Keep Your Eye on the Target
By Douglas Fye, PT DPT OCS
Have you ever started a diet routine with the discipline of a marine drill sergeant only to have your motivation melt away like a bowl of ice cream in the summer sun? You’re not alone. Losing your motivation to exercise or to maintain your diet is frustrating, but it’s also common.
Research shows that the majority of diet plans fail in less than 30 days due to a lack of motivation to continue. While setting goals can be a big help, it still comes down to being motivated to fulfill them.
Here are some ways to get your motivation back even if it is slipping away. Here are a few tips to get you back on track.
1. Learn to have a ‘do it better next time and move forward’ mentality. People who beat themselves up when they don't do well will lose their motivation and risk quitting. Overcome and address hurdles when they happen.
2. Keep a food journal. Dieters keeping a journal lose twice as much.
3. Step on the scale regularly. Weigh yourself at least once week and no more than once daily.
4. Get a weight-loss buddy. A significant other, co-worker, registered dietitian, family member or friend. They can offer encouragement, try new recipes and exercise with you.
5. Set realistic goals. Lose ½ - 2 pounds weekly. If you are on a medical weight loss plan, aim to lose 5% of starting weight in three months and 10% in six months. If you have had bariatric surgery, discuss your weight loss goals with your bariatric program professionals. During your first year the weight may come off fast and then you may need additional support to reach and maