2 Weeks to Health 1st Ed – Day 11: Staying Motivated

This is day 11 of the first edition of the book 2 Weeks to Health, a 2-week course designed to kick start a healthier life. The expanded and reworked second edition is set to be released in the summer of 2018.

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz

What goals did you have for yourself when you started this course? It has been 11 days, so I bet some of you wanted to lose 20 pounds by this point. Some of you would be ridiculous because that is not at all attainable. Your sense of accomplishment all boils down to your expectations. If you set your expectations too high you will never feel accomplished, but if you set them too low, you will not accomplish anything. When you are setting your goals, make them SMART! Smart stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Specific – When setting your goals, make sure you specify the who, what, when, where, why, and how of what you are doing. Instead of saying ‘I want to run faster’, say ‘I want to run my hometown’s 5k with my husband and finish 1 minute faster than I did when I was in good shape 5 years ago, and I’ll get there by running 3 miles, 3 days a week’. Another example might be ‘I want to walk my dog for thirty minutes every other day around the block to strengthen my legs and burn calories’.

Measurable – Avoid setting goals that you can’t measure or track. It’s great to say you want to eat fewer carbs, but if you don’t make it more specific and add the number of grams of carbs and then monitor your carb intake (day 5), you won’t know if you have reached your goal.

Attainable – It is good to be ambitious, but do not be so ambitious that your goal becomes impossible to achieve. If you currently can only walk a mile before you are winded, it is not a great idea to say you are going to run a half marathon in 2 months, you will fail and become discouraged.

Relevant – Ask yourself if your goal is worthwhile and worth your time. While a goal to eliminate red meat from your diet will help with your overall health, eliminating all meats may not be relevant to your overall goal of improving your health.

Timely – Set a time frame for when to complete the goal. Will it take a month, a year, a lifetime? It is up to you to decide, but a goal without a deadline will never be achieved.

Now that you know how to make SMART goals, I want you to sit down with a pen and paper, your tablet, or whatever you take notes on, and think of some SMART goals to improve your health. Pin them up on your refrigerator, your desktop, your bulletin board, or somewhere that you will see them on a daily basis. This will keep the goals in your mind and motivate you to never miss a workout, or not take that cheat meal.

Another way to keep yourself motivated is to make it fun! To a lot of people exercising and eating healthy is a fate worse than death. It really does not 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 also a great exercise. 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 is 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.

When you achieve 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 do not 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.

Lastly, do not underestimate motivational videos. It is 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.

I hope you are continuing to exercise, and have a basic workout plan that you are starting to follow. Tomorrow I am going to discuss some details about workout planning, and how to plan workouts on your own if you do not have a personal trainer.

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25 Quotes to Motivate and Inspire You to Lose Weight, get Fit, and be Healthy

“Sometimes you have to dive in head first” – Admiral McRaven

Although I am sure a lot of people have said this quote before, to me it is most memorable coming from Admiral William McRaven, a Navy SEAL, in his UT commencement speech. With regards to health, fitness, and weight loss, so many people don’t know where to start, so they never do. They spend so much time trying to find the best diet plans and exercises that they never begin to achieve their health goals. To live a healthy life you do need to learn some basic skills such as how to prepare healthy food and how to workout, but these will be learned over time. If you are just starting out, I believe it is most important to dive head first into the deep end and begin exercising using your current skills. Get your workouts in, and learn as you go. Never procrastinate and keep the momentum up.

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” – Satchel Paige

“I’m getting old” is a common phrase I hear from someone who is groaning while standing up, hand on their lower back supporting the tightness and pain. A common reply might be “age is but a number”, and this is very true. Our age often defines us, but what if your birth date was never recorded. If the record of your age is only how you look and feel, what age do you think you would be? If your real age is 40, if you are in great shape and healthy the answer may be lower, and higher if you are carrying a few extra pounds and added stress. The truth is once you get older, age may as well be measured as years remaining rather than years lived. So how old are you?

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second” – William James

For runners, the idea of a second wind is that when you are running and you are beginning to hit the wall, you will get to a period where you will begin to feel refreshed for seemingly no reason. While on a run, getting a second wind is often the motivation and the feeling you need to keep going and to finish your run. In order to get your second wind, you may need to run miles on empty. During this period most people decide they are too tired to continue and quit their run before they get to their second wind. The trick is to push yourself through the tough times knowing that soon you will reach that second wind which will drive you home.

