I get this question a lot:
How do I stay motivated while on a weight loss journey?
Finding Motivation is hard, and remaining motivated all the time is even harder. Most of the time we don’t reach our goals because we do not anticipate the barriers and the struggles that are going to come our way. We lose motivation by experiencing small setbacks. That’s why it’s important to have realistic expectations going in and plan for the setbacks.
Today I will share with you the 7 essential and proven techniques that will keep you motivated
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1. Commit to a Goal
You need to keep 2 sets of goals – one is a long-term goal and a short-term one. Whether it’s weight loss you are after or healthy living, disease management of prevention or anything that is significant for you. You will need to commit to a goal.
If you want to know what a realistic goal weight is for long-term or short-term you can watch my previous video.
Regardless of how big or how small the goal is. Choose a goal which you know you have the potential to achieve. (it can be bigger than the one I mentioned – as long as you know in your heart that you can achieve it).
“Having the belief that you will achieve your goal is the fuel to your motivation.”
A social psychologist Timothy Wilson proposed that “Think about your life in the future. Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realization of all of your life dreams. Now, write about what you imagined.”
I want you to close your eyes and ENVISION a life where you have already accomplished your goal.
What do you see yourself doing?
Take 5 minutes and IMAGINE a Positive future where everything has been achieved.
The goal doesn’t not have to only be superficial, tie it to something meaningful to you. This is done by knowing your “why”. Whether it’s a religious cause or health reason. Give your dreams more meaning. Connect it to something more important to you, attach a bigger purpose to your goal. Whatever it is, make it meaningful and substantial enough to make it worth striving and struggling for. If you are only going to do it for a half-hearted reason, I can almost guarantee you, that you will not be able to sustain the motivation, because it will start getting harder no matter what.
Now that you have Imagined a meaningful vision forward that motivates you to attain those goals, the key here is to engrain these in writing.
Write these feelings and imaginations down as if you have already accomplished them. Write these goals down on a writing pad or a journal. It’s not necessarily for you to read these goals, it’s more important to write them down.
- I have lost 10kg of weight and I am going to the gym 5 days a week.
- I am healthy and have been taken off of my medications,
- I have been mistaken for a model,
- I have a happy home and 3 beautiful children or 1 new-born in my arms, etc.
Write it down, sign it off and commit to it.
And do this every single day.
Some people suggest that you do this every morning, some suggest that you do this every night.
If you have to do it every morning and every night then do that, but you must write your goals down every single day. These are not “to-do” tasks. Don’t write these down when you are down or depressed. You need to be pumped and this can be done once you imagine something
An article from Psychology Today revealed that “research shows that people who focus on the process of achieving a desired outcome are more likely to achieve it than those who simply think about the outcome itself. Writing into your future further engages your imagination, emotions, and other problem-solving faculties so that you more fully assimilate the process ahead.
Sometimes we know ourselves too well. So when we venture on goal-setting or on describing our future, we default into tried and true ways of viewing ourselves. If we base our vision solely on what we already know to be true, then chances are we will not create a very daring vision that will help us do our best, most impactful work and show up in our best ways.” Reference article: A Radical Alternative to New Year’s Goal-Setting.
2. Set S.M.A.R.T Mini Goals
Break these goals down into monthly, weekly, or daily goals. This is where the realistic goals set it. The Goals should be immediately achievable and quantifiable. This means you are writing down 2 things every morning. 1 your life goals. 2nd your daily or weekly S.M.A.R.T goal:
- Time Frame.
- I will drink 1 or less soda this week.
- I will pack my lunch every night for 5 weekdays at 9pm before going to bed.
Example of a daily goal:
- I will reach 8,000 steps before my dinner time today,
- I will drink 1 Litre of water before noon today.
3. Create a Motivation Box
Create a motivational toolbox. Let’s be honest, you may not be as motivated tomorrow as you are today. Take advantage of your high motivation. Think of all the things that are motivating you right now? Put those things (if they are tangible or physical), in a box and call it my MOTIVATION BOX.
Get a box where you keep all the things that remind you of why you are doing this in the first place. It could be pictures of your wedding day or a picture that reminds you why you want to lose weight (or live healthy if weight loss is not your motivation).
Put in the box your old pants or dresses which you want to fit into, and any thing that pushes your buttons and make you want to achieve your goal. You will want to go back to this box every time you lose that motivation, or forget why you are doing all of this, because it will happen.
The other day I was so motivated to exercise, but when I started half way into it I was so exhausted that I started questioning all the reasons why I was doing this and started wondering if this was even worth doing. Has that happened to you. But if you have a strong enough reason, you will push through, so having a memorabilia of all those reasons is very important.
4. Compile a Motivation Playlist
Just like the motivation box, you want a motivation playlist.
It could be YouTube, your podcast or iPod, it doesn’t matter where it is, what matters is what’s in it. You want to start compiling all the motivational videos, that you look at and get pumped and inspired to achieve your goal.
It could be watching someone workout, or watching a modelling show for example. Whatever you find makes you excited and motivated you want to put it in your playlist.
5. Get an Accountability Partner
You cannot do this alone.
You may be able to start, but for you to keep motivated and reach the finish line you will not be able to do it alone. You need at least one, and usually a lot more people to be with you on this journey.
I know for a lot of women, this can be really hard, especially if you are someone who has been told over and over again that you need to lose weight, and you want to but want to do it secretly because you are doing for yourself and not because people want you to. But you’ve got to find someone who is empathetic and is on your side. Let them know your plans. Once you tell someone, now it’s no more about you, and you’ve more than one reason to accomplish your goal.
Choosing a “partner” to walk through the journey of change with you is great! The partner will keep you on track and while keeping you motivated and aware of the choices you are making.
Use my checklist to help you get an accountability partner.
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Commit to someone, ask them to do it with you. But least of all, let the people who are living with you and close to you know what you are up to. So that they can give you emotional and physical support.
6. Share Your Goals & Mini-Achievements
Eventually you want to branch out and let a wider audience know, because then you will feel responsible and accountable to yourself and will make it harder for you to quit.
“Mainly because admitting failure to yourself is much easier than admitting it to others”
That’s why I have the 6th way, which is share your goals far and wide. You see a lot of fitness apps create communities and sharing tools, that’s for this reason.
Whether it’s on social media or a larger group of friends or co-workers. Let them be your cheerleader and top motivators. Share your mini-achievements with them too.
7. Reward Yourself
Last but not least, This is one thing that almost everyone takes lightly, but may be one the most important things you need to do.
Reward yourself, each time you accomplish a goal which you consider is significant. Something you weren’t able to do and if you have been able to accomplish that in the time-frame you have given yourself, then reward yourself when you accomplish it. Make the reward something that’s worth getting. Just don’t make it about food.
For example: watching a movie in 3D – if that’s something that you wouldn’t gift yourself ordinarily, or if you are married and your spouse is your accountability partner, let him buy your flowers or a gift if you accomplished that goal.
I remember when my sister-in-law took up a challenge to go to her yoga classes every single day for 30 consecutive days, regardless of what the yoga studio kept as a reward, my brother gifted her a mini-trophy.
Isn’t that a motivation, something to look forward to?
Now I am not saying that your partner should gift you, you must take responsibility for your own achievements so do assign a reward with every big goal you set for yourself. Even if it is not big in the eyes of others if it’s big for you, like even packing lunch to work everyday, it’s a big goal for many, then that is something worth getting a reward for, but let that be after a month to actually be substantial, make the goal of packing lunch everyday for a month, and then if you have achieved that reward yourself for it.
These 7 steps are guaranteed to keep your motivations high.
What Motivates You?