You have been quite involved in your healthy lifestyle, but you start to notice a decrease in progression. For example, you have stopped losing weight. How can you change this for the better?
In this article, I will be discussing several important tips that can help you though a motivational dip.
Is Your Goal Important to You?
I have often discussed the importance of having a goal for yourself. What I didn’t mention though, is that you need to see its importance in order to be successful.
The main reason you should be chasing your goal, is to better yourself. For example: if you are losing weight the please other people, your chances of success will be a lot lower.
The same can be said if you feel like you need to uphold certain rules. For example: you want to play the piano, but meanwhile everyone is working out in the gym. Therefore, you feel like you should do so as well.
If deep inside, you are not fully committed to your goal, you will definitely experience difficulties.
You see, it is important to ask yourself what the pros and cons are when you compare your ‘old’ behavior with your ‘new’ behavior. Don’t just think short term!
Do you feel like there are more pros to your old behavior? Well, that may express itself in a lack of progress or motivation. Thereby comes the possibility that other things might have priority over your healthy lifestyle.
Did You Prepare Yourself Enough?
Were you actually ready to start your change? It can very well be that you’ve started to soon. Maybe you haven’t prepared yourself for the difficulties ahead. Maybe you haven’t been realistic enough with your expectations.
Focus on Solutions
It is ineffective to focus on all the things that go wrong. You should focus on fixing your problems, rather than the problems itself.
The following questions may help you with this.
“Do you believe you will maintain your desired behavior?”
Give a rating between 1 and 10. Let’s say that you’ve given yourself a 5. The next thing you should do is ask yourself why this is. Why haven’t you given yourself a 4? By asking this rather negative question, you will trigger yourself to sum up all the positive skills that you possess, which in turn gives you more confidence.
“What is needed to get to a 6?”
Try to answer this question as thorough as possible. What actions or tools might help you to increase your rating from a 5 to a 6? This can help you to get more insight in your eating habits, as you may need to log your daily food intake.
“What are the positives?”
We as a people are often more focused on the negatives, rather than positives. For once, try to focus on all the good things that you are doing. Why have you succeeded in A and B?
We often tend to deal in absolutes. When we are unable to do something, we often tell ourselves: “Of course, I failed. Again.”
Did you, though? The world isn’t just black and white. There must have been some things that went right. Don’t just take this for granted. Changes don’t happen overnight.
What Habits are Blocking Your Progress?
When you’ve focused on the positives, it’s time to take a look at points of improvement. See how I didn’t call them ‘negatives’?
What are your weaknesses? Perhaps you know that you are having a hard time controlling yourself when you’re at a birthday party. Maybe you are even losing control, which causes a lot of unnecessary calories to enter your body.
Simply acknowledge that you have weaknesses. Write them down and move on. You’re better than your weaknesses!
How Can You Improve?
Next up, it’s time to think about your strengths and the opportunities that your surroundings offer. By thinking like this, you can increase the amount of influence you have on your choices, which in turn can be motivating.
Here is an example:
“During birthday parties, I often eat too much junk food. This is bad for my health. However, I don’t nearly buy as much junk food when I’m doing groceries. The difference is that I am more aware of what I want to buy. I have a clear plan, which is my grocery list. Thereby comes the lack of social pressure in supermarkets. During birthday parties, I often let go of my inhibitions, especially after 1-2 glasses of alcohol.”
A solution would be this:
“I will create a set of clear rules for birthday parties. I will focus more on what I am eating, rather than pigging out. What am I tasting? What do I smell? How am I reacting to these signals? Whenever I feel like losing my inhibitions, I will try to counter it with an inhibiting thought. With this, I will be honest with myself and others. I can also seek help and support with my friends that might attend the same party and also want to lose weight.”
Create Progressive Goals
Having an ultimate goal is great! However, we often don’t have full control over whatever happens in our lives. For example, you never know for sure that you will lose 20 lbs.
You will fall sometimes. What’s important, is that you stand up again. However, it can be demotivating to see your progress stagnate or even decrease. Therefore, solely focusing on your final goal is not the way to go about.
We can influence the process of reaching your goal, though! If you want to lose 5 lbs in a month for example, you should focus on how you are going to accomplish this.
An example of a progressive goal would be this:
“I will learn to control myself during birthday parties and other social activities by saying ‘no’, being more self-conscious and having clear boundaries.”
Let’s say that you don’t know how to cook healthy. A progressive goal would be this:
“I am going to learn how to cook healthy meals by reading more about healthy nutrition and recipes.”
Another advantage of having these smaller goals, is that it becomes much harder to fail. Every step you take will give you more experience and knowledge.
Evaluating your progress is still very important, though. Sometimes, things won’t go the way you want. Try to improve on those things, so you keep acting goal oriented.
Stop Believing Whatever You Think
Maybe you have stopped losing weight because your base metabolic rate has dropped. Perhaps you have even gained weight because you have gained muscle mass!
Just eating less isn’t always the solution, because you might get certain nutrient deficits. Therefore, I urge you to not just believe every thought that comes into mind.
Test your hypothesis!
It really helps if you have someone to talk to. Always pick a person that you can trust and doesn’t judge. Pour your heart out if you need to. Discussing your problems and victories can do a lot to a person.
Motivation is what drives you to go on. Without motivation, there will be no progress. I hope that by now, you have learned a few ways that might help you to improve on your own motivation.
Please, leave your thoughts in the comment section below!