Moving to a healthy lifestyle is not as easy as it sounds. It takes dedication, commitment and consistency to break through the programs that run us. The habits we have spent years creating don’t go away easily, so to make this type of monumental change there has to be some motivation.
There are long term motivators and short term motivators. In the long term, we focus on what we want to look and feel like maybe a year from now. Or we might think about being able to stay active in our twilight years, or be able to keep up with the kids on the playground. Short term motivators are the ones that we need to get through the workouts each day. In the short term there is a tendency to compromise, to convince yourself that it’s ok to have a little more food, miss a workout, or leave one a little early because there is time to make up for it. So we have to keep our eye on the big picture, and here are some tips for short term motivation and ways to help you get to and through your workouts.
• Keep your favorite pair of jeans that don’t fit anymore within reach. While it may be necessary to buy new clothes to fit into when you gain some weight, there is no better motivator than trying on your old clothes that don’t fit anymore.
• Have a picture nearby. For most of us, there was a time in our adulthood when we were at our healthiest, most active and looked most fit. Get the picture that represents that time and keep it with you.
• Schedule workouts in your planner. All of your most important appointments are planned, so do the same with workout time.
• Use a head set for cardio workouts. There is nothing more mind numbing for me than spending my long cardio day on an elliptical with nothing to keep me busy. Bring some of your favorite music, or try books on tape. It’s amazing how fast the time will fly when you are engaged in a good story.
• Keep tally of your workouts and reward yourself. Set a goal of the number of workouts you know you can accomplish and tally them for the month. Once you have reached that goal, spend a day at the spa, or reward yourself with something fun.
• Have a quote. They use them in offices everyday. Have motivational quotes posted on the mirrors, the refrigerator, or dashboard. Place them any where you can place them to remind yourself of your goals and what you want to accomplish.
Be creative, and think of things that motivate you to stay consistent. It is the little motivators that will keep you going, get you to your long term goals and help you become fit for life.