Top tips for motivation

10 tips for motivation

Fire up and focus on your goals with these dynamite tips

Whether it’s the annual New Year’s resolution or another ‘I mean it this time’ blitz, there are times when motivation is on fire. Plans are made, resolves hardened and self-congratulations anticipated.

But then … spirits start to wane. It’s a slog maintaining that initial enthusiasm for ambitious goals, especially when results are slow or it rains for days on end, and all you want is the sofa, Modern Family and chocolate.

So how do you keep firing like a rocket? Here are 10 dynamite ways to keep your motivation up and your healthy lifestyle on track.

  1. Set specific goals

Return to them regularly to remind yourself of what you set out to achieve and the need to persevere.

‘Why do I want to be healthy? The reasons have to be meaningful to me,’ says Shauna Reid, weight loss blogger  and author of The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl.

‘I want to look good in clothes. I don’t want my knees to be sore anymore. I want to be fit and healthy when I’m a little old lady. I look over my list each day to remind myself why I want to make better choices. Unless I make it personal, I make every excuse under the sun to sit on the couch!’ she says.

  1. Chart your progress

Keeping a record of your progress motivates you in those times when you feel discouraged.

‘It helps to get regular re-assessments of strength, fitness and body changes,’ says Nathan Johnson, Accredited Exercise Physiologist and spokesperson for Exercise and Sport Science Australia.

Weigh and measure yourself once a week and log your details in the My Results section. Take regular photos and keep them in your smart phone. Seeing your progress mapped out gives you a strong sense of purpose and direction.

  1. Buy a gym membership or a course of classes

Buy in advance and your dislike of wasting money will spur you to attend. If you had paid for a course of dental visits you would go, even if they were unpleasant. Why should exercise be any different?

  1. Find a workout partner

It’s much harder to let someone else down than it is to make excuses to yourself. If you have a training partner, you’re less likely to skip training sessions. It also turns training into a social occasion.

‘For many people the social interaction is a major factor in sticking to physical activity, so make it fun,’ says Nathan Johnson.

Plus, you can push each other, and a little competition never hurt anyone!

  1. Sign up and train for a charity event

It’s awful breaking a commitment you have made to many people, especially if you have also pledged to raise money for charity. You not only let yourself down but also the charity and everyone who sponsored you.

So sign up and stick with it. Having a deadline will keep you training hard.

  1. Reward yourself

When you reach a goal, celebrate! Book a massage or facial, have a haircut or go out for dinner.

Or why not reward yourself with something fitness inspired? Try:

  • new workout gear
  • a fitness DVD
  • new music to run to
  • an iPod or FitBit
  • a blender to whip up green smoothies
  1. Keep a journal

Your online diary is your key resource for effective self-monitoring. Keeping a success journal is an additional way to celebrate small victories.

‘Acknowledge yourself every time you do a workout or eat healthily,’ says Kylie Ryan, a Sydney-based weight loss motivation coach. ‘Documenting and celebrating small steps is a critical factor in lasting motivation.’

  1. Go social

Youtube , Pinterest and Tumblr are inspiration central. Listen to a talk from someone you admire, find a fun workout, create spectacular boards, find healthy recipes or read about someone else’s weight loss journey to bolster your own determination.

ClickFit forums and Facebook are great pick-me-ups. Check in daily to lift your spirits.

  1. Be inspired with visual cues

Visual reminders are powerful motivators.

‘Create an inspiration board with your goal, some pictures of yourself when you were slim if you have them, pictures of others who inspire you or a sexy new outfit,’ says Kylie.

  1. Limit, don’t eliminate

If you cut out all ‘bad’ foods, you’re bound for a fall. But if you allow yourself the occasional treat, you’ll enjoy it without going overboard. Planning the occasional Friday night drinks with friends is more likely to result in long-term success than succumbing to an unplanned fast food fiasco through boredom and frustration.

Plan to cheat occasionally — and look forward to it.

‘Don’t expect or aim for perfection,’ says Kylie. ‘It’s a recipe for self-sabotage.’

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