If you’re like most people who’s New Year’s Resolution was to lose weight, now’s about the time that you may be feeling like you’re ready to jump off the wagon. Just like anything that requires a commitment to change, there’s always a critical point when people start to give up; the point where you either lose interest or just feel like your goal is unattainable or not worth the effort.
However, that critical point is also a positive marker. If you do hit that wall and are able to overcome it by remaining committed, you know you’re on your way to achieving success! If you do encounter the critical point, here are 5 simple tips to help keep you on track for reaching your weight loss goals.
1. Break up your big goal into smaller ones.
Hopefully you set up a realistic goal for yourself, but if your goal looks too daunting, break it down into smaller goal segments. For example, try to beat every previous exercise session by burning 10 extra calories. You may not notice the extra effort put in, but you will notice the results over time. Setting up small goal markers along the way means frequent improvements and more small victories that will help keep you motivated and will help add up to big results over time – and eventually, your ultimate goal.
2. Give yourself a motivational reminder.
What is it you really want to lose weight for? Are you trying to fit into your skinny jeans or that little black dress? Is it to look as good as you did in high school? Is it to help you get more attention from a special someone? Whatever your reason for wanting to lose weight, keep that ultimate goal in mind with some kind of visual reminder. For example, keep a big picture of that beautiful wedding dress you’re trying to fit into in your bedroom, workplace, or gym locker. When you keep your eyes on the prize, achieving success won’t be a surprise!
3. Add a dimension of fun.
Losing motivation to stay active? Some people drop off because they don’t enjoy exercise. If you’ve fallen into that rut, change your routine or add an element to make exercise more fun. Maybe it’s adding your favorite music to your walks or jogs, or perhaps it’s catching up on your favorite TV programs while on the stair climber. Don’t enjoy being in the gym? Try exercising outdoors, play a sport, or do an activity that you enjoy. Bottom line, if what you’re doing right now doesn’t motivate you, don’t just quit – find something else that does!
4. Do it with a friend … or a group!
Trying to make a lifestyle change alone can be difficult. So why not do it with a partner? When you have a training partner you can help keep each other motivated and accountable, and it can add an element of friendly competition to do better. One partner not enough to keep you committed and engaged? Why not join an exercise class or running group, or maybe try recreational team sports like volleyball or basketball? It can also provide a fun social outlet that you will look forward to.
5. Keep track of your progress.
You should already have a journal to keep track of your daily diet and exercise activity. But in addition to that, why not also keep track of all the successes you’ve had and the progress you’ve made? Maybe you ate 500 less calories last week; maybe you’ve completely eliminated certain high-calorie sweets from your diet; maybe you burned more calories than the previous workout session or spent more time on the treadmill; perhaps your clothes fit a little looser; or maybe you just feel better and have more daily energy. When you think you just don’t seem to be getting anywhere, look back on all the little accomplishments you’ve achieved and see that you ARE getting somewhere!