Set a goal and visualize it down to the most minute detail.
Create a motivation board as a visual reminder of your goals and why you are doing what you are doing. See it and feel it (clothing you would like to wear). Elite athletes visualize their performance ahead of time. Once you have created the board make sure it is hanging somewhere that you will see it every day so that it reminds you and motivates you to keep going. Thenmake a list of all the reasons you want to accomplish this goal. The most specific you are, the most connected you will feel to your feelings and desires.
Break the goal down and have realistic expectations
Break your goal down into the smallest realistic steps and only do one at a time. This helps focus our concentration and inspires us to take another similar step. Setting and accomplishing achievable goals leads to feelings of accomplishment. Also, people who reach their self-determined weight loss goals are more likely to maintain their weight loss long-term. Here are some examples of small goals:reducing my daily sugar intake, 15 min walking 3 days a week, fill small plate, eat more veggies, reducing portion sizes, decrease your grains specially your processed grains, reduce TV hours, etc.
Find a physical activity you enjoy
The best kind is exerciseyou enjoy and can stick to. Explore your fitness options at your local gym, community center or activities that may suit your lifestyle and interests.
Also, figure out if you prefer to exercise alone or with a group. Group classes are very popular, and they help many people stay motivated. However, if you don’t enjoy group classes, working out on your own is just as good. Exercise not only helps you burn calories; it makes you feel better. Find an exercise you enjoy, so it can easily become part of your routine.
Plan for challenges and setbacks
Everyday stressors will always pop up. When that happen, I think of what others have endured to reach their targets and to quash even the beginning of a pity party, I remember the most hard-core endurance models I can think of: friend fighting cancer and Holocaust survivors. Finding ways to plan for them and developing proper coping skills will help you stay motivated no matter what life throws your way. There will always be holidays, birthdays, or parties to attend. And there will always be stressors at work or with family.
It’s important to start problem solving and brainstorming about these possible weight loss challenges and setbacks. This will keep you from getting off track and losing motivation. It is important to plan for setbacks and have good coping practices. If you use food as a coping mechanism, start practicing other way to cope.
“Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up” –Winston Churchill
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” –Thomas Edison
Be Extremely Optimistic!
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habit; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny”–Lao Tzu.
Each of us has a set of messages that play over and over in our minds. Too often the pattern of self-talk we’ve developed is negative. Therefore, start talking positively about your weight loss. Also, talk about the steps you are going to take and commit your thoughts out loud. Make sure you are realistic and focus on the steps you must take to reach them. How do I become more positive? Just start with this: practice gratitude, feel positive, surround yourself with positive people, smile, read motivational speeches or stories and do something kind.
Celebrate all your successes throughout your weight loss journey. Consider rewarding yourself to further boost your motivation. Give yourself some credit when you accomplish a goal. Moreover, remember to celebrate behavior changes and not just reaching a certain number on the scale.
For example, if you met your goal of exercising four days a week, take a bubble bath or plan a fun night with friends. Here are some good examples of rewards: getting a manicure, going to a movie, buying a new running top, taking a cooking class, etc.
Finally, our favorite “put it all in perspective” commentary comes from the Dalai Lama. When asked what surprised him most about humanity, he answered:
“Man. Becausehe sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never to die, and then dies having never really lived.” —Dalai Lama
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