We made it through the holidays, we’ve rung in the New Year, and maybe we’ve even made some resolutions. But how do we keep ourselves on track when work picks up again and life begins to throw us curve balls? Here are some tips for helping you stay motivated!
1. First off, make sure you have SMART goals! Goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Instead of saying, “I want to get in better shape this year”, try, “I am going to lose 20 pounds by April 30th by working out 3x/week for one hour, increasing vegetable and fruit intake to 5-9 servings/day, eliminating alcohol, and getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.”
2. Create a support group. Reach out on Facebook to see who is up for some accountability. Then set up a secret group that only members can see. Limit the number of members to no more than 20-25, so that no one gets lost in the shuffle and everyone can keep up with each other. Have everyone post their SMART goals and their action plan, and then report with a daily check-in indicating if they’re on track or struggling. It’s important to comment on each other’s posts to help keep everyone inspired!
3. If you are setting physical goals, establish a day once a month to take a picture of yourself. When you can SEE the progress, you will be motivated to stick with your changes!
4. Make a daily or weekly checklist for your action steps. Again, when you see those check marks adding up, you realize that you are doing what you said you would do! That builds your personal integrity, which helps you stay the course.
5. Have a reward system. Break your goals into smaller increments, and honor the hard work you are doing by creating an incentive for yourself. For instance, instead of, “when I lose 50 lbs., I will buy new clothes,” you can reward yourself with a manicure for every 5 lbs. lost. When the goal is achieved, there can be a bigger reward!
6. Most importantly, figure out your WHY! Once you are clear about WHY you want to achieve your goals, you will find your excuses begin to disappear. Saying no to a big dish of ice cream is a lot easier when you are clear that your reason for making healthy choices is to be able to stop taking medication.
7. Stay Positive. Choose to believe in yourself and believe that you do have the power to make real change. Be happy with the choices you are making and what you are doing to achieve them. Each day, focus on at least one thing you did to achieve your goals.
8. Slow Down. Way too often I see super motivated people in the gym everyday for hours or even twice a day; they want instant change. This is a sure-fire way of getting burned out and possibly injured. Going from doing nothing to everything will make you want to quit in no time. Slow and steady wins this race! Give your body time to recover. Doing too much too fast isn’t the answer. Work up to doing more later on and do what you know you CAN do now!
9. Do What You Love. Find a gym or workout classes that you enjoy and be sure you’ve got some variety in what you are doing. It’s ok if what you love is not what your best friend loves. Your workouts should leave you feeling invigorated, not exhausted. Doing what makes you happy helps makes accomplishing your goals actually fun! If you’re having fun, the chances of you following through are quite high!
10. Accept Imperfection. Life will get in the way of your goals–accept that, but don’t quit! It’s ok to make mistakes, but don’t let this stop you. You are already making better choices and on the road to success, so don’t quit when you hit some bumps in the road because it is bound to happen. Being disappointed in yourself is a sign that you want to succeed! Accept responsibility for you actions instead of making excuses. Then move on and go at it again!
Repeat, “I will not be stopped.” Then grab your Fabletics gear and place yourself on the road to success! This is bound to be your best year yet!