Keeping up your health motivation can be challenging, whether you’re trying to commit to a regular exercise routine or you’re trying to eat better. If you’re doing both, the challenges can get even more difficult. How can you get & stay motivated?
Putting some health motivation tips into action might make staying motivated easier than you imagined. Forming good health habits now may continue to deliver potential benefits for decades to come.
Have A Clear Vision Of Your Goal
If you’re attempting to make a change in your approach to your health, there is a reason why. Finding this “why,” and keeping it in mind throughout your journey, could make a huge impact on maintaining your health motivation.
Try to keep those goals in your mind. Try writing them down and posting them on sticky notes throughout your home. You could also put reminders in your smartphone so they flash in front of you during the day.1
Now, there are two types of motivators: extrinsic and intrinsic.
- Examples of extrinsic, or external, health motivators are fears of something, like developing health problems from not exercising or eating right. They can also be rewards, such as earning money if your employer offers incentives for losing weight.
- Intrinsic motivators are internal – basically doing something for the sake of doing it, because it makes you feel good.
While extrinsic motivators might spur you to get into a workout or healthy eating routine, intrinsic motivators will help you maintain motivation longer.2
Be Ready For Temptation
Some days, you just won’t be feeling it. The last thing you’ll want to do is drag yourself out of bed to go to the gym. Instead of eating a healthy breakfast, you might just want to make yourself a huge plate of fried eggs, sausage, and bacon.
These are the days that will really test you. Overcoming them could very well make the difference between meeting your goals and returning to an unhealthy lifestyle.
So, how do you go about doing that? Take baby steps. Put on your workout gear, eat a banana or have a protein shake, and get in your car. Just getting to the gym on low-motivation days is a huge accomplishment, so congratulate yourself. Start your workout gradually as well, concentrating on the first few minutes. Once you do that, you might just find that boost in motivation you need.3
Include Others Whenever You Can
Exercising with people you like can be a huge help when it comes to staying motivated. It could be one friend, or it could be a group – whatever works the best. Accountability is one of the most powerful factors there is when it comes to motivation. When you’re with friends, you can all be each other’s cheering section. They can help get you to the gym on days where it’s the last thing you want to do.4
Friends can also provide a lot of motivation if you’re trying to eat better. Keep your plans small – just telling a couple of really close friends and some family members. They can help keep you on track, and they may also want to follow the same program.5
Always Visualize Your Ultimate Success
Action breeds motivation. One of the best actions you can take will be to visualize what your life will be like once you meet your lifestyle goals. Can you imagine how fantastic you’ll not only look, but also feel? If you can, keep that picture in your mind. It may make you work even harder in an effort to turn that vision into reality.6
Eat A Nutritious Diet
Your idea of living a healthier lifestyle might include physical activity, such as lifting weights or aerobic activity to get healthy. It might also entail plans to eat better to lose some weight. If that’s the case, great – you’re doing something that will deliver incredible potential benefits in the long run.
At the same time, however, you don’t want to be so motivated that you’re not eating enough to fuel your body. Doing so might make it harder to reach whatever goals you’ve set. The reason is that your body won’t burn fat – it will actually hold on to as much as it possibly can. The body uses food for energy. When it senses that none is coming, it will keep fat as an “insurance policy” of sorts.7
Your body might even resort to burning muscle instead of fat, because it doesn’t take as much effort to burn the smaller muscles in the body. That can lead to a whole host of other problems.8
Keep Track Of Your Progress
Whether you’re working out, changing your diet, or both, you’re going to want to see results. The more results you see, the easier it will be to stay motivated.
If you’re eating a healthier diet, write down not only what you eat and the amount of weight you’re losing, but also how you feel. Make notes of how much more energy you have and how your mood has improved. When those days come where you’re not motivated to continue, look at those notes.9
Set up some personal checkpoints of sorts to gauge the progress you’re making. It could be a month after you make your commitment, three months, six months, or whatever seems appropriate. Once you reach that checkpoint, celebrate if you’ve made progress. Buy some new workout gear, or treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant.10
Don’t Stress If Things Don’t Go As Planned
On the other hand, don’t beat yourself up if you fall short of the goals you’ve set. Even if you’ve taken all of your planned action steps and you’re still not where you want to be, don’t despair. You might just need to tweak your goals a little bit so that they’re more realistic. This isn’t going to be a perfect process, so don’t get discouraged.11
Remember That It Takes Time To Create Change
Patience is important as you try to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Change isn’t always easy. You’re trying to do something few people would even consider doing in the first place. For that, you deserve a huge pat on the back.
Health motivation can be challenging, but it’s definitely not impossible. Keep the above tips in mind, and your chances of success just might improve dramatically.
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