They say it can take between 21 and 66 days to turn a new behaviour into an automatic pattern, however motivation is what gets this process started. Here are five motivation hacks to help spur on your efforts and reach your health and fitness goals.
MAKE IT EASY FOR YOURSELF
Making healthy habits as easy as possible is one way to stay motivated and on track. Spend Sundays cooking a few healthy staples for the week, pack your gym bag and lunch the night before, and have a backup plan for missed exercise, such as a 10-minute bodyweight circuit at home.
BREAK IT DOWN
Losing 30kg can seem like a mammoth task so best to break up your goal into manageable chunks, such as losing half a kilo per week. Avoid fad diets or overly intense exercise programs that are unsustainable. You want to be able to continue these habits for life, so be realistic about your schedule and adjust your eating and exercise regime to bust through any weight loss or fitness plateaus.
FOCUS ON ACTIONS, NOT OUTCOMES
Instead of being fixated on a number, clothing size, or the exact number of calories to consume each day, make your goals action based. Specific goals such as drinking one glass of water with each meal or having a salad with dinner are tangible actions that will lead to a healthier, happier you.
MAKE IT FUN
Do you dread the treadmill, yet force yourself to slog it out? There’s a misconception that certain activities, like running, are essential for being fit. While cardiovascular exercise is important you’re more likely to stick an activity you enjoy long term. Try something fun, like Zumba or Barre Attack to improve your cardio and coordination, or mix it up on the gym floor with equipment such as TRX or BOSU balls. All this variety ensures you don’t become bored and will constantly challenge your body in new ways.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
It’s hard to stay motivated when you feel flat. The truth is your body needs a break each week to rest, replenish and build muscle, otherwise you run the risk of burning out and ditching your workout all together. Plan one or two days where you do a low intensity activity like walking, gardening, stretching or yoga. Additionally, don’t be overly strict with your diet as it can lead to unhealthy thought patterns or disordered eating. Enjoy small indulgences without guilt a few times a week, as long as you’re eating whole foods and balanced meals most of the time.
HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE YOURSELF?