After our recent findings from our research into the hardest part about weight loss it became evident that the area people struggle with the most is staying motivated. People often get excited during their first week or so, however when a few obstacles start presenting themselves, their good work often becomes undone and all of a sudden, motivation is lost. If you are about to start losing weight, recognise that keeping your motivation is going to be your toughest challenge. So before you start your diet or exercise plan, make sure you have a plan of attack to maximise and maintain your motivation.
- Understand the purpose
You need to be very clear in your mind why you want to lose weight. Is it to feel better about yourself, or reduce potential health risks? It may be to look great for an upcoming holiday or wedding. No matter what the reason, think about how you are going to feel when you achieve your goal and why it is important for you. It is important to regularly remind yourself of how good you will feel once you achieve your goal.
- Set your goals
It is OK (and more motivating) to set yourself big goals. Just make sure you break your final goal into smaller achievable steps. Lets say your goal is to lose 15kg in the next 6 months, break that down into monthly goals. Break down your goal even further by having certain daily goals in terms of the calories you think you can eat or the exercise you can do. The important thing is to break them down into manageable goals. You may not be able to picture yourself 15kg's lighter but it is much easier to focus on losing 1kg over the next 2 weeks and eating 5 servings of vegetables each day. Also, to crystallise your goals it is often beneficial to write them out.
- Have fun
It is so important to enjoy the challenge. Your mind set makes all the difference. Even if you don't really think it sounds like fun, tell yourself that you are going to have a great time doing it and look for ways to make it more exciting. A good way to make exercise more fun is to participate with a friend. Or if you are cooking something healthy, try to enjoy the experience and really put some tender love and care into the preparation.
- Track your progress
There is certainly no need to weigh yourself every day, but each week you should have a look at how you are going and how you performed to your goal. Have a look at how far you have come and how much is still to go. It is good to track what you have done because if things go well or badly you can start to see why. The more informed you are the better equipped you become to tackle your challenges.
- Reward Yourself
Make sure you set yourself rewards for reaching particular milestones. If you break your ultimate goal into smaller ones you can then reward yourself for each goal reached and keep motivated to reach the next one. An example of a good reward is to go and buy some clothes you had your eye on, check out a movie you wanted to see or have a special night out. The reward can be anything, just make it something worth working for.
- Go easy on yourself
The biggest motivation killer is when you donít stick to your plan, you have a bad day, and you feel like you have undone all your good work. It makes you feel like reaching your goal is now impossible and when you can't see the roadway to your goal, motivation gets lost almost instantly. The key is to realise this is going to happen and to just forget about it. It might sound easier said than done but you really need to shrug off the bad days and realise that tomorrow is a new day. Don't worry about bad days and don't worry if things take longer than expected. If this means you need to reassess your time-line for certain goals, then go back and adjust them. Make sure you set new goals that you are confident of reaching. Remember to make the journey fun, as this makes it easier to put aside any set backs.
The key to losing weight successfully is staying motivated, but this is also the hardest part. However equipped with the 6 step plan outlined in this article you will be well on the way to achieving your goals and amazing people with your results. Only you can do the hard work, but when you get to the end and achieve your goals, the praise you receive will only be surpassed by your sense of satisfaction.