It might be something you’ve always wanted, or perhaps it is a spur of the moment decision, whatever the reason, a fire has been lit and you have set yourself a personal goal. You want to change something in your life for the better, it may relate to fitness goals, weight loss or lifestyle changes. However, it might not be the first time you have tried… Let’s look at how to stay motivated to keep the momentum going to make sure you can reach those long-term goals.
State of Mind
Often, we set our goals in times of clarity and confidence, where our determination is at an all-time high and our mind is focused. In reality that enthusiasm is hard to maintain day to day and will start to fade with every little challenge to your progress. Life gets in the way and we allow ourselves to lose that momentum as our focus gets distracted.
So, how do we change our state of mind to stop our goals becoming burdens? Let’s looks at when we feel most negative about our goals. Usually, it is when our goals seem so far away, they feel un-achievable. This may happen because you have set goals that could be too difficult to achieve without help.
If we take weight loss as an example, changing your diet overnight and cutting out all the foods you are used to, may seem like the best approach, but this is very difficult to do in practice and after a week or so you will most likely cave and binge on all those foods you have been missing, undoing all you good work and leaving you feeling like you have failed.
A better approach could be to introduce a new healthy alternative a week or cut down on things like the number of soft drinks in a day. Small tangible goals work best. If you can tick off a change every day or keep that change going each day you will feel like you are achieving far more and will be a step closer to your goal day by day.
I often recommend for clients to either withdraw one food group or introduce a new food group per month. This allows the individual to understand how the food group would affect them and give them time to create a new habit and see if it is a good fit with their routine.
Remember that anything achieved quickly can also be undone quickly! If you are not giving yourself manageable daily or weekly tasks that you can achieve the majority of the time then you may never feel like you are making progress. Give yourself room for error.
Planning, Preparation and Positivity
Motivation needs assistance. Deciding to change is a great start however the biggest help you can give to your goals are in your planning, preparation and self-management. Writing your goals down, breaking them up into manageable chunks, planning a calendar of milestones you would like to reach and managing your own schedule to accommodate your new routine will give you the best shot at reaching your goal.
If your weight loss goal is to just try and ‘lose weight’ then it will be hard to track any progress week to week and see any positive trend. In fact, you will most likely focus on the negatives, days you don’t lose weight, and where do you go from there? You must look at the bigger picture. Having everything planned out will not only help you stay on track but it will give you a clear idea of your progress.
When are you most likely to eat junk food? When you are not prepared right!
The positivity factor of having a plan and sticking to it can really motivate you to push on and will make the best use of your time. The more details you have in your plan the better and easier it will be to execute. Being ‘on track’ with your progress changes daily, and each day is as a new beginning to make a step towards your goal, not time to dwell on past slip-ups. Have patience and stick to the plan!
Getting Help or Going it Alone
When motivation is low, failure can start to creep in and if you don’t know where to turn it can be easy to give up. You may know where you want to go, just not how to get there. If your motivation dips, do you have a backup plan or some quick fixes? That’s where we can help.
Most people set out on a goal without factoring in any learning time. That’s ok, but when things get difficult it will leave you short of options. The first step to fixing any problem is acknowledging when there’s an issue and then speaking to someone for advice or a different perspective.
I’m still on my journey, and I’m still learning in my personal goals, so don’t feel you need to know everything or do it all by yourself. We like to work with our clients by creating an initial goal and then strive to improve our clients health knowledge through fun and varied sessions to suit each individuals on the day.
If you’re unsure about how to get started with your health, fitness or life-style change at home or within the workplace, simply ask us here. That’s what we’re here for! Ask for professional help with your training regime and nutrition today and let get those goals together.