By Fitness Experts
Monday, January 10, 2011.
The first few weeks of your slimming plan are always the easiest, but unfortunately the “honeymoon” can end all too quickly. So you start making excuses. “I can’t exercise today, I am too tired”, “I don’t have time to log on this week I have too much to do”. Or you cheat – “no one saw me eat it so it doesn’t count”. Or you simply “forget” about those extra foods which weren’t on your meal plan. A few slips like that and it’s easy to fall right off the slimming wagon.
But, you can make that motivation packed honeymoon last right until you reach your target weight and well beyond that. How? With careful planning.
Set good goals
Make them achievable - Saying “I’ll never eat chocolate again” usually lands you in the sweet shop buying two or more of your favourite bars. It’s better to allow yourself a small amount of chocolate (or your favourite treat food) and that way you will be able to keep on the slimming path for longer and feel more motivated to keep on it. You can enjoy a small treat food item and still lose weight – provided you count them into your daily allowance and forfeit something else from your daily meal plan.
Make them specific
- Beware of “I’m going to lose 2lb this week”. You cannot guarantee this, no matter how closely you follow your meal plan. But what you can say is “I am going to exercise every day this week”.
Make them a little beyond reach
- A weight loss goal that is too difficult will make you want to give up. One that is too easy may not get you anywhere. At first set modest goals and then make them more ambitious. For example, aim to exercise for 15 minutes three times a week at first, then increase it to 20 minutes four times a week etc.
Write them down
- Seeing your goals on paper will make them seem more real and boost your motivation to achieve them. So put your goals on paper and then give yourself a big “tick” beside them or put a red line through them when you achieve them. It also greatly helps to keep track of your motivation. Each day think about how motivated you feel. Mark this down in your journal or on the support groups and this will help you stay even more motivated.
See it happen
- Close your eyes and visualise yourself achieving your goals. Picture yourself doing whatever your goal is. See it and you will achieve it. Picture yourself at your target weight, see yourself in that outfit and you will get there. Look at your body each week as you lose weight. Make measurements of your waist and hip size and watch the inches melt away.
- Choose anything for a reward as long as it is enjoyable, immediate and available only when your goal is reached. Think of at least 20 non-food treats for yourself and write them down. They should be simple, short-term things that do not cost a lot of time or money, but something that will make you feel good. It could be something as simple giving yourself a facial or getting your hair done.
Keep it going
- Once you are well into your weight loss programme, you will not want to stop until you get to where you want to go. However, there are still some tactics which you can use to help you keep going.
- Instead of eating the same foods every day and perhaps getting bored with your eating plan, eat something new. Try some different recipes, try new foods, have a good look through our database of recipes and take the time to add variety to your meal plan – try anything once and make your weight loss plan more exciting.
Spice it up
- Give your taste buds a treat. Try a new exotic fruit or vegetable, a different type of fish, an exotic spice or herb. Every time you go shopping make it a quest to find something new or different.
Change your routine
- Instead of doing the same thing every day – change it. If you always wash on Monday and iron on Tuesday - change your routine. If you always walk the same route every day – change it. If you always shop in the same shop – change it. Do something “out of routine” to keep you challenged and motivated.
These tactics do work. They work at keeping you motivated, keeping you interested and keeping you on the road to success. Think about what it is you really want. Write down three reasons why you want to lose weight. Reinforce the desire to lose weight, imagine yourself slimmer, expect great things and give yourself time to get there.
These things are very important – not only in getting you started but in keeping you going.
The final two important things for you to think about and do this week are:
Commitment is not something that you can manufacture or something that our service can give you. It is something that you find deep down inside you. Until there is a commitment there will always be a way out or a way to avoid doing what you have to do. The instant you commit yourself to something is the instant you start achieving it. Simply tell yourself that you are GOING to do this. Commit yourself to DOING this.
This is perhaps very obvious, but “not taking action” wins the award for so many people not living the life they want. Whatever it is – do it. You know what you have to do – do it. Do whatever it takes because you have nothing to lose (except weight) and everything to gain. No matter how positive your goal is, the plans are, the desire, the imagination, the expectations or the time you have, if you are not prepared to take positive action towards it then you are just fooling yourself. You know you can lose weight but you must take action to do it.
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