Do you struggle keeping up your motivation?
Many people find it hard to have the get up and go needed to make a change in your life so you can improve your health and fitness. The effort needed to make sure healthy meals are ready and available for the next day and having the energy to do a workout is hard to maintain.
So, what happens if you can’t stay motivated?
Most likely you will stop. You will go back to how you lived before and continue to be unhappy about how you look and feel.
What can we do?
We need to know why we want to lose weight, drop a dress size or improve our fitness.
If you have a general aim to lose weight, but the only reason you have is that you want to move the number on the scales down, that might not give you the motivation to lose that weight.
So, a reason that is important to you personally is needed to create that desire and need to achieve your goals. Once you have this, you will find it easier to put in the effort, do the workouts and gravitate to the healthier food choices.
Let’s set a goal
The best thing we can do to start off with is set a goal.
This goal needs to be 5 things:
- Time Restricted
Your goal must be specific. Anyone can set a general goal. If your goal is to lose weight, this could be done after one workout. You could have lost ½ a pound. This will probably just be water weight but technically you have lost weight.
Have you reached your goal then? Unless your goal is to just lose ½ a pound then no.
Your goal should include set numbers so you know what you need to achieve.
For example, “I want to lose 5lbs” or “I want to fit in a size 12”.
These are specific goals and mean we know exactly what we want to achieve.
If your goal is not measurable, how can you know when you have achieved it?
Making a goal measurable means we have something to aim for. It can be tracked and monitored and adjustments can be made to make sure we keep getting results.
Usually if your goal is specific, then it is also measurable.
There are lots of things we can measure such as weight, clothes size and physical measurements (such as waist circumference, leg circumference etc.).
You must make sure your goal can be measured and tracked, so you know whether you are making progress.
Your goal must be attainable. This means it must be realistic and doable.
If you set a goal which is impossible to achieve then you will become discouraged as you feel you have failed.
If you set a goal to lose 2 stone in 4 weeks this, for most people, would be unattainable. Then after the 4 weeks you might give up because you feel like you have failed.
If your goal is weight loss, around 1lb per week should be achievable for most people.
There is no point setting a goal that is unachievable. You must aim towards something you can reach, otherwise you risk losing all your motivation and drive.
When you are setting a goal, what you want to achieve must be relevant to you. If you are underweight then your goal would not be to lose weight as this is not what you want to do.
You don’t want to set a goal such as running a half marathon in under 2 hours if you don’t take part in half marathons.
Don’t set a goal which helps you achieve something you are not interested in.
If you want to lose weight, set a weight loss goal. If you are happy at your current weight but want to tone up, set a body fat goal.
But do what is relevant to what you want.
If you are copying others and setting the same goals as them, you may give up as it is not what you really want.
“I lost 3 pounds”
“Wow that’s great. How long did it take?”
Our goals need to have a time restriction.
If we set a goal of losing weight but without a time restriction on them we have nothing to work towards. You will have no determination to exercise or resist healthy treats because you will always think “Oh well I can do better next week”.
Having the restriction of time means that you’ll have to try your best until the deadline.
It also helps show if what you are doing is working. If you want to lose 4 pounds in eight weeks and you’ve lost 3lbs by week four, you know you can keep doing what your doing and you’ll probably lose over 4lbs in those eight weeks.
So, you must have some kind of time restriction on your goals. Whether it be a number of weeks/ months or until a certain date or event (like your next holiday), a limited amount of time is a must.
Compare these goals, one using has been made using the guidelines above and one not.
“I want to lose some weight”
“I want to lose 4 pounds of weight before I go on holiday in 6 weeks”
Which is going to motivate you more?
The Big Reason
Now we have set a goal we need a reason for why we want to achieve it.
If you have a reason for losing weight/ toning up etc. such as going on holiday then that may be motivation enough.
If not however, here is a way of figuring out your own.
A lot of the reasons most people have are selfish. And that’s fine!
You need to be selfish because these goals are for you.
Look for a reason deep down inside you as to why you may want to drop 6 pounds or tone up your body.
Is it so you look better in a bikini?
Is it so you can buy and fit into smaller clothes?
Or it could be a reason even closer to your heart.
You may need to lose weight and be fitter so you can run around with your children or get more time to spend with your grandchildren.
Whatever your reason, it should inspire you to work your hardest to reach your goals.