How to Stay Motivated

2.18.16 / Comment

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How well are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? If you have strayed since January 1, you’re certainly not alone! Here are some New Year’s Resolution statistics according to Harris Interactive:

  • 1 in 3 people ditch their resolutions by February 1st.
  • Out of 66% of resolvers who set fitness goals, 73% of those gave up before reaching their goal.
  • Weight loss and exercise are two of the most popular resolutions made by the general public, and are the first ones to be abandoned by February 1.

Whether or not you made a health-related resolution, the fact remains that many people prematurely give up on their goals due to lack of motivation or insignificant results. Changes take time, but it can be hard to stay patient and see the desired results. But don’t feel discouraged if you have lost motivation along the way! Here are five tips to get you back on track, stay motivated, and achieve your goals:

1. Keep a journal. Writing your struggles, successes, and experiences down will help keep you motivated because you are able to track your progress. For example, if you wanted to lose 15 pounds in one year, keeping track of your food intake, exercise routines, emotions, feelings, and everything else in-between will allow you to compare your notes from the previous weeks and improve over time.

2. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. The more people cheering you on and standing by your side, the easier it will be to stay motivated and achieve your goals. For example, if your goal was to exercise more, get a friend to be your gym partner! If you set a time to meet at the gym, you are more likely to go because they will help hold you accountable. This principle also applies to healthy eating–it’s easier to eat more fruits and vegetables if your spouse or significant other will do it with you.

3. Make it a habit. Whatever it is that you aspire to do (walk more, lift weights three times a week, eat more produce, etc.), make it a part of your daily lifestyle. Write it in a planner, put sticky notes in your car, or post it on your refrigerator to remind you of your goal. If you see a daily reminder, you’re more likely to do it and it will become a habit faster. On average, it takes 30 days to make something a habit, so be patient and don’t criticize yourself if you stumble along the way.

4. Set realistic goals. As with habits, goals don’t develop overnight–they take time, dedication, and hard work to fully blossom. To do such, you need to set small, achievable goals for yourself so as to not lose motivation. For example, if you wanted to stop eating fast food every day for three months, start by not eating it for two days straight. The next week, go up to four days with no fast food, and the following week, increase that number to 7 days with no fast food. This way, you would be able to more successfully achieve your goal of no fast food for three months with small, easy steps. Overall, when you have small goals, it’s easier to obtain them and you will be able to celebrate small accomplishments!

5. Have an end-game. What are you wanting to accomplish with your resolution? Why did you set one in the first place? Everyone’s goals are different, but some people want to look better for their summer vacations or be able to rock that pair of skinny jeans that they have always wanted to wear. Having a final goal is key for your motivation, so whatever it is for you, find a way to remember that. As with accountability, put your end-game on little notes around your home, car or office to serve as a daily reminder to stay motivated for what you want. It’s an easy way to keep your mind engaged and keep you on track!

Whatever your resolution goals are, I hope they continue to thrive and keep you healthy, happy and satisfied!

Written by Sarah Achleithner, Nutrition Communications Coordinator for Triad to Wellness

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