One of the hardest things about losing weight is staying motivated. Some days you get out of bed and you just don’t feel like worrying about your weight loss plan or working out. Here are a few of my tips to keep you motivated and doing the right thing every day.
1. Journal Daily
Keep a weight loss journal to record what you eat and drink, when you exercise, how you feel and what you weigh every day. It has been said that where focus goes, energy flows. By spending a little time every day focusing on your weight loss journey your mind will start helping you do the little things to keep you on track. Writing your reason for losing weight in your journal every day will make it even easier to stay on your diet. What you focus on is what you achieve.
2. Weigh Yourself Every Morning
Record your daily weigh-ins in your journal. Seeing and recording your weight every morning makes it a real thing that you have to deal with today. You will notice that if you only get on the scale once a week that you are only motivated for the rest of that day. If you weigh yourself in the evening then you may go to bed motivated, but you will lose the initiative by morning. Weigh yourself every morning to give yourself a kick in the pants to do the right thing every day. This keeps you eating right, exercising or both.
3. Use Pictures for Motivation
Pictures can be used in a variety of ways but here are three of my favorite. If you have any old pictures of yourself at your ideal weight, post them around your house or anywhere you will see them. When you look at them try to remember what it felt like to be that weight. This exercise will get your mind focused on how good it felt to be in shape. The next way is to find some pictures of someone you admire. Make sure they are at the weight you want to be and put those where you will be sure to see them. These can be pictures of actors, athletes, models or just about anyone as long as you admire them and you will work hard to be more like them.
The last way I will share with you is to put up pictures of your family, friends or others that you love. These pictures should make you feel some strong emotions when you look at them. Now take a sticky note and write “I am losing weight for —” and put the notes on the pictures. Replace the “—” with their actual name.
4. Create a Mission Statement
Create a personal mission statement like Napoleon Hill advises in his book “Think and Grow Rich”. Instead of writing down how much money you are going to make, write down how much weight you are going to lose, when you are going to lose the weight by, how you plan on losing the weight and why you are doing this. Put this on a piece of paper or index card that you can carry everywhere with you. Take it out and read it before you put anything in your mouth.
5. Create a Motto
Create your own weight loss motto that you can use any time you feel like you might stray from your diet or you feel like skipping a workout. This should be a short phrase, maybe as few as four or five words that capture the feeling or the reason you are losing weight. Think like “Losing it for the family!” or “I am a lean, mean dieting machine!” This can be your mantra whenever you need to focus, continue a grueling workout or just need to fight off the craving for those cookies at the office.
6. Take a Cooking Class
I know you are working to lose weight and the last thing you want to think about is learning to cook. If you pick a cooking class around healthy food choices or a specific diet you will be adding to your weight loss arsenal. Search in your area for cooking classes that cater to Paleo, Low Carb, Vegan or other styles that will support your diet.
7. Join a Group Exercise Class
Find a friend or two from work that you can talk into joining a group exercise class. Make sure it is something that is fun so everyone will stay excited about the class. Doing things with your workmates outside of work can actually help your working relationships grow. Talking about the upcoming class at work will help you stay motivated. This will also create accountability since they will know if you skip out on this week’s spinning classes.
8. Do a 5k for Charity
You may not be a runner or think that you are ready for an event like this, but if you find an event that is 6 or 8 weeks away then you will have something to work towards. If you find one that is raising money for charity and you actually get pledges or donations, then you will be much more motivated to get out and prepare for the race. You don’t have to actually run the entire race, or even any of it. You may be surprised at how friendly and supportive runners are, especially for anyone that gets out there and tries, even people that just walk the entire race. There are more than a few websites that have training plans for your first 5k run.
9. Plan a “Play-cation”
This is one of my favorite tips. A “play-cation” is a vacation that involves some type of athletic them like skiing, snowboarding, surfing or biking. It could even just be a vacation to a beach where you will have to get into your swimsuit. Make sure you plan it far enough in advance so that you have enough time to get in shape. Make a calendar and count the days until the vacation. For extra motivation write your weight on the calendar every day instead of just marking the days until you head out for your play-cation.
One of my favorite play-cations ever was a surf trip to Costa Rica. If you want to go where we go then check out Witch’s Rock Surf Camp. When you book tell them you know Stephen Gauss and they may hook you up with a cool gift.