If I could just get motivated I could finally lose some of this weight!!
Ever wonder why you struggle to stay motivated to diet or exercise even when you want to lose weight really, really badly?
The answer is because motivation doesn’t work.
Nope. It doesn’t.
There is something that works a lot better, and I’m going to share what that is, why motivation will end up failing you every time, and how you can finally get success toward your weight loss goal.
When you make the decision to start a diet or exercise routine, yes, you need a little motivation in the beginning to get going. But motivation will always end up failing you if it’s the only thing you’re relying on to keep yourself going.
Why doesn’t motivation work? Because motivation comes and goes! It requires energy and stamina. There are going to be times when you just don’t have it and you don’t feel motivated and even when you have a great reason why you should be motivated, there will be days when that’s simply not enough.
So what does work if motivation doesn’t?
Habits are what keep you going. Once we create a pattern or routine, the human brain is hardwired to repeat that routine.
If you’ve created a healthy eating or workout routine, even on the days that you don’t feel like it, you do it anyway because it’s what you do. So you don’t need motivation. If you have a habit, you’re just going to keep doing what you’re doing.
Rather than trying to think of how to get yourself more motivated, think of how you can change your habits and create a better routine.
Here are a couple of things you can do to change your habits:
- Try paring healthy habits with a habit you already have. You eat breakfast every morning, so start taking your vitamins with breakfast. You won’t ever forget to take your vitamins because you’re probably not going to skip breakfast (I hope).
- You can also break up with bad habits by un-pairing them. Just like putting something together that’s good you can also stop putting something bad with something else. If every time you get up at work to go to the bathroom you pass the candy dish and you have a little piece of candy, start to take a different route. Don’t go past the candy dish. Force yourself for at least a week to not have candy and then you’ll stop feeling like you have to do it every time.
- If you tend to snack while watching TV at night, read a book instead. You could also crochet, you could take a bath, anything that will occupy your mind when you are tempted to snack.
- Another good habit is to brush your teeth as soon as you’re done eating. This will help you not snack between meals. Usually when we brush our teeth that is the signal to our brain that we’re done eating and it also creates a minty taste that we don’t like to combine with other foods.
- You can form new habits by recruiting a buddy. Take your dog for a walk every morning, or meet a friend at lunch time for a walk, or meet your spouse at the gym after work. If you recruit someone else (human or pet) to do it with you, then you aren’t just keeping a commitment to yourself but also to someone else. I guarantee you the dog isn’t going to allow you to skip that morning walk when you’ve made it a routine.
Instead of spending time trying to motivate yourself again and again when your motivation starts to fail, work on creating new habits instead.
Ask yourself what is one habit you can commit to, starting today that is going to make progress towards your health and fitness or weight loss goals?
- Keep a bottle of water with you at work all day long, to make sure you get your water in.
- Take the stairs every day at work instead of the elevator.
- Reach out to one of your co-workers and suggest taking a 10 to 15 minute walk each day at lunch to chat.
- Commit to start walking your dog every morning.
Commit, right now to one new habit that is going to carry you through when motivation won’t.
Little changes seem small at first but they add up big over time.