I hear it all the time – the number one thing you struggle with when it comes to eating healthy and exercising regularly is consistency. You can eat really clean for a week or two, even going to the gym 5 days a week or walking every morning. And then one day all of your best intentions come crashing down and you’re eating Hungry Jacks for lunch, wondering what happened to your health kick.
In this post, I’ll share with you five of the most fail-proof ways to stay motivated, committed and consistent.
1 Set micro-goals
Setting a goal to lose 20kg in 6 months feels pretty daunting – and it’s a lot easier to give up when your goal feels so far away. Setting micro-goals means you break your ultimate goal down into smaller, achievable chunks. So instead of focusing on your 20kg goal, you might set a goal to lose 1.5kg in the next 2 weeks. Not only does setting micro-goals make your ultimate goal feel more achievable, it also allows you an opportunity to celebrate every milestone you achieve. And if there’s one thing that keeps motivation levels high, it’s continued success.
2 Celebrate along the way
Don’t wait until you achieve your big goal to celebrate and congratulate yourself – that’s super boring! Recognizing every single achievement and milestone is a sure-fire way to keep your motivation levels high. Wouldn’t you rather focus on what you have already achieved, rather than always focusing on how far you’ve got to go? You can celebrate achieving your micro goals, and even non-scale victories like fitting into your size 10 jeans again, or finding the confidence to go swimming at the beach with your kids. Whatever it is – you deserve to be celebrated!
3 Don’t just go by the scales
Have you ever been on a “health kick” or diet and everything is going well – you’re feeling good, the number on the scales is going down, and then one day you weigh yourself and you’ve managed to gain weight? It’s really fricken disheartening! And if you’re left feeling like you aren’t seeing results, it’s easy to give up.
It’s important that you recognise that the scales are not the most accurate picture of weight loss – that number will fluctuate due to hormones, fluid retention, bowel movements.. all sorts of things! I highly suggest you don’t weigh yourself more than once per week. If you really want to track progress, take measurements (in cm) of your waist, hips, bust, arm (bicep) and upper thigh. Then re-measure after a few weeks, and you’ll be surprised at the changes (even when the scales aren’t reflecting it!). And remember, if you’re feeling more comfortable, or happier, or more energetic, or your clothes are fitting that little bit better – all of those are worth celebrating. It’s not all about the number on the scales.
4 It’s not “all or nothing”
Imagine you are pushing a boulder up a rather steep hill – you’re halfway up and all of a sudden you lose grip. In that split second you realise you have two options:
a) pause for a while, right where you are, holding that boulder in place and start moving forward again when you’re ready
b) let go of the boulder completely, watch it fall to the ground and then walk back down and start from the bottom all over again
Which scenario seems easier?
When it comes to “health kicks” and diets, most women I know take option B. They “slip up” one day, and spend the rest of the week eating crap foods and feeling crappy, promising to start their diet again on Monday. Why does it have to be all or nothing? Does just one tiny little lapse mean you have to give up completely and start all over again?
I don’t actually believe in “slip ups” or “cheats”, I believe in balance when it comes to eating. But no matter what you eat, it doesn’t mean you have to give up and start again. Stop, pause, hold your boulder in place and keep moving forward when you’re ready. It’s so much easier to have a break than it is to let go and start again.
5 Keep it simple & sustainable
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of short-term diets and restrictions, because you generally end up gaining any lost weight back as soon as you start eating normally again. Meal replacement shakes – especially when they only allow you one real meal per day – are an unrealistic and unsustainable way of life for most people. And they should be! Wouldn’t you rather enjoy a wholesome meal full of delicious flavours, colours and textures than drink a mixture of artificially-flavoured powder and water?
Keeping your lifestyle changes simple and sustainable makes it so much easier for you to be consistent and stay committed.
Want individualised support to help you create changes and stay consistent with them? I work one-on-one with women who want to lose weight, improve their health and feel happier. You can find out more about working with me here.