After a long day at the office or at home running after kids and managing a household, how many of you really want to lace up our running shoes and hit the pavement? That’s where self-motivation comes in. We are all motivated to lose weight by different things. Whether it be getting into your wedding dress, an upcoming class reunion, or something simple yet profound like teaching your children how important exercise is, in the end, only you can motivate yourself to get up, get out, and do something. But, before you jump into a workout regime, it’s important to identify your motivation to lose weight. Let your goals be your guide and then create a workout that is tailored to those goals. Here are some quick tips on how to get and stay motivated to lose weight so you can lead a happier, healthier life.
1. WRITE IT OUT-Whatever your motivation may be, getting it out of your head and onto a piece of paper will make your goals tangible. Your brain sees goals as written instructions, and therefore more real, which provides concrete motivation for you to strive to reach them. So today, take a few minutes, find a pen, pencil, and some paper, and write down your motivation to lose weight.
2. SET SHORT, ATTAINABLE GOALS-After you write down your motivation, take a few minutes and set some realistic short term goals. These goals can be to work out 3 times a week for 30 minutes, or to fit into those too tight jeans that are hanging in your closet in 30 days. Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do too much too fast, or by expecting big results too soon. Keep your life in mind when setting these short term goals and include activities that suit your needs.
3. BUY THE RIGHT CLOTHES AND EQUIPMENT-When you invest in yourself, you’re telling your brain that you intend on making these goals a reality. Go get some new running shoes, or buy a yoga mat. Take some time out for you, and spend the money you would’ve spent on fast food, on something that will make you live longer life. You can hit up Old Navy for inexpensive, yet quality workout clothes and accessories, or even get some used equipment for half the price off Amazon.com.
4. START AT A SLOWER PACE- Remember that this is going to be a lifestyle change. You can’t go from sedentary to over active in a week’s span. You have to give your body some time to adjust. Start out slow, and then build your way up to longer, more intense workouts. Initially, if you can only walk for 20 minutes at a time, don’t feel bad. Instead congratulate yourself for even walking at all. Start with 20 minutes, and then add 10 minutes every week until you’re up to 60 minutes. That way you’ll give your body time to adjust and you’ll see how far you’ve come.
5. REWARD YOURSELF-After you’ve attained one of your short term goals, take some time to reflect on how far you have come. Reward yourself…not with food….but with a new book, or some better fitting clothes, or even take yourself out on a date. You deserve it! If you have missed a couple of workouts, you still deserve kudos for being more active than you used to be. We are so hard on ourselves sometimes, forgetting to see the trees instead of the forest. Stop cutting yourself down, as that’s what helped to contribute to your previous unhealthy lifestyle. Instead, encourage, motivate, and reward yourself for the small things you do. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but when it was finally finished, it was spectacular…and you will be too.
Now that you’re all motivated to start losing weight, stay motivated by referring back to that initial list you wrote from time to time, just as a reminder when the aches and pains of building a better you become too much to bear at times. Also, trying new activities like weight lifting, Cardio Barre, or training for a 5K can also help you stay motivated. When all else fails, find your favorite motivating jam, turn it up loud, and just dance. Music has a way of reaching the soul, rejuvenating and uplifting you when you need it the most. Remember…it’s the little things that make a huge difference in our lives.