A few weeks ago, I was pitching a proposal for new Zumba classes in my community. The city was hesitant because they'd not been successful with morning fitness classes. In fact, they rejected my proposal. At first I was disappointed. After some thought (and a few motivating conversations with friends), I decided to keep trying. In fact, a fellow trainer reminded me of the steps for staying motivated when the going gets rough...Yikes! Words from my own playbook! It was a little scary, but I mapped out a plan, went to the city with my pursuasive points, and landed the contract! Goal achieved!
It's tough to stay motivated along the path toward healthy goals, and there can be many bumps along the way. For many 'health seekers,' (by the way, that's most of us!) Spring is the marker for unkept New Year's Resolutions. Clear those cobwebs - remember what you were so fired up to accomplish in January? Chances are, you still want to achieve those goals, but perhaps your motivation 'fuel tank' is empty. Try these quick ways to recommit to the goals you wish to achieve.
Identify the goal(s) that are most important to you. Don't overwhelm yourself with too many things to accomplish. Which goal is most important to your overall health? Identify why this goal is important to you, and what benefit(s) you'll experience by achieving the goal.
Recommit. Write down your goal. Make a written commitment to the steps you'll take to get there. Be specific - how many days a week will you exercise (and on which days/times), how many pounds do you want to lose & by what date (remember to be realistic in goal setting!), etc.
Plan. You can't drive to a destination without knowing how to get there. It's the same with achieving healthy goals. Make a 'road map' for your journey, & include small steps to take that will lead you to your final destination. If you're trying to exercise more by summer, and you're currently sedentary....a great place to start is by mapping out a slow increase in the number of days you'll head to the gym (or trail) - mark them on your calendar, with the frequency of exercise sessions increasing as summer draws nearer. Mark off your completed exercise sessions on the same calendar so you have a measure of your success.
Set yourself up to succeed. In other words, if you want to eat healthy, don't stock your fridge/freezer with junk food. Keep healthy snacks on hand & plan for meals before mealtime. Surround yourself with people who support your healthy choices. Tell everyone you know what you're trying to accomplish (and often!) - this will keep you accountable!Find a friend to exercise with (accountability helps with motivation!). Early morning exercise? Set your alarm just 15 minutes earlier, and get to bed 15 minutes earlier the night before a workout. After-work exercise? Pack your gym bag the night before and leave it in your car so you don't have to go home before that workout session! Planning ahead can help keep you on track and motivated for your goals. Hire a professional. Really! Can't make yourself exercise or eat right? Find a trainer or registered dietician to help keep you on track - they'll hold you accountable, and celebrate with you when you achieve your goal(s)!
Plan for small set-backs. Every road has it's bumps. Plan for them, and you'll bounce back in no time. Identify your barriers to achieving your goals. What are the things that have prevented you from achieving this goal in the past? How can you work through that this time? For example: Raising kids? Chances are, you'll miss a workout or have to 'eat on the road' during some crazy kid-schedule snafu. That's ok! Get back on track as soon as you can, and keep your focus on the road ahead, rather than the bump you just encountered. Working? Don't let a business trip totally interefere with workouts or healthy eating! Plan ahead for a hotel with a gym, a local trail system for afternoon/evening walks, and use internet searches to find healthy eating choices. Think like 'Dory' from the movie Finding Nemo & "just keep swimming!"
Reward Yourself. Remember those small steps you planned for when setting your big goal? At each milestone, build in a reward for achievement. Make the reward meaningful - you deserve something special for sticking with the plan!
Never Give Up. If you want to achieve a healthy lifestyle change, you must continually remind yourself of it's importance. Revisit the tips above throughout your journey. And never forget the Japenese Proverb: 'Fall Down 7 Times. Stand Up 8.'