty of time), it’s realistic if you’re willing to put in the work, and you set a time frame to complete it in. If you don’t set goals that are SMART, you won’t know when you hit your milestones, which may begin to demotivate you.
Take it one day at a time: Your goals should lay out a medium to long term plan for you, but your focus should be on the current day. Don’t get caught up and overwhelmed by everything you need to do over the coming months. When you wake up in the morning, have a plan for your day that will help reach your goals, and execute that plan with 100% effort. By taking it day to day, all you will every need to reach your goals is one more workout.
Recognize progress: Sometimes we work hard to reach a health goal and we appear to be going nowhere fast. If you wanted to lose 30 pounds in 6 months and you only lost 10, it can be a very demotivating experience. But the way I look at it is you lost 10 pounds and are making progress toward that 30 pound mark! Any progress is progress, and recognize that as long as you keep working hard you will keep making progress regardless of how slow. It’s all about your health, and if there is progress, keep it going!
Make it fun: To a lot of people exercising and eating healthy is a fate worse than death. It really doesn’t have to be painful, and should be a lot of fun! Becoming a healthier person doesn’t mean you need to go out and run for miles or eat tofu for every meal. One of the best ways to improve your health is to find a hobby you are passionate about that is a workout by itself. Then any time you go have fun, you are improving your body. Some fun and healthy hobbies are hiking, swimming, and most sports will make the list.
Keep the ‘why’ in mind: It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it. The ‘why’ is the core of intrinsic motivation. For some people, knowing why they want to get fit is an easy answer, for others, it’s a bit more difficult. An easy answer may be to look good for the summer. A more difficult answer may be they want to feel better, but ‘feeling better’ is hard to measure. So the ‘why’ should be SMART just like your other goals. Regardless of your reason for wanting to live a healthier life, hold onto it. Add it to your vision board and look at it every chance you get. It’s the people who never lose the sight of why they are exercising and eating healthy that will ultimately reach their goals.
Watch motivational videos: It’s amazing how much motivational videos can alter the way we think. They discuss the core of our desires and the difficult actions that it takes to get there. Every motivational video is different, but after watching any of them I always have the desire to reach my goals and start right after the video ends. Watching a motivation video before a workout will put you in a mindset of action to achieve your goals. You can click here to view the top motivational videos on YouTube.
Reward yourself : When you hit a goal, make sure you reward yourself. There are a lot of different ways to do this, and they range from small items such as being allowed to watch your favorite TV show after exercising, or large items such as once you lose 40 pounds you will go on a cruise in the Bahamas to show off your new body. Regardless of the method you choose, set rewards for yourself for each of your goals or milestones and don’t let yourself get the reward until you reach the milestone, no cheating. This will motivate you to keep working to perhaps eat some ice cream for dessert or go to the movies and get popcorn and soda as a reward.
Author: Scott Van Hoy – Click Here to view the author’s profile