Continuing on from the last issue here are some keys things you need to watch to protect and enhance your motivation for weight loss or other health lifestyle changes. They really make a difference – practice them and see!
CHUNK SIZE – you need to view challenging tasks in parts. Don’t think about a week of dieting but rather 1 day at a time and even 1 meal at a time! Don’t focus on an hour of exercise but rather on getting the first 15 minutes done or the first mile done. Looking at the full task can be very scary and de-motivating, the pain often seems too much. Focus on small portions and then you will realise that it is not near as hard as you first thought.
START POSITIVE – every day try to start off with something positive even if it is very small. It could be drinking some water, playing some motivational music or going for a short walk. Positivity breeds positivity – generally once you start off good you tend to build on it. Likewise negativity breeds negativity – if you start off wrong you tend to give up on the day and really go off the rails. So getting the right start is a huge key to your success.
DON’T TAKE ON TOO MUCH – It amazes me how we go to extremes, for example, we either don’t exercise at all at all or then when we decide to do some, we take on way too much, so much that we haven’t a hope of keeping it going. Start with something small and then build on it. Start with something you can realistically stick with. Think about what you are going to do. While ideally you would do 40 or more minutes of aerobic work for weight loss, you do not have to start with this much. Start small get to like the feeling, let it become a habit (takes about 3 weeks!) and then build on it.
PRACTICE LETTING GO – This is an amazing life skill and not just for weight loss and health. If you have a bad day then put a limit on the time you will beat yourself up over it and then move on from it. Often we spend so much time dwelling on it that we psych ourselves totally out of our plan. What’s done is done – take a lesson from it – put it away and move on. Any more energy you spend on it is just wasted energy. Save that energy to re-focus and get back on track.
LOG – Keep a short diary of what you do daily. Logging is a great way to be more accountable to yourself and help you make better decisions and clearly assess your efforts and commitment. It is a vital key to staying motivated.
PRACTICE – motivation is a skill that requires some work. It won’t just happen. You have got to be prepared to work on your motivation by practicing the ideas in this issue and the previous issue.