Hello, Wild Pretty Things!
I know that eating healthy & working out regularly can be extremely difficult habits to start. ( Read My posts on ‘How To Starting Healthy Eating Habits‘ & ‘How To Starting A Workout Routine‘.) Once you start, if you can keep the momentum then it becomes easier and easier to stay with it. Now, that sounds great and all, but what are the best ways to stay motivated? My health & fitness journey started about 10 years ago and since then I have tried almost every trick in the book to stay focused on accomplishing my goals. Below are a few of the options that I found to be excessively helpful to keep myself motivated and in good habits.
Track Your Progress:
Tracking your progress is the #1 best way to stay motivated. Once you see that your actions are paying off and goals are being accomplished, it lights a fire inside of you. The progress that people want to see the most is the weight coming off. Unfortunately, it usually takes about a month for you to see those kinds of changes. However, there are other ways to track your progress. Below are a few examples of methods that I have used:
- If you have a large amount of weight to lose then this can be helpful AT FIRST. Once you are in your ideal weight range for your height, you are going to want to switch to a different method to track your progress. When I first started working out, I lived by the scale and checked it religiously. What ended up happening is I became obsessed with seeing a smaller & smaller number. I ended up at 110 lbs- still thinking I was fat mind you – and looking very much like a skeleton. For my weight, I am supposed to float around the 120-130 lbs range so that lets you know how bad I got. My best advice is to avoid the scale and the mind games it leads to.
- Like I said above, it can take a while to visually see any changes to your body until about a month has passed. However, having photos to compare to one another allows you a better opportunity to see those changes faster. In the before photos your arms might be more jiggly then you would like and then all of a sudden the after has a much toner arm and you feel on top of the world. I recommend wearing as little clothing a possible (bra & panties FTW) or just wearing the exact same thing in every photo so you can see how the fit has improved. You can take photos as often as you would like, but I wuld recommend at least once a week.
- Fitness Journal
- In a fitness journal you can record each days work out. That could mean how far you ran, how fast you ran, how many reps you did, the weight that you used, or any other measure that you would like to track. The journal will allow you to see what you have done and push yourself to go harder. Looking back on the journal you can see how you’ve gone from running for 30 mins to an hour, or squatting 10 reps to squatting 3 sets of 12 reps. You can set weight or time goals and see how fast you can accomplish them.
- Money is a powerful influencer and has the power to push you to reach goals faster. In the past, I have decided that I would put $1 in a jar every time I worked out in order to save up for something I really wanted. The amount can be anything you like or can afford, but the goal is to assign a value to that workout. The second part of this method is having a goal as to what the money will be for. A great option would be for an Apple watch/ Fitbit or any other health & fitness gadget. I have also saved up for weekend trips and vacations or spa days to relax and allow my body to repair. Your goal can be whatever you would like, but having a clear goal makes this method way more effective.
Celebrate Every Success:
To go along with my last point, the best way to stay motivated is to celebrate each
success and to reward yourself for accomplishing goals. Have you hit a new mile stone, finished a workout program, or tried a new class? These are all huge steps in living your healthiest life and should be acknowledged and rewarded. Listed below are some of the rewards that I have found to be really motivating:
- New workout outfit
- One of my favorite things about clothes is how they can effect your mood. Well, the same goes to the gym and your workout attire. Getting a new cute outfit has amazing power – all of a sudden you can’t wait to get to the gym and flaunt your new look.
- New Water Bottle
- Not drinking enough water throughout the day is one of my biggest faults. However, when I buy a cute refillable water bottle I find it SO much easier to drink my 8 glasses a day. Find something that makes you want to turn that bad habit into a good one.
- New Equipment:
- I mentioned this above, but I feel like this deserves to be mentioned twice. Buying new things to use at the gym will make you want to go.
** Never use food as a reward- Food is energy and that it how it should be thought of. Food as a reward is how a lot of people put on so much weight and you want to disconnect that thinking**
Your Mind Decides Your Mood:
Which leads us into our next point, how your attitude effects your workouts and your results. Being in a Sicilian family, I grew up thinking that food was a way that you receive and give love. Food is a crutch when you are having a bad day and a hug when you are sad. While this can be extremely comforting and absolutely delicious, it can lead to setting up bad habits. If you think about foods function in your life, the real purpose is to fuel our bodies and provide the nutrients needed to carry out everyday tasks. When my trainer told me to think of food in this manner it made a world of difference in my eating habits.
The same goes for your workouts – Working out is a reward for your body, not a punishment you have to endure a few times a week. It’s so easy to blow a sweat sesh by constant thoughts about how awful it is going to be or how you don’t want to be there. Working out relaxes your body, stretches your muscles, and is the cheapest way to blow off steam. These are all amazing things that your body loves and craves. Once you change your mindset to be more in line with your bodies desires you will find that it is much easier and even enjoyable to head to the gym.
Finally, positive affirmations are a gym rats best friend. When trying something new or pushing yourself it is oh-so easy to head to that negative head space of – “I can’t do that” or “That’s too hard”. A positive mind has the power unlock hidden strengths and even the ability to motivate others around you. I love to repeat to myself, “This might be hard, but you can handle it!”. It is super simple, yet it is very powerful. You allow yourself to acknowledge that there is a hard task set in front of you and then affirm that you know you are capable of handling the task.
Get A Friend:
Loosing weight and getting healthy doesn’t have to be a solo journey. In fact, my journey all started when two girlfriends and myself decided to get gym memberships & a personal trainer to get fit before Summer. Being able to train with a personal trainer together and push each other to go to the gym was just what I needed to become hooked on living my healthiest life.
Gym memberships and personal trainers can be pretty pricey, but don’t let this discourage you at all. One of the best things about working out with a partner is that you can do any workout, anywhere. Jogs around the neighborhood, playing a game of tennis, or taking a new fitness class are all great and affordable ways to work out with a buddy.
Grabbing a partner can also encourage some friendly competition that will push you to hold that squat longer, drive a little hard towards the end of that run, or motivate you to push yourself harder than you thought you could go. Even if it is not direct competition, seeing how far your partner has come or the things they are capable of can lead you to that Ah-ha moment when you realize how amazing you are & how much you are capable of.
Lastly, a work out buddy can lead you to try new class and techniques that you might not have otherwise tried. Some of my favorite classes are classes that I might not have otherwise tried if I hadn’t gone with a friend. It can be intimidating walking into a new class and trying something you have never tried- It is very easy to look a darn fool. Perfect example: Me in my first Zumba class (I chopped it up to my hips are just not meant to move like that- It was seriously awkward) You will probably still look like a fool on that first day of class (Sorry, it’s true), but that actually becomes so much funner when you share it with a friend.
What are some of your motivational tips & tricks?
XO, Wild Pretty Things
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