When an individual sets any goal, it is important for him or her to find an appropriate motivation. Motivation can act as an incentive to help a person achieve a goal; this is especially true for eating healthy and exercising. Having a long-term motivator will make it much easier to maintain a healthier lifestyle for a long period. The method should keep the individual focused and determined toward reaching his or her goal. These hints are in no specific order, but trying to incorporate as many as possible into your routine is a helpful way to stay motivated.
1. Respect yourself: Respect and appreciate who you are today. Allow yourself to move forward to become a healthier you.
2. Maintain a journal: Maintaining a journal allows you to see your strengths and weaknesses through your nutritional plan, exercise routine, and daily activities. It will help you assess what works, and what does not. Recording everything will help identify any plateaus early on-it allows you to see that you may need to switch something.
3. Think positively: Having a positive attitude about your nutritional plan and exercise routine will go a long way to helping you stay motivated. Having a positive attitude towards your plan makes it seem less of a chore and more of an enjoyable experience. Keeping a positive frame of mind at all times will help you stay focused and allow you to see how far you have come. When you feel discouraged, you should think about the fact that with time, you will begin to see the many benefits or exercising and eating healthy. Your clothes will fit better, you will have more energy, and you will feel more alert at work or school.
4. Nutritional planning: Having the ability to consume a variety of foods is a great way to eat all the micronutrients and macronutrients you need. Consuming different foods ensures that you will never get sick of one item. Keeping the kitchen cupboards full of healthy products will help to add unpredictably to your nutritional plan. Experiment with many different healthy foods. Consuming healthy foods does not need to be boring. There are so many different products you may use to “spice” things up. Healthy foods taste great!
5. Exercise routine: Develop a fun routine that you enjoy. Incorporating things you take pleasure in will keep your routine exciting. If you love to play sports such as basketball, tennis, or bike riding, add them to your program. It will provide you with a pleasurable aspect, while allowing you to receive the benefits of cardiovascular training. Keeping your routine fresh by continuously changing your program will help add variety.
6. Set goals: Setting realistic goals for nutritional success will help give you something to reach for in the present. It will also help you to set goals for the future.
7. Reward yourself: Rewarding yourself after achieving your goals is a technique to keep you reaching for the next marker. Your rewards should have a specific meaning to you. Setting small rewards after each step will give you something to look forward too, helping you stay motivated.
8. Remain patient: Results do not happen overnight. It will take time before you really start seeing changes. Keep working hard and you will achieve your goals. Be sure to set realistic goals to avoid feeling disappointed, and understand that it takes time.
9. Team up: Find a good friend or family member to become a part of your new healthy lifestyle. You will be able to help each other through this new process, lifting each other up if one of you feels down.
10. Find a role model: Role models are important tools in any type of program. This person should inspire you to work even harder.
11. Pictures: Most of us respond quickly to visual stimulation. Displaying old and new photographs will give you that extra kick needed to stick to your nutritional plan. Taking a picture of how you look before your nutritional plan and consistently taking pictures through your process will keep you motivated, showing the leaps and bounds you have reached.
12. Recap: Constantly remind yourself why you are doing this. Think of all the benefits you will receive from sticking to your routine. Look back and remember the reasons you started your nutritional program. Do not look at it as a diet or exercise program-look at it as a new way of living!
13. Cheat meal: Having a cheat meal will help you stick to your nutritional plan and most likely keep you sane. Every week, pick one meal where you can go nuts. This means eat anything and everything you want, including any dessert and beverage. This meal should consist of anything you have been craving. Having a cheat meal is another motivator and gives you something to look forward to each week.
14. Modify: If you ever find yourself getting bored or sick of your nutritional plan and exercise routine, change things around to make it more interesting and keep your attention. Whether it means changing exercises or cooking a new healthy meal, it will keep you motivated, helping you to stick to your routine.
15. Support system: Having family and friends to support you on your nutritional goals will keep you strong-minded. A strong support system will alleviate a lot of stress to make this change an easier time.
16. Obstacles: A nutritional plan will always have its ups and downs. There are always obstacles that you will have to overcome. Temptation always tends to creep up at some point. Having a single splurge happens; it’s not the end of the world. Keeping it to a single overindulgence and not an all out binge is the important factor. Make sure to keep the situation as an obstacle, and not as a reason to give up and quit. Tomorrow is a new day where you can get back on track. Setbacks are inevitable–they happen. Overcome the obstacle, take a deep breath, and jump back on your plan.
17. Inspiration: Improving your health will have a major impact on your life, allowing you to do things you never imagined. Hearing a story about another individual and their success will help inspire and motivate you to stick to your nutritional plan. Reading or listening to an inspirational story is a great way to increase your determination.
18. Organizational skills: Good organizational skills are important when dealing with nutrition and fitness. Life poses many challenges and sticking with a workout routine, nutritional plan, career, family and friends all need to fit into your lifestyle. You need to be organized within your daily life to allow yourself the ability to dedicate time to each aspect of your life.
19. Hobbies and interests: Provide yourself with outside hobbies and interests. Although it is important to be passionate, devoted, and geared up for your nutritional plan, if it consumes all your concentration and attention, you will eventually burn out. Letting your mind think about another interest will help you remove the mentality of reflecting on the results of your plan all the time.
20. Gaze into the future: Purchase a pair of pants or a shirt one size up or down depending on your goal. It may not fit the way you want it to, but after sticking to your plan, the item you bought will begin to fit better. It will make you feel great about how far you have come!