Let’s be honest, it’s not always smooth sailing when it comes to improving your health or losing weight. At the end of the day we are only human and it’s easy to lose momentum. Workout plans get whacked and healthy eating habits cheated.
This can happen any time. Maybe you’re busy with work, kids or socialising. Or perhaps you’ve just hit a plateau with your weight loss, and the scales aren’t moving as much as you hoped they would.
The good news is, keeping momentum is easier than you might think. To help you stay focussed and on the ball, here are six easy steps to keep you on track.
1. Plan ahead
If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Sometimes we just don’t have the time or energy to workout or whip-up a healthy, gourmet meal.
Quick Tip: Take some time out at the beginning of each week and create a workout schedule and food plan. Choose your meals for the week, make time to get to the grocery store, do a little food preparation in advance. You’ll soon be into some great health habits and, most importantly, avoiding the “take-out” temptation.
2. Incentivise your workouts
We all like a pat on the back when we achieve something. Setting yourself mini-goals and rewards is a great way to track your success and to congratulate yourself for staying fit and healthy.
Quick Tip: Set up a money jar and throw in a gold coin or two every time you stick to your workout plan. At the end of the month or season, you can use that money to spoil yourself with a makeover or new workout gear. If you’ve really done well, maybe you could even put it towards that dream holiday you’re dying to go on.
3. Buddy up
Nothing keeps you more motivated than a friend who shares your health and fitness goals (read the amazing Fit Friendship story about 12WBT Besties Liz and Robyn).
A neighbour, relative, friend, partner or colleague can offer support during exercise, and maybe even a little friendly competition.
Quick Tip: Fitness buddies can join you for everything from intense training sessions, to friendly tennis matches, to regular walks. Why not invite them into the kitchen every now and then to prepare and share a healthy meal? You can swap recipes and cooking tips!
4. Get competitive
When it comes to losing weight, a little competition goes a long way. According to a recent study published in the journal Obesity, the social influence of team-based weight loss competitions can help participants lose up to 20 per cent more weight than doing it alone. (But we here at 12WBT already knew that!)
Quick Tip: Join 12WBT!
OK, there’s more to it than that. There are many benefits to being part of a sports team, or just organising a group of friends to exercise with. If that’s not your thing, go social. Tell everyone about your activities and get their support and, if required, their nagging.
5. Create a motivation gallery
The combination of getting encouragement from family and friends and documenting your progress can be a real boost, when it comes to eating well and keeping active.
Quick Tip: Social media gives us a multitude of channels to express ourselves. Try creating a gallery on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. You could even create your own blog to record your progress.
Follow these steps for some extra encouragement, to keep you motivated, and to remind you of the progress you are making. Who knows you may even inspire those around you to join you.
…What are YOUR Tips?
How do you keep motivated to stay healthy? Leave your comments below.