“Yes but I have no motivation!”………………. Now, how often have I come across that statement? The reason most people fail with weight loss is they don’t know how to keep motivated to lose weight. But small approaches to losing weight really can keep the fat at bay and beyond.
Most people who don’t know how to stay motivated to lose weight don’t understand the critical importance of having a clear vision. The clearer you are on exactly what it is that you want to achieve, and the more you focus on it, the more motivated you will become. The reason for this is because motivation is maintained by constantly taking actions that move you towards something you want. So in order to lose weight describe exactly what it is you want. Ask yourselves:
What is your target weight? What will your body look like? How will you feel?
In the past I’d try to lose weight without clearly defining what exactly it was that I was trying to achieve. But it’s only when I started to really think and get clear in my mind on what I ultimately wanted, that I was able to gain momentum to lose weight and keep taking action. So take time out to follow these three steps – create a clear vision, focus on it and take action.
Set small goals
The more ambitious your above vision is, the more inspiring and motivating it will be. Ultimately we all want to be fitter, healthier, slimmer and energetic. But if right now that reality seems a long way off, then setting yourself small incremental goals is the key. For example, starting off with exercising one day a week if you do nothing now is far more achievable than committing yourself to exercise five times a week. Achieving this small goal will strengthen your self-belief and increase your confidence. It’s far more easier to keep motivated when you actually believe you can do something. So start off slowly and build up on your goals over time.
Focus on positives
Many of us are quick to look at our bad points but this is so counterproductive. Turn this on its head and start to focus on your positive side. To make it easier, write down all the good things in what you’ve done or what you like about your physical self. Practice running through this list in your mind regularly and call upon it when you need to. It may take time but its surprising what you can believe if said enough times. I couldn’t run to save my life. Coming last in cross-country puffing and panting while everyone had already showered and moved on to the next class at school was proof. But I was determined and constantly told myself that I was a runner and loved running. Now I run marathons. As the meerkats say “Simples!” 🙂
Reasons beyond “losing weight”
Dieting or exercising for losing weight alone will not be enough to keep you motivated in the long-term. That’s because losing weight is an external motivation – its purely a physical objective. What really matters is the meaning that you apply to it. You want to lose weight because it will give you more energy, or be a better parent, or it will give you better self-esteem and make you a stronger person. These are all powerful reasons to lose weight because they have meaning attached to them beyond the physical benefits. Meaning gives it a sense of purpose and purpose is what will keep you motivated.
Hang out with like-minded people
Don’t try and go it completely alone. In addition to all of the above make use of the leverage other people can give you to keep motivated to lose weight. Surround yourself with like-minded people, be part of a gym, get a PT (read the previous post) read up on health and fitness (especially Fitlass’ blog! 🙂 ) and do whatever else it takes to help achieve your goals. I’m sure there are many other strategies out there to help you keep motivated and I would welcome all comments here. But to kick start your motivation, following these tips is a good start. Onwards and upwards!