When it comes to losing weight, exercising, or just living a healthier life, motivation is half of the equation. It doesn’t matter how great the meal plan or exercise program is if you don’t have the motivation to execute. It’s tough – motivation comes and goes. Don’t feel bad if you are struggling to keep the motivation to lose weight. It’s more difficult than most people expect and is a very common struggle with anything health and fitness related.
I recently went through a healthy living transformation myself. I was able to drop 40 pounds and keep it off so far. This has been very motivating in itself, but I’ll admit the process wasn’t always smooth sailing. Click here if you want to learn about what and how I lost my weight.
Many people have since asked me about motivation and weight loss: how to stay motivated to lose weight, how to get your butt up in the morning to go to the gym, how to get excited to eat healthy and stick to a meal plan. The above post talks about the tactics and what programs worked best for me. However, this post will talk more about the mindset and motivation behind it all.
So, how do you find and keep the motivation to lose weight and get healthy? Let’s dive into some things that will help.
1. Focus on your “why”
You can get as fired up as you want to start losing weight, exercising, and whatever your approach to health and fitness is, but unless you know why you’re doing it it’s going to be really tough.
Every person has their own why so this really isn’t something I can help you with. For some people it’s to be a better parent, a better spouse, the pride of completing a race, due to a scare with a family member, or the birth of a new child.
This is the biggest thing that will help you figure out how to get motivated to lose weight – especially in the beginning of your journey.
Before you debate on what to do you might want to think about why you’re doing it. Because when the motivation fades, your why will get you through it.
2. The Lifestyle Accountability Show.
Yes, this is a shameless plug for our podcast. We run a daily interview podcast where we try to inspire people to take action and live healthier lives by sharing the stories of others. We’ve talked with over 160 people at the time of this post and I am just as excited and motivated after each and every discussion.
We hear from a lot of different people that have used a lot of different methods to get stated and stay motivated for healthy living. If you’re looking for a little boost of inspiration along your journey I really think you should check it out. If you have an iPhone or use iTunes you can subscribe to the podcast right here: Click here to subscribe via iTunes. If you’re running Android, click here to subscribe via Stitcher.
You can get a complete list of episodes right here.
3. Celebrate small victories
This is more important that you think. Be sure to set some small achievable goals along the way – things you can work towards even on a weekly basis. Goals like getting out and moving a certain number of days, losing a pound this week, or planning and meal prepping for the week to save time to make sure you eat well.
Whatever you do though don’t reward yourself with junk food. Just because you had a great workout or made it to the gym three times this week, doesn’t mean you can enjoy a large pizza. I’m not saying you can’t indulge every now and then – I think everything in moderation is important – but I don’t think you should use food as a reward.
My girlfriend decided that she wanted to try a new exercise class. She decided to join something new at a new studio. She committed to going every week to the class and set the reward of a new exercise shirt if she was able to stick to it. In fact, I even agreed to do buy her the shirt! Although there were a few Sunday mornings that she was hesitant to wake up early for the class – knowing that I had to buy her that shirt if she made it was a big motivator. In the end she got to try out a great new class, add some extra exercise to her routine, and I was out $40.
4. Find someone to keep you accountable.
For me, it’s my family – my girlfriend, my brothers and my parents. They all keep me accountable to push forward – especially my brother. He’ll often check in via text message after his workout in the morning asking how mine went. I’ll tell you that if I haven’t been to the gym before he sends that text you can guarantee that I will afterwards.
This is a great tip if you’re wondering how to stay motivated to lose weight – that is, how to keep things pushing along after you’ve taken the first few steps.
Finding an accountability doesn’t need to be difficult. If no one if your family or close circle of friends is able to check in with you – or you’d rather not have them do it – you can always look online to blogs and social media for the support and accountability. In fact, feel free to say hi to me on twitter, or facebook, or send me an email.
Tell me what you’re up to and what your goals are and I will help keep you accountable and on track. I love connecting with other people that are going through this same healthy living journey.
5. Make it fun and find something you actually like.
In every interview we conduct we ask the individual what piece of advice they would give themselves if they were just starting out again. One of the most shared pieces of advice is the above – finding something that you actually enjoy doing and making it fun.
If you hate running with a passion, don’t sign up for a half marathon and think that’s what it’s going to take to get you motivated to lose weight. Likewise, don’t pay for a gym membership if you hate going and simply won’t use it.
One tip I can give here is that it will take a lot of trial and error in order to find something you like. You might get lucky and fall in love with the first thing, but often times it will take trying a few classes, exercises, programs, etc. before you find something that you enjoy and find fun. That’s okay – just don’t give up before you find it.
6. Consider starting a blog.
Many of the people that we have interviewed run some sort of blog or online “journal.” Sometimes it’s a simple Facebook fan page and other times it’s a pretty large blog. What’s common between them is that they use the platform to share what they are doing, share their goals and successes and their struggles. The online healthy living community is amazing and there is a lot of support out there for people looking to live healthy lives.
If you’re interested in starting a blog or want to know more information on what it would take to start one, click here to check out this guide. The guys over at Website Howtos have put this blogging guide together with a focus on health and fitness.
I could go on forever about the motivation and mindsets behind losing weight and eating well, exercising, or just living healthy. But I think I’ll wrap it up here. What do you use to stay motivated to lose weight? Share it in the comments below.