N.B. This blog is also available in Finnish and you’ll find it here
We all have been there; you get excited about something new, for example some training method or diet, and have followed it very carefully, and then BOOM! You take one misstep and find yourself behaving in complete contrarily. You skip workouts, and drag to home shopping bags filled with all those goodies you’ve denied yourself for several weeks. But guess what? That’s completely normal!
I think that motivation is the hardest part about meeting your goals, and it doesn’t just come to you if you wait long enough. Whether your goal is to be healthier, eat plant based food or get stronger, some days you need to fight for motivation and beat all of those excuses, that comes on your way. I don’t say it will be easy, but once you begin to see the results, you don’t want to lose that feeling of being motivated!
Now I’m going to share some tips how to stay motivated, that have helped me to overcome those difficult moments:
Don’t take too big bites. First step is to set reasonable and measurable goals that will help you get to your overall bigger goal. You don’t have to do morning cardio every morning, drink 3 liters of water after that and fill your tummy only with green stuff. Choose one small goal at the time and increase it gradually. If you overestimate your ability to workout or diet, you’ll be disappointed if you fail for some reason.
Buddy up. Studies have shown, that if you’re trying to make long-term changes in your life, your possibilities to succeed are higher, if you have someone who makes the same changes with you. It doesn’t matter if your “buddy” is your spouse, friend or co-worker, just make sure that you’re on the same page about the goal and how to achieve it. You’ll have the benefit of some company along the way, and someone to kick your butt at those moments when you are going to slip in a wrong direction.
Keep track. Fill a food or sports diary, take pictures of yourself, write down every lost centimeter and kilo! The human mind works sometimes oddly, and you may not “see” where you have gone wrong if you don’t get results. In turn, you might have missed the results that you already have achieved on the way to your final goal, and lose your motivation, because “nothing have happened”. Seeing the the results concretely, will definitely push you through of those tough moments.
Focus on Benefits. Losing weight or altering eating habits isn’t always easy and fun, and it’s more than easy to lose motivation, when you focus only on reaching the goal. So if today’s workout doesn’t call your name, focus on the results, which can be yours if you just pack your gym bag and head to the gym.
Get inspired. Find motivation in the success of others. Studies have shown that if you see someone else reaching their goal, you’ll get more motivated, and try to make every effort to achieve your own goal. Read blogs, scroll through Instagram and browse magazines, and you will surely find people who have gone through exactly what you are attempting to do.
Try something new. Discipline and routines are always good thing, but you need to lose a little bit and let yourself play every now and then. Buy some new food ingredient that you never have tried before or go to a Zumba or boxing class with your friend. Your new, healthier life style shouldn’t be boring and taste like cardboard, or you won’t be able to stick with it!
Reward yourself. Set small checkpoints (like certain amount of exercise per week, 2 kg weight loss, veggies or fruits at every meal, etc.), which will lead you to your final goal, and reward yourself periodically to keep up your spirits. Even the smallest success has a value! Do something nice with your friends, by new shirt or coffee cups, or have your favorite treat. What ever works with you and gives you something to work toward, and keeps you motivated.
Forgive yourself. I won’t lie to you; with high probability you will fail at some point of your journey, and that’s totally fine! If you didn’t get your workout done today or devoured a package of cookies in one sitting and finished it with mega sized double chocolate milk shake, just forget it. It already happened, but it doesn’t have to happen again. Focus on the future and the results you want to achieve, and those small failures won’t ruin your journey to success and will only motivate you more!
The pictures of this post were taken in Menton, France, while I was on a little getaway with my girls. I squeezed in quick workouts, even though I was on a vacation, because I knew, that after those I would feel a lot better. Motivation, that I didn’t lose that time 😉 .