“Thinking and doing are two very different things”

I have heard friends and family say all too often “I’m going to get back in shape” or “I’m going to lose weight”. Those are my least favorite quotes. Those quotes show good intentions but not good actions. Thinking you are going to reach your health goals is nothing without the actions to support it. Do not skip the step that turns thoughts into plans, and plans into action, because to reach your health goals, your goals need to come off out of your mind and into the physical world.

“Don’t stop when it hurts, stop when you’re done!”

We will all have those workouts where we get 3/4 of the way through and our lungs are burning, we can’t talk without gasping for air, and our muscles want to quit. Even when it hurts, it’s important to remember that you will get the most out of your workout if you push through and finish what you started. Your body might tell you no, but your mind is more powerful than your body. Go in with the mindset that it will be challenging, and that you will conquer the challenge, regardless of the effort it takes. Then when you’re done, you will know you are in full control of your mind and body.

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it” -Art Williams

Whether you are doing a regimented health challenge or you are taking your own steps to become a healthier individual, set your goals knowing it’s not going to be easy. Along the way you will encounter sweat, tears, and often a lack of motivation. You must push through because health goals are worth it in the end. There is no better feeling that hitting that first weight milestone, running your fastest mile, or increasing your weight on the bench press. In order to reach that feeling it won’t be easy. Push on, work hard, and stay motivated. It’s going to be worth it.

“You’re never too busy, it’s just a matter of priorities”

When you aren’t finding enough time to exercise or to plan and cook healthy meals, then it is time to check your priorities. Conduct a time audit, look and see what you are doing throughout the day and ask yourself if it is more important than a workout. If you discover that you spend an hour a day watching TV, then that time could instead be used for some exercise. Rank your daily activities in order of importance, and make sure something that benefits your health is near the top of your priorities list.

 “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami

When you are exercising pain is inevitable. The pain often begins with the sound  of an alarm clock and continues until the last muscle is no longer sore. You attitude toward this pain means the world to your progress. To ensure you are getting the most out of it, don’t see it as suffering. If you perceive your workouts or healthy meals as something that is ‘the worst’, then your attitude won’t allow for long-term progress. Embrace the pain, but never suffer as a result. Always keep a positive attitude.

“If you get 1% better at something every day then it is a successful day”

Let’s look at an example of this. If you want to get better at walking, and you get better at it 1% every day, how far will you be walking after a year of 1% a day increases? If you started by walking 1 mile before you were burned out and could not walk any farther, by the end of the year you would be walking almost 38 miles before you were done! That’s the power of compounding. So if you choose something and get better at it 1% a day, by the end of the year you’ll be 38 times better at it.

“If you want to succeed, you have to commit to it wholeheartedly”

Many of us are afraid of commitment. Whether it is commitment to a new significant other, a new pet, your work, or your health, commitment can leave us feeling vulnerable, like we are going to miss out elsewhere, or it could even make us feel trapped. Commitment is also scary because we are required to take away time from one area of our lives and transfer it to a new commitment. Our bodies, unless tended to continuously, will not stay healthy unless we fuel it with good foods and exercise. That is why we must wholeheartedly commit to living a healthy life. Without complete commitment, any health gains will be swiftly lost when our fear triumphs over previous efforts.

“Don’t complain, 80% of people don’t care and 20% of people are happy you have them” – Lou Holtz

When you complain the brutal chances are the person you are talking to does not care. This doesn’t have to be because they are mean people, but when you are working out it should feel uncomfortable, for everyone. Complaining about how much pain you are in or how sore you are will cause the other person to roll their eyes because they are feeling the same thing. There are also the people who are happy you are complaining because it makes them feel better about themselves. If you complain about being unable to lose weight, they will be happy you are overweight because it makes them feel better about their weight. Then the only benefit of complaining is for the other person to feed off of your complaints. So when it doubt, stay positive and keep your complaints to yourself.

