How do you stay motivated in 2017?
It's the beginning of a new year! How many of us included getting in shape or losing weight as a New Year's resolution?
Right now in the beginning of January, everybody is super motivated to reach their goals. You go to the grocery store, and the produce and fresh vegetable section is nearly empty. You hit the gym, and you have to wait 20 minutes to use a treadmill because there are so many people working out.
Suddenly, near the end of January or early February, there's a subtle shift. When you hit the grocery store, the shelves of fresh fruits and vegetables are fully stocked. You hit the gym for a quick jog and you have tons of open treadmills to choose from. Why do so many people seem to give up on their health and fitness resolutions before the month of January is even over?
It comes down to one simple concept--Motivation. The golden question: why is it so hard to stay motivated to hit the gym, eat healthy, and not revert to a food free-for-all?
First, let’s talk about motivation. We hear that word tossed around all the time, but what exactly IS motivation, and why is it important?
Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. Motivation is what causes us to take action--whether it’s grabbing a glass of water when we’re thirsty, or hitting the gym when we want to become healthier.
Check out the reasons why it's so hard to stay motivated (and what you can do to stay a motivated maven) to hit your health, fitness, and weight loss goals in 2017!
1. Be organized and plan ahead!!!
I can't stress the importance of this one enough! Why do you think fast food restaurants are so successful? Or, if we take it back to the grocery store, why are lean cuisines selling off the shelves like hotcakes?
Think about it, both fast food meals and lean cuisine's are super convenient and easy to eat. Honestly, the hardest part of the fast food meal is taking it out of the bag (or maybe opening up 1 million ketchup packets if you're like me and love ketchup!). Let’s get real--the hardest part of cooking a lean cuisine is putting it in the microwave.
Many times, people think that in order to be healthy, you have to spend hours and hours planning and preparing your meals. Heck, if this was the truth, I would be running to fast food places and lean cuisine's for every meal too! If you take some time to plan, prepare, and schedule a little bit of time for food prep and grocery shopping, you can eat a much healthier variety of whole, nutritious foods without spending much more time than it would take for your lean cuisine to cook in the microwave. Throw a few chicken breasts and raw vegetables in the slow cooker before you head to work with a little bit of chicken broth and seasoning and BOOM, dinner is done as soon as you get home from work!
2. Chart your progress
Checking the bathroom scale every single day during the first two weeks of January, only to see the numbers barely budge, isn't what I'm talking about. In fact, I'll be writing a different blog post soon about other ways you can chart progress, outside of the scale.
In short, remember that progress comes in all shapes, forms, and sizes. If you used to eat lean cuisine's or fast food for lunch five days a week, and now you're bringing healthy, nutritious food for lunch one or two days a week, then guess what--THAT IS PROGRESS! Ultimately, these small, progressive steps will move the numbers on the scale in the long run.
3. Don't be afraid to push yourself past your comfort zone.
Just because you hated broccoli and cauliflower as a little kid doesn't mean that you still hate it as an adult. The taste buds inside of our mouth change over the years and as we age. Food simply taste different to us now than it did when we were kids. Give all sorts of new, healthy, and nutritious foods a chance, even if you were convinced as a kid you didn't like them.
In the same way, don't be afraid to push past your comfort zone when it comes to exercise. I'm not saying that you should feel like you're going to throw up, or are dying during every workout you do, but remember the goal of exercising. You're trying to make your muscles and heart just a little bit stronger than yesterday. If you don't push your muscles and heart past their current fitness levels, you'll never see improvements in the gym. When you feel stronger, are able to grab heavier weights, and begin to see muscles you never knew you had, your motivation soars!
4. Get some help from a knowledgeable and compassionate health coach
Between eating healthier foods, finding time to fit exercise into your busy schedule, and adjusting new daily habits to improve your life, it can be hard to figure out exactly what you need to do and how you can get everything done, while still having time to enjoy life. Especially with the abundance of fad diets and fad workouts out there, are you actually sure that what you're embarking on is good for your body, mind, and spirit?
Health coaches have a wealth of knowledge about exercise, nutrition, stress management, and tools to help you balance your life. Most importantly, the good ones work with YOU as an individual to determine what's best for you, your body, and your lifestyle. Our bodies certainly aren’t one size fits all, so your health plan can’t be either. Most important, your health coach can help you stay motivated when you hit a bump in the road (which I can guarantee WILL happen at some point on your journey to health and wellness.)
As you embark on your 2017 resolutions, take these tips and try to apply them to all of your goals, even the ones that aren’t related to health and fitness! Remember that you have the strength, knowledge, and willpower to reach your goals.
Share with us below, which of these resonated most with you? How are you staying motivated to reach your 2017 goals?