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
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
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!
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
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?