Starting to make healthier lifestyle changes is not as hard as it seems. Many people created New Years goals this year to help them get in shape, lose weight, or eat better. The hard part for most is sticking to those goals once they have started. Life gets busy, we lose energy, or we do not immediately see the results we desire. On the other hand, there are some who hang in there and are extremely successful. What is their secret?
When you set a goal to make a change the first thing you need to focus on is why you want to make that change. When researchers asked long-term exercisers (people who had worked out for an average of 13 years) what motivated them, the main responses were feeling good and being healthy. If you are planning to eat healthier in order to lose 15 pounds, or if you are heading to the gym to build up your biceps, you might want to rethink your motivation.
Once you have your priorities in place, there are several things you can do to make sure you stick to your plan. The first is to involve someone else. Whether that means exercising with a partner or telling a family member how you want to lose weight, you are going to add accountability to your goal by sharing it.
Next, make your change a priority. Go to the gym first thing in the morning so you cannot make excuses later. If morning is not an option for you, head to the gym straight from work. Try reminding yourself of why you set the goal in the first place and how you are going to do whatever it takes to reach it.
Keep track of your progress along the way by writing down accomplishments that are important to you. This could be how much time you spent at the gym, how many steps you walked, what you ate each day, or what you weighed. Even if you did not quite reach your goal each day you will be motivated to do better the next. When you look back at your progress you will immediately be motivated.
Finally, do not forget to reward yourself along the way. Rewards are motivating and certainly play a big role in your success. Avoid rewarding yourself with food that might sabotage your plan. If you are working on losing weight, reward yourself with new jeans along the way. Rewards can be as simple as dedicating time to yourself to do things you enjoy. Pick something that is important enough to work toward.
The good news is, the longer you stick with it the more likely it is to become permanent. Do not give up, this change is too important.
Rachel Lukasavige is a Health Coach at Lukas Coaching. Visit www.lukascoaching.com/resources.htm for a ton of free tools to help you improve your health, finances, business, career & life!