Keeping motivated: tips and tricks

wellbeing

Keeping motivated: tips and tricks

wellbeing

Keeping motivated

No matter how much you love health and fitness, sometimes you are going to hit a sticky point. Life happens: we get stressed at work, our boiler breaks, we have an argument with our partner, heck sometimes we just need that slice of chocolate cake. Maybe it’s not something specific that has happened to knock us off track, rather its the things that are not happening. How many times have you jumped on the scales to see that they haven’t budged, or horror or horrors, have gone up, after a ‘good’ week?

The thing is, there are lots of ways you can support yourself to say motivated when you start feeling fed up or like you’ve fallen off the wagon. These are all things that I practise and that I discuss with clients and they really do help, give them ago!

Make yourself an inspiration board

Me now on Pinterest

Pinterest, I’m looking at you! If you are a visual person, inspiration boards can be so helpful. Pinterest is great, but you can also make your own one with magazine cuttings and postcards. I sometimes save images from my pin boards and create a desk top background for my computer. I use photoshop, but try Pic Monkey or publisher which should do a similar job. When selecting images, think about how they make you feel. They should make you feel good about yourself and represent how you’d like yourself to be. If you have pictures of very slim or muscly bodies that make you feel inadequate, that isn’t inspiring!

Write a list of why it is important to you

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Simple yet very effective. Make sure you have a list of why health and fitness is important to you, and for God’s sake make sure there’s more than just losing weigh or looking slim on there. Having a diverse list of motivating factors is useful because if you do have a ‘bad’ weigh in, then you have lots of other reasons to continue healthy living regardless of the scales.

Set small, short, medium and long term goals

Having a big goal, like losing 5 stone or being able to run a marathon can feel pretty overwhelming. Instead of seeing that huge goal, break it down into manageable chunks. Having smaller short term goals mean you get that feeling of achievement more often, while not being paralysed into in action by fear of the large goal. Don’t forget to make those goals SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time framed too. Having some small weekly goals, monthly goals and then perhaps larger and longer term goals can be really helpful to keep you going!

Visualise

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This is one of my favourites! Sometimes I like to visualise the person I’d like to become. Think about it in as much detail as possible: where are you standing, what are you thinking about, who are you with, how do you feel, how do you look, what are you wearing? Just that vision of yourself can be very powerful on many levels.

Try something new

Never under estimate the effect of newness! Food routines and workouts can get stale quick, so try and change things up when you can. Find a new blog or website to read, treat yourself to a new recipe book or try out a brand new fitness class or DVD. Perhaps it could be signing up for a race or fitness event. Sometimes that’s enough to relight that spark and get you excited about healthy living again. Even getting back to basics with my 12 Weeks to Feeling Fabulous e course or tuning into your body using my Super Conscious Living Programme could help, shameless plug ;-)

Focus on progress over perfection

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If there’s one thing I wish everyone could practice it would be this. So many people I speak to and work with hyper focus on the things that they feel they have done wrong or inadequately, or the areas where they feel they have failed. It’s so easy to get sick tired and pissed off with that approach. But it’s time to change that up by thinking about the things you have done better today than you did yesterday. You may not have gone to the gym as often as you’d hoped, but you have been drinking more water, eating more vegetables and stopped snacking in the evening. Without bringing your focus back to the improvements and progress you’ve made, you can get stuck in a cycle of negativity. When you find yourself thinking about what you feel you haven’t done, remind yourself to refocus on the things you have done!

Do you struggle with staying motivated sometimes? If not how do you keep yourself motivated? What tips would you add here?

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11 Comments

  1. India

    Pinterest is perfect for creating inspiration, and getting some kick as workout ideas! A good way I keep inspiration for losing weight is having a pair of jeans I used to fit in to, and I try them on every couple of weeks and when they gradually get less tight and start fitting, it’s amazing motivation!
    http://www.touchscreensandbeautyqueens.com

    Reply
    • Laura

      Great idea on the jeans – or any item of clothing like that. Better than the scales!

      Reply
  2. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    We both had motivation posts planned for today ;)
    I do sometimes struggle with motivation, but I always remind myself that I don’t want to go back to where I was and that always motivates me.

    Reply
    • Laura

      Great minds a like! I think that is a really big motivator for me, it used to me more of a fear, but I’ve turned that around into a positive motivator now :-)

      Reply
  3. Rachel

    I could spend years on Pinterest, it just eats time. If I used it as a way to stay motivated I’d probably end up annoyed with myself for getting waylaid by funny pictures of cats or crochet ideas!

    I find that a big motivator for health is keeping active. If I start the day with a workout I’m much more likely to eat well, and it does carry over on to the days when I’m not at the gym (I don’t go every day). If I miss a few days I can easily start to get a bit sluggish and I just don’t feel as good. I used to be sceptical about exercise and endorphins (how could it feel good when you are exhausted?!) but it is so true!

    I am not sure about the idea of visualising how I want to be in the future – I have wasted far too much time in my life looking forward to this magical (non-existant) time in the future when I will be all I want to. What I am really trying to do now is to realise actually I have so much going for me NOW. I am kind, generous, intelligent, get on well with others, I am fit and strong(ish!), I am valued by my friends and family for who I am NOW not who I could be in the future. I’m not averse to self-improvement, goal setting, and wanting to progress to something better in a particular area, and the visualising thing could be really useful if you have a particular goal you want to reach (I used to do it a bit with career planning), but for me I know that I need to just stop and appreciate the person I am a bit more – there will come a time when I will not be able to do all the things I can now and I will wish I had spent more time living in the now! But that’s just where I’m at at the moment :o)

    Breaking goals into steps is such a good idea – makes it all a lot less daunting!

    Reply
    • Laura

      I think the visualising the future thing isn’t about saying that where you are now isn’t good enough – I guess for me it’s about improvement and ambition, but I completely get what you mean about not being happy with where you are right now – I just think it can be a bit of both at the same time? Like I am really super happy with my life at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to do more with it. However living in the now is something I always have to work on, thanks for the reminder on that!

      Reply
      • Rachel

        Thanks yeah it definitely can be a tricky balance! Sorry i hope you didnt think i was having a pop at you, its more me really at the mo – i need to remind myself to live in the now a bit more, and not just when my endless ‘to do’ list is done! :o)

        Reply
        • Laura

          Oh no not at all, I was just wanting to clarify my thoughts on it really!

          Reply
  4. Mary

    As seems to be typical for many people – if I’m struggling with motivation it’s before I’ve put my trainers on. Once I’m changed and out the door I’ve often had some of my best runs on these days! If I’ve had a long day at work, I will spend the drive home locating my running gear around the house in my head and as soon as I get through the door I will get changed and back out again before I give myself time to think. I know I’ll love it when I’m out there!

    Reply
    • Laura

      That was me as well, I always tried to remember how much better I’d feel once I was doing it to encourage me to get the trainers on!

      Reply
  5. Maria @ runningcupcake

    Great post Laura! I agree signing up to a race or event is a great motivator for getting active. I often have work to do at the weekends so I try to promise myself something for when I have finished it- eg a trip to town for a Starbucks, or a walk in the park- then I will knuckle down and get the work done.

    Reply

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