In order to lose weight or gain muscle, whatever your goal might be, you will have to make long term changes your lifestyle. These goals include many factors to be successful including starting to exercise regularly, starting to eat multiple healthy meals throughout the day and not giving in to the social pressure of eating unhealthy foods. Small steps and simple changes are easiest to achieve and will make a big difference as you move towards a healthier lifestyle. If you’re looking to become more active, it’s easier to start by trying to take the stairs once a day than to spend an hour at the gym every night. If you’re trying to cut down on fat, you’re more likely to stick with a switch from 2% milk to skim milk than to switch to almond milk. Even small changes like these can help you maintain or lose weight over the course of the year.
Here are a few tips on how to stay motivated to help you succeed.
1. Define your goal clearly. What is your ideal situation for an end point? How would you feel once you achieve your goal? Which areas do you want to work on the most? Sit down, take a pen and paper and write down EXACTLY what your goal is. Make your goals measurable. Don’t just say you want to lose weight or eat healthier. Instead, make your goals something that you can measure. Set your goals with a number and timeframe. Here are some points to consider:
- How many inches do you want to lose or gain in each area: shoulders/ chest/ stomach/ hips/ thighs/ arms?
- In how many months/days would you like to achieve your goals?
- What do you need to do EVERY DAY to make it happen? Example: what kind of exercise, what kind of food you need to eat, etc.
- How would it make you feel once you have achieved your goals?
2. Once you have written it all on a piece of paper, keep it in the most visible area, like on the door of the refrigerator or on the wall in your office.
3. Tell others around you about your goals and build a strong social support system. Get your partner or family involved in making healthier eating choices. Go for a walk on your lunch break with coworkers or workout with a friend. The more people that know about your goals, the larger the support you will have.
4. Meditate and visualize your goal every day to stay focused. These exercises can take as little as 10 minutes a day to keep you positive about achieving your goals.
5. Always remember how good you will feel, once you have achieved your goal!
6. Stick to the plan