So you’ve decided that it is time to lose weight. You’ve started your exercise routine and you are choosing healthful foods. Everything is going great for the first week. The second week rolls around and you ditched your exercise routine a couple days and find yourself not paying too much attention to what you are ordering at the restaurant with your friends. By week 3 you are back to your old habits and your weight loss goals are not being met. This is an all too common scenario when the comfort of our old habits takes hold and our new habits disappear. What happened to that motivation during the first week?
It is possible to get your motivation back so you can meet all your life’s goals. Practicing these 5 steps can help you stay motivated for the long haul.
1. Create a vision.
Have you ever written a business plan before? Writing a vision is crucial for the success of your business and it is crucial for your weight loss plan. Your vision is what you are working towards and how you envision your life. Why do you want to lose weight? You must go beyond “I want to lose 15 pounds” or “I want to fit into a size 8”. Go a bit deeper. What will weight loss bring you? For most people it will bring increased energy and better health. It may even allow you to participate in something you have been longing to do like run a marathon or go on a back packing trip. These are heart-felt reasons to lose weight that will keep you motivated in the long run. When you start to slide back into your old habits, just ask yourself, is this choice bringing me closer to my vision?
2. Set goals each week.
One thing that can keep you on track is to set specific goals each week. Sit down at the beginning of each week and map out some simple goals that you can set for yourself. These don’t have to be huge goals, just simple ones like: I will limit my ice-cream to 1 time this week. Goals help you to stay focused while changing habits. Post your goals all over as reminders.
3. Schedule your exercise
When embarking on a new fitness program, many people go at it whenever the time permits. This is a sure-fire way to slip out of the habit. It becomes too easy to let other things in your life become the priority. Try to schedule your exercise routine the same time each week. For example scheduling your weekly walk Monday – Thursday at 5:30pm helps you to create a habit which will get easier and easier to stick with. Keep your appointment with yourself just like you would a doctor’s appointment. It is just as important!
4. Build your support system
Support comes in all different forms. This may be a walking buddy, group meetings, or professional services. No matter what road you take it is crucial to have your support system in place. This not only keeps you motivated but also helps to keep you accountable. Professional services such as a Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, or Life Coach can all help to provide sound advice and strategies to help you reach your goals. There are many wonderful resources out there to provide these kinds of services. Build your support system around each topic: nutrition, fitness, and self-discovery. Even signing up for some free e-newsletters or joining a weight loss message board helps towards building your support system.
5. When all else fails: the 3-step backup promise
Ok. You’ve tried all of the above and your old habits are just too strong of a deterrent. This is when you break out the 3-step backup promise. Make yourself a list of 3 minimum steps you promise to take daily. These steps will differ for each person. The key is they have to be completely easy and doable for you and still work towards your weight loss goals. It could be having a fruit or vegetable with each meal, going for a 10 minute walk, lifting hand weights for 10 minutes, etc. Then, when things start to derail you can agree to do the minimum After all you did promise yourself! Make up your 3-step back-up promise so when things aren’t going well you can at least stay somewhat on track with 3 doable steps.
© 2005, Meri Raffetto
Owner of Real Living Nutrition Services, Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian and recognized professional in the area of nutrition and wellness. She specializes in weight management and cardiovascular nutrition and offers online programs to help people reach their weight loss and health goals. For more information visit http://ift.tt/12SldOU
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Weight Loss – Five Ways to Stay Motivated
weight loss, Stay Motivated
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