When we decide to make changes in our lifestyle, whether it's about what we eat, our daily routine, or our physical activity, keeping the motivation can be a real challenge. So how can we ensure that it doesn't fade away quickly?
1. The Power of Calendars
The calendar may seem cliché, but it can work wonders! The advantage of such a tool is that it provides a visual representation of our goal achievements.
Simply take a weekly or monthly calendar and mark the days when we achieve our objectives. If we lose motivation along the way, we can look at the calendar during the times when we were more diligent to get motivated again. If we could do it before, what's stopping us from doing it now? This way of thinking is a proven technique for boosting motivation.
Here's a quick exercise: Think of a moment when you successfully achieved a goal, no matter what it was. You set a goal for yourself, and you accomplished it. When you set your mind to it, you can achieve your goals! By remembering our past strengths, we become more motivated to face the future. Thus, the calendar becomes an excellent reflective and motivational tool.
2. Rewarding, but Differently
When trying to make lifestyle changes, it can be tempting to reward ourselves with food (especially if we've been restricting ourselves daily). However, it's essential to remember that there is no moral value associated with food, and it shouldn't be used as a reward. A slight nuance: indulging in foods we love (not as a reward!) is entirely valid, and we can do it without feeling like we earned it.
Nevertheless, rewarding ourselves can be a great idea to keep us motivated. And we can do it in unconventional ways! For example, if our goal is to move a certain number of times per week, why not transfer $5 to our savings account every time we exercise? Or take a moment to relax and read our favorite book?
3. It's Not a Race
Achieving our goals or making significant changes in our lifestyle is not a race. By adequately preparing for the change and remembering the reasons why we're making it, we ensure to stay motivated. Here are some questions to ask ourselves:
- Why am I making this change?
- What benefits will this change bring me?
- What obstacles am I likely to encounter along the way?
- How can I overcome these obstacles?
Staying motivated can be challenging. Fortunately, with the support of a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, we increase the odds of making lasting changes that will endure in the long term!