Motivation: How to Get It and Keep It
One question I often get is, “How do I get (or stay) motivated to eat healthy and exercise?” The answer isn’t a one size fits all; however, there are some tried and true actions you can take to keep your motivation flame lit.
Your Inner “Why”
Finding your inner “why” is one of your most powerful motivators. Why are you wanting to achieve better health? The more deeply rooted in your soul your “why” is, the more powerful it will be in driving your motivation. If you want to be healthy so you can be around for your children or grandchildren, for example, that tends to drive you more than wanting to be a smaller pant size. When considering your “why” dig deep and keep asking yourself why until you find your truth.
Write down your inner “why” and put it in front of your face constantly. Constant reminders, whether it’s a mantra you repeat to yourself or the background quote or picture on your phone, strategically placing your “why” in front of you will remind you to stay on track.
Particularly for weight loss, if you’ve tried multiple times and see limited success, you may find it difficult to believe you will succeed. This mindset can actually set you up for failure. Close your eyes and imagine yourself after you’ve achieved your goal. What does that look and feel like? The more you can see yourself being successful, the more likely you’ll be to actually succeed.
At the end of every day, reflect back on your choices and decide honestly “Did I give it my all?” If your answer is no, strategize how you’ll give it your all tomorrow. Don’t expect perfection; you’re human! If your day had some hiccups but you tried your hardest, that’s still a good day. Use those challenges you faced to better prepare yourself if it happens again.
Schedule Time to Exercise, Meal Plan
We live very busy, fast-paced lives, and many of us struggle to make time for exercising and meal planning. Notice the words “make time.” We all have the time, we just choose to spend it elsewhere. In order to make time, schedule it into your day as if it were an appointment with your bariatric team – you wouldn’t skip out on that, right? At the beginning of each week, decide which days are lighter on commitments, and those should be the days you exercise and meal plan.
Involve the Family
If you’re like me and you want to spend your free time with the family you love dearly, it can be hard to take that time away from them and spend it on yourself to focus on your goals. Why not involve them in your journey? You can spend time exercising with your family or making meals together as a family that will satisfy both your goals and your quality time. Bonus that you’re teaching your kids healthy habits in the process!
Have an Accountability Partner
Do you have a friend or family member that you could lean on for accountability? Find a friend/sister/cousin/spouse who is willing to do regular check-ins with you to hold you accountable to working hard at your goals. Whether it’s a phone call, text or Facebook message asking you if you’ve exercised today, you’re accountable to yourself and to your buddy to get it done.
If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.
Written by Alissa Lorchick, RD, LMNT, Bryan Bariatric Dietitian