Have you ever jumped out of the gate all gung-ho about making some massive lifestyle changes, only to have your commitment fizzle out after a few weeks?
Isn’t that so demoralizing? After a while you start to doubt yourself: Am I really committed to doing this? Am I capable of having the body and life of my dreams…or am I doomed to this hideous cycle of yo-yo dieting, going “on” and “off” my program for the rest of my life?
I know you CAN do this. I believe in you 100%. Here are some ways for you to believe, too, and to hold on to that belief.
Have a clear vision
In order to stay motivated to achieve and maintain your best fitness and health for the long haul, you must have a very clear vision of the person you wish to be.
This goes beyond setting a goal to get to that “happy scale” number. I suggest writing out a vision statement for how you want to feel and who you want to be. What are your deeply held values and highest priorities in life?
Do you want to have an active retirement? Do you want to feel confident at work and in social situations? Do you want to be a person who no longer obsesses about every bite of food that goes in her mouth? Do you want to be able to play tennis again or go on biking vacations? Do you want to set a good example, be someone who practices what she preaches? A vision statement represents your “new normal,” and might look something like this:
I no longer am weighed down by mental and physical baggage. I am strong and I am free from the prison of compulsive eating. I do not “want” for leanness and fitness. I am “being” lean and fit. I wake up and greet each day with positivity, determination, and grace. I am a role model to my children and a loving partner to my spouse. I value making a positive difference in people’s lives each day. I succeed in all my goals because I am successful. I am unstoppable.
Keep your intentions at the forefront
If changing your lifestyle and attaining greater levels of energy, health or happiness are super-important to you, then you must re-commit yourself to your vision daily…hourly even at times.
How to do this?
I have a few clients who have printed out and even framed their vision statements and look at them first thing in the morning and throughout the day. This is a great idea!
Visual reminders work for many people, too. But rather than paste your head on top of some fitness model’s body who has 5 inches and 12 years of gymnastics training over you, keep a picture of you at your healthiest and happiest nearby.
I am also a fan of the vision board. Cut out pictures and words that represent your ideal life. Mine has sexy red patent leather pumps, a tropical beach, twirling mambo dancers, a sun-struck path through the woods, and the phrases “yes you can,” “transform your life,” and “I am enough.”
Assault yourself with inspiration
I love motivational quotes, videos and stories. I seek them out in books, on YouTube, Facebook pages, TED Talks, and more. They remind me what is possible. I also make time for devotional or spiritual readings each day. These tidbits keep me focused on what is possible, rather than what is not.
Motivation for me sometimes comes in the form of jewelry. I own charms with words like “gratitude,” “fearless,” and “I am blessed.” I was beside myself with excitement when I found this bracelet that contains a full quote from my boy Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”
If you don’t want to wear your inspiration, try setting a reminder on your smart phone. Ping yourself to keep calm and carry on a few times a day.
Finally, if you are looking for a motivational kick in the butt, I highly recommend my friend Joel Runyon’s Impossible Manifesto and book of Impossible Quotes. Joel asks, “Are you telling a good story with your life? Would anyone want to read it?” These are both available as free downloads on his website.
Getting and keeping your head in the game is essential to making permanent, transformational changes. I’ve got more practical tips to share with you next week, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. How do you stay motivated to achieve a goal? Share your insight in the comments below.