Our staff is currently participating in a Fitness Challenge together. It’s been encouraging to see the majority of our staff jump in together, and seeing the excitement of everyone in the first few weeks in their regimen. Our staff did a Biggest Loser contest last year, and it was great to see some incredible lifestyle changes in friends. As I have talked about before, I was greatly impacted by last year’s contest to continue on a journey I had started a couple months before. Through a 5 month period between December and April last year, I was able to lose 60 pounds by adding and removing some habits in my life.
When I started out, keeping the motivation was the hardest part, and it always is for people. Here are three things that continued to motivate me and keep me pressing forward that I hope will help encourage you.
1. What are you working for?
If you’re working for your own personal reasons, your motivation will probably end fast. Cookies > Your Weight Loss. But if you are working hard for someone/something else, you will keep going for them. This might be anything from a wife, a husband, kids, grand-kids, friends, God, etc. All of these are good. Keep them close to you through tough times and tempting moments. I keep a picture of my wife on my desk as a reminder during the day that I’m working hard for her and our family. It’s hard for me to eat a donut at my desk with her smiling at me.
2. Set a schedule and STICK WITH IT!
I started running in the month of December. If you’re not aware, getting up and going to the gym when you’re starting out in January/February is brutal. I set a schedule from day one, and have kept the same pattern of Mon, Tues, Thurs and Sat for over a year now. Have I missed a day? Yes. Have I missed a week? Yes. But this pattern has become a habit in my life, and I miss it when I don’t run now and it’s easy to start back up because it is a habit. Find a reasonable plan/schedule and stick to it no matter what.
3. Admit you’re going to mess up.
I think most people quit an exercise program or diet simply because they messed up. That’s ridiculous. You’re going to mess up. You’re human! So admit it. I love food. So from time to time I’m going to indulge in good foods. Ok, fine. I just get up the next day and get back going again. Be honest with yourself. When I first started eating better, I admitted that I was going to snack. When I admitted that at 2pm and 8pm every day that I was going to snack, I changed my options. Instead of a bowl of ice cream or cereal, I had a clementine or cup of yogurt instead. Be honest with yourself and admit you’re going to mess up. Then just don’t quit when you do!
I hope these three thoughts are encouraging to you. This is what pushed me through the Winter to keep going, and have helped me keep my current habits going. Know why you working, set a schedule and admit you’re going to mess up! Through it all, stay motivated and just keep pressing forward.