Seven steps to stay motivated

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Seven steps to stay motivated

Winter is finally here!  It’s the time of the year where laying on the coach in front of the heater is more appealing than a walk outside in the cold.  Our well intended health goals become shimmering apparition in our hot chocolate mug. How can you gain motivation and make it last?

Use these 7 simple steps to find your drive and stay motivated season after season.  

Create a threat: You need to find something that you’re afraid of, that will motivate you to positive change. Use something that has an emotional connection to your life. It will then have a larger impact on the significance of your goals and you will more likely do something about it.

An example of an appropriate threat would be: ‘If I don’t lose weight and become healthy I will end up having diabetes like my father.’ If a chronic disease threat doesn’t motivate you, maybe it’s the threat of not being about to fit into your clothes.

 Connect a benefit: You need to see a positive benefit from making change or else why would you do it? Again you need to think about what is important to you and your values. Ask yourself if I did change how would I feel? How would it improve my life? An example of a positive benefit would be: ‘If I get fit and stay healthy I will be able to run around with my kids and feel more energetic during the day’.

 Conceive a plan: Every good intention needs a plan.As the cliché states: ‘If you don’t plan, you plan to fail’. This means planning your meals, time to exercise and exercise routine. You need to have a failsafe routine so when life throughs a punch you don’t need to think about it, just duck out of the way. If you don’t know how to plan enlist help from a health professional like a Dietitian or Personal trainer. They can develop a plan that will get you to your goals quickly.

 Commit to target: No one ever sticks to a diet that is 100% on plan or can make it to the gym every day of the week. Commit to a target that is realistic for you to avoid disappointment and self depreciating thoughts.  Generally aim to follow a healthy eating plan for 80% of the time. You don’t have to be perfect leave the last 20% to enjoy life and the foods you love.

 Construct a picture. Change things in your environment. Create an environment that is conducive to healthy eating and living. This means cleaning the junk food out of the pantry, filling your fridge with fresh fruit and vegies, buying a pair of walking shoes, riding your bike to work and taking healthy food platters to parties.  Remember an environment that promotes change will build action. It will make it easier to stick to the task. Don’t rely on motivation and will power alone.

 Compose a script. Use positive phases or find words that get you going. They can be used as a distraction and uplifting tool when you begin to start heading in the wrong direction. It should remind you of what you are trying to achieve and why. For example: ‘ I am powerful and can achieve anything, I am fit and healthy’

 Counter the excuses. Have a plan (B) when plan (A) fails. Even after all the planning we do sometimes things are just out of our control. Instead of making excuses and putting it off reschedule or make the most out of your situation. A great example of this is work meetings over lunch. Instead of ordering steak and chips order a steak and salad. Instead of missing a training session because of family commitments reschedule it for the weekend. It’s hard to admit to ourselves that there is no excuse. If you believe in yourself and know exactly what you really want and why, you would make it happen no matter what.

 Good habits build strong will power; you can’t achieve health goals on will power alone. Obtaining motivation is similar to will power it is short lived.  Unless you put systems in place that are failsafe and give meaning to your actions, you will find motivation that is long lived. 

Gabrielle Maston

Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Exercise physiologist

Check out my new web site  or become a fan on face book ‘changing shape’ for all your latest Nutrition and Exercise News! 

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