A lot of people are asking me how can I stay motivated to train regularly and eat healthy? You can definitely see it at the gym, people get really motivated after Christmas (new year’s resolution), a few weeks before summer (bikini body), or as a good resolution in September (too much ice cream – new school year – time to get back on track). They are usually super motivated, they’re coming every single day, eating super-healthy-no-sugar-no-carbs-no-calories-no-food for a few weeks, it might even last a couple of months and soon they disappear… You might no be that extreme but we’ve all been there, it’s not easy to always stay motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle. Life gets in the way, we get sick, we get tired, we get bored, and it’s absolutely normal. But it’s frustrating. We keep trying, and failing, and succeeding but going backwards… So what can we do to keep our motivation’s up?
- FIND WHAT YOU LOVE AND WHAT SUITS YOU
If you hate cardio, then just don’t do it! At least not when you just started. Although cardio is not the evil, let’s be honest it can be very boring depending on what type of cardio you do, and it’s really not a necessity when it comes to weight loss.
Haven’t found what you love yet? Then try new activities! There are so many things you could do to stay active… Maybe you’ll enjoy more group classes, or boxing, or maybe you are more a Yoga or Pilates kinda girl. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you keep moving and have fun. Just realise that sometimes it takes several sessions/weeks to really appreciate a sport, so don’t give up straight up, give it a chance to seduce you J
You are here for the long run, not a quick fix, so better found what you enjoy doing and what could potentially become your passion.
- SET YOURSELF SMART GOALS
Setting yourself some goals will help you to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve; it gives you direction, help you focus and it boosts your motivation. Successful people plan ahead! They know where they are going and what they need to do to get there (or at least know how to start).
When you set yourself some goals, it’s important to choose and define them well. It’s your plan, your vision, your dreams.
The best way to do it, is to use the acronym SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time. It will help you to have a clear idea of where you want to be and will help you to make a plan to get there, it’s not just a vague goal, it’s a precise and specific one.
Specific – Like I said, your goals should not be vague they should be precise. “I would like to lose weight” is not a specific goal. How many pound/kg would you lose? Is there a dress size you would like to be able to fit in?
Measurable – Always choose goals that can be measured. How many pound/kg did have you lost? How many inches/dress size?
Achievable – Don’t set yourself goals that are too high and that you know you won’t reach. Is your goal truly achievable? Do you have the time, the energy to do it?
Realistic/Reasonable – Is it reasonable? Do you actually think you can lose 10kg in the space of a month? Your goals should be challenging enough but realistic. Let’s be real a second, it will take time, make sure to bear that in mind.
Time – Every goal should have a time frame. How long would it take you to achieve your goal? When do you want your goal to be reached? Do you have a special occasion coming?
Bonus: try to set yourself goals that have a positive connotation. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose 10kg”, try “I would like to weight 65kg”. It will help you to picture your goal in a positive way.
- WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN ON PAPER (or on an Excel sheet, it works too…)
Now. Like seriously, do it now.
Studies show you are around 40% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. It will help you to commit to your goals and revise them when necessary, just as a little reminder of where you need to be…
- DON’T SET YOURSELF UNREALISTIC GOALS
Yes, we all would love to be able to lose 10kg and/or looking fit and toned in the space of a month, although, depending from where you start it might not be possible or even unhealthy and unsafe. You should see your fitness journey as a lifestyle and accept that it will take time.
- THINK ABOUT HOW ACHIEVING THOSE GOALS WOULD MAKE YOU FEEL
Why did you start? Why did you decide to join the gym or run or lose 5kg? What is the real reason and how would it make you feel once you’ve achieved your goals?
Visualising the reason why you started and the feeling you will have once you get there will help you to stick to your goals. So every time you are in doubt or discourage, remember that feeling!
- SMALL CHANGES ARE KEY
Once again don’t be unrealistic; bad habits are long to settle so will good new habits. It’s going to be hard to go from eating whatever you want whenever you want and staying on the sofa watching Netflix every night after work; to eating conscientiously at every meal and going to the gym 6 times a week (not that I’m saying it should be that way). People tend to stick to their new habits better if only small changes at a time are taken. Changing 1-3 things per week seems to be the way to go.
It could be as small as getting off the bus one station before your work so you can walk an extra mile everyday, taking the stairs instead of the lift, or replacing that daily chocolate bar by a piece of fruit.
- BEFORE MAKING A DECISION THINK ABOUT IT
It sounds silly but often our life is dictated by our emotions (especially us, girls – rolling eyes). Especially if we are tired or distracted by some thoughts, we tend to make decisions that our conscious-self would have not taken. So every time you are considering skipping the gym or eating that piece of cake, take some time to really think about it. Think about the reason why you feel that way? Do you try to find yourself some excuses? Do you feel upset, or tired? Do you actually want it? Are you really hungry or are you just bored?
Is it really what you want to do and how you want to feel? If yes, then ok, fair enough, you can actually have good reasons of not going to the gym or treating yourself, as long as you are conscious of your actions and their repercussions and you are happy with that.
- ENJOY THE PROCESS
I will not say it enough but enjoying the process is the key to stay motivated all the way! If you enjoy the way you exercise, if you love the food you eat, and if you accept the way you look now, it will seems easy. MAKE IT A LIFESTYLE. Don’t diet, don’t starve yourself and don’t punish yourself with exercise or food that you hate.
- THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO FEEL AT THE END OF THE DAY
Do you want to be proud of yourself? Do you want to feel good, healthy, and energetic because you ate nutritious food and done some exercise or got some fresh air?
Try to keep that feeling in mind as the day goes along, it will help to stick to your plan.
- WHAT IF I WERE GIVING YOU 1 MILLION £ TO DO IT?
If you were given 1 million pound to achieve this goal, would you do it? Would you find the motivation? Would you find the time? Would it be your priority? If yes, then it must be doable and achievable, no?