“People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty” – Tim Ferriss

In general, we are not risk takers. Once we get into a routine, that routine becomes very hard to break. So instead of changing, we choose to stay the same partly because we do not know what the results of the change will be. Getting into a rut that is not good for your health, such as eating junk food or not exercising, can be hard to break, especially when there is a voice in the back of your head saying that no matter what you do, you won’t be able to reach your goals. Although there is uncertainty in making a lifestyle change, you cannot let your previous actions stay and become your future actions, because you will stay where you are currently at, and will not make the progress you want to see.

“You are one decision away from a totally different life”

Have you had a moment in your life when everything seemed to change, such as meeting your future spouse, having a kid, or a near death experience? These experiences are the ones that define and change who we are. While events like these are often unexpected, they can also be driven by decisions that you make. Choosing to make changes now to live a healthier life, even if they are small, could be one of those life changing events. One decision to make a small change to your diet or exercise patterns could lead to a happier, healthier life.

“Don’t ever, ever ring the bell” – Admiral McRaven

William McRaven was a U.S. Navy SEAL, and during SEAL training if you wanted to quit, all you had to do was ring the bell. Quitting was easy, succeeding in training was not. If you set a health goal for yourself it is very easy to ring the bell and give up. But don’t ever, ever ring the bell. No matter how hard it gets, always keep your goal in mind, and keep pushing yourself until you achieve it.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” – President Abraham Lincoln

This quote is a good example of one that wasn’t intended for health but fits well. If you have a vision for your future self, the only way to become who you want to become is to take action. Sculpt and create yourself so that your vision becomes a reality. If you fail to take action toward your goals, the future becomes uncertain, filled with “ifs” and “I don’t knows”. But if you take the steps to own your future, then it can easily be predicted.

“It’s not whether or not you get knocked down, it’s whether or not you get back up” – Vince Lombardi

Failure is always an option. You will always have up and downs during your training, and your mentality and your perseverance will determine whether or not you can turn that failure into success. Getting knocked down is part of the process, but the only option you should put on the table when you get knocked down is to get back up and keep going. Sometimes it will feel like you are taking 1 step forward and 10 steps back. This is when you shouldn’t be afraid to keep taking that 1 step despite the outcome. No matter how long it takes or how many times you find yourself on the ground, keep getting back up, and never stop moving forward.

“Age is no barrier, it’s a limitation you put on your mind” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Telling yourself you are too old to do something is a lie. You’re never too old to make a life change. If you have a health goal, go for it and do not use your age as an excuse. I’ve seen people over 100 years old run marathons and both power-lifters and triathletes in their 90s, yet sadly it is usually people in their mid-lives that I see using their age as an excuse to change their eating habits or to lose weight. Contrary to popular belief, you can teach an old dog new tricks, so do not mentally limit yourself because you believe you are too old to do something.

“Persistence can change failure into an extraordinary achievement” – Marv Levy

I can’t stress enough that if you want to meet your health goals, you will have setbacks and failures, you will have days where you want to quit, but the key to success is being able to persist through failures. Even if you are failure free, health goals should be lifestyle based and should persist throughout your entire life. Never let your guard down with your health. Be persistent with your workouts and healthy diet, and you will find that you will achieve goal after goal.

“If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail” – Mark Splitz

Preparation is the key to success. If you have a goal, you need to prepare a plan to achieve it. If you don’t have a plan before you begin a workout plan or a diet, then you are not setting yourself up for success. Your preparations need to be both long term and short term. Long term, prepare to set aside as much time as you need over the coming months or years to achieve your goal. Mentally prepare for the time it will take. Short-term preparation can be anything from making sure you get a healthy meal before a workout to layout out your clothes the night before. Always take the time to prepare, or you will be prepared to fail your goals.

“What makes you something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose” – Andre Agassi

The common fitness goals I hear people setting for themselves include them wanting to look better and feel better. People want to improve their lives when they go on a diet or an exercise program, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. People generally focus on the gains when it comes to living healthier, but unfortunately I never hear anything about what people have to lose by not working out or eating healthy. By not living a healthy life you risk losing your health and thus your money in medical bills. You risk having less time with your family either because of your lifespan or your inability to get around. You risk being able to play sports or go to the park with your family, friends, or pets. Your younger self had a lot of plans for later in life and in retirement, do not lose the ability to have the life you want because you skipped taking care of yourself.

“Excellence is the gradual result of always trying to do better” – Pat Riley

When you take the first step to achieving a new goal, sometimes you don’t realize that you are walking a tightrope suspended above your fears and harnessed by your discipline. To keep your balance you must take one careful step at a time, slowly moving toward your goals with patience and grace. Health and fitness are not attained through half-hearted thoughts, but rather through actions repeated and refined over time. The first step may be difficult as you step out onto the line, yet the more you walk, the gradual progress will shape your excellence. Without the discipline and motivation to improve, you will fall into your fears.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Bill Gates, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Probably the most common excuse I hear preventing someone from exercising is they don’t have enough time to workout. In this quote, it is brought up that we all have the same amount of hours in a day, but some people, such as the successful icons in this quote, still accomplished extraordinary feats. The same can be applied to everyday health and fitness. Any time you set a health goal and feel like you do not have enough time, just remember there is someone out there that had the same goal and the same time constraints, but still managed to achieve it. Try to learn from the people who have already achieved the goal you want to achieve, because they too struggled in the beginning, but their mental toughness was too strong not to succeed. If they can do it, you can too.

“The body is a mirror of how we live our lives” – Lissa Rankin, MD

When you look in the mirror what do you see? Your reflection not only shows you your physical appearance, but is a reflection of your work, hobbies, family, discipline, mind, and faith. The health and fitness of your body are a direct representation of you. If you choose to binge your favorite shows on Netflix every day after coming home from a desk job, your body will reflect that. If you choose to workout every day before work, your body will reflect that as well. Your body is not a separate entity from the rest of your life. It is important to connect the body and mind so that when you look in the mirror it shows the outcome of your thoughts and goals.

“Always keep moving, even if you’re just walking”

We all start our health and fitness goals at different levels, but the end state can be the same for all of us. The secret is no matter how far behind you feel, just keep moving. Momentum and consistency is what will lead you to success. If you aren’t getting the results you want right away, then do not give up. Keep walking, crawl if you need to. The goal is to keep moving forward, to never give up, and to establish good habits.

“Limiting the time you’re inactive is even more important than exercise” – Tom Rath

What is more beneficial, taking 10,000 steps over the course of a day, or exercising for an hour and taking 5,000 steps during that one hour workout? I would take the 10,000 steps over the course of the day. Having a healthier lifestyle is not just a formula of exercise and dieting, it goes much deeper into how we spend our day. If we work a job that requires us to be on our feet all day, we will already have a leg up to staying healthy. Sometimes we cannot choose a job that allows us to be active all day, but we can choose our weekend and week night activities. On family night instead of playing a board game, try going to the park. Or instead of hiring a company to mow your lawn, do your own yard work as a way to stay active. The more sedentary you are throughout the week the more likely you are to acquire health concerns, even if you exercise regularly.

Setting S.M.M.A.R.T. Goals

When you set a goal related to your health and fitness, to give yourself the best chance at achieving that goal you need to make it SMMART.
Specific – When creating your goals, make sure you specify the who, what, when, where, why, and how of what you are planning.

Measurable – Avoid setting goals that you can’t quantifiably measure or track.

Motivational – Your goal should motivate you and those around you. If you are not excited about working toward achieving your goal, then perhaps you should rethink your motivations for achieving the goal in the first place. In the health industry sometimes you will find that the goal does not motivate you, but you need to do it to extend your life. If that is the case, use external motivations such as your family and friends to motivate you to achieve your goals.

Attainable – It is good to be ambitious, but do not be so ambitious that your goal becomes impossible to achieve. If you currently can only walk a mile before you are winded, it is not a great idea to say you are going to run a half marathon in 2 months.

Relevant – Ask yourself if your goal is worthwhile and worth your time. While a goal to eliminate gluten from your diet will help if you have a gluten intolerance, eliminating gluten may not be relevant to your overall goal of improving your health.

Time Bound – Set a time frame for when to complete the goal. Will it take a month, a year, a lifetime? It is up to you to decide, but a goal without a deadline will never be achieved.

The Best Motivational Videos on YouTube

I often recommend that you watch a motivational video on YouTube to get pumped up for working out. Here are a few of my favorite motivational videos that can apply to anything in life, not just exercise!

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, only looking backward. You have to trust the dots will somehow connect in the future.” When you begin moving toward your fitness goals, it may seem slow at first. If you want to lose 5 pounds, 50 pounds, or 100 pounds, when you only reach 10% of your goal after a couple months it can be easy to give up thinking “I’ll never make it”. But keep your spirits up, and trust that exercise, a healthy diet, and hard work will always be better for you than any diet pills or “lose weight quick” diets.

Before you begin making decisions to live a healthier life, you must make the decision to change your mindset about your health and how it benefits you. You must be willing to think a bit differently than you did before to ensure you reach your goals. You must seek the benefits of a ‘mindshift’, and never give up.

You can’t take the easy road, you must join ‘the grind’ if you want to live a healthier life. True grit and determination are what will make you feel and look great. “The easy way out will always be there ready to wash you away, but you aren’t going to, are you?”

Quote of the Week – 1 May

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second” – William James

For runners, the idea of a second wind is that when you’re running and you’re beginning to become tired, you will eventually hit a period where you will begin to feel refreshed for seemingly no reason. While on a run, getting a second wind is often the motivation and the feeling you need to keep going and to finish your run. In order to get your second wind, you may need to run miles on empty. During this period most people decide they are too tired to continue and quit their run before they get to their second wind. The trick is to push yourself through the tough times knowing that soon you will reach that second wind which will drive you home.

How E-Mailing Yourself Can Keep You Motivated

Staying motivated is often the hardest part of a fitness routine. After about 3 months, most people will abandon their goals and call it quits. To help yourself stay motivated, try emailing the future you with motivation, goal milestones, or your daily goals. To do this you can use futureme.org. The form you can fill out looks like the one below. You can choose to send your message to your email on any future date, whether it’s later today or in a few years.

futureme

Try making a workout plan on the weekend when you have more time and email yourself every morning with the daily plan. Also, whenever you have a milestone such as lose 10 pounds, email yourself on the day you wanted to reach your milestone to force yourself to pause and reflect on your goals. Also, add motivational videos or quotes to these emails. Nothing is better than getting done with a long day of work and then all of a sudden your daily workout, a motivational quote, and your overarching goals pop into your inbox, giving you the motivation and resources you need to get to the gym.

Author: Scott Van Hoy, click here to view his profile

Quote of the Week – 17 Apr

“Age is no barrier, it’s a limitation you put on your mind” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Telling yourself you are too old to do something is a lie. You’re never too old to make a life change. If you have a health goal, go for it and don’t use your age as an excuse. I’ve seen people over 100 years old run marathons and both power-lifters and triathletes in their 90s, yet sadly it’s usually people in their mid-lives that I see using their age as an excuse to change their eating habits or to lose weight. Contrary to popular belief, you can teach an old dog a new trick, so don’t mentally limit yourself because you believe you’re too old to do something.

Quote of the Week – 10 Apr

“It’s not whether or not you get knocked down, it’s whether or not you get back up” – Vince Lombardi

Failure is always an option. You will always have up and downs during your training, and your mentality and your perseverance will determine whether or not you can turn that failure into success. Getting knocked down is part of the process, but the only option you should put on the table when you get knocked down is to get back up and keep going. Sometimes it will feel like you are taking 1 step forward and 10 steps back. This is when you shouldn’t be afraid to keep taking that 1 step despite the outcome. No matter how long it takes or how many times you find yourself on the ground, keep getting back up, and never stop moving forward.

Quote of the Week – 27 Feb

“Don’t complain, 80% of people don’t care and 20% of people are happy you have them” – Lou Holtz

When you complain, the brutal chances are the person you’re talking to doesn’t care. This doesn’t have to be because they are mean people, but when you’re working out it should feel uncomfortable, for everyone. Complaining about how much pain you’re in or how sore you are will cause the other person to roll their eyes because they are feeling the same thing. There are also the people who are happy you are complaining because it makes them feel better about themselves. If you complain about being unable to lose weight, they will be happy you’re overweight because it makes them feel better about their weight. Then the only benefit of complaining is for the other person to feed off of your complaints. So when it doubt, stay positive and keep your complaints to yourself.

How To Stay Motivated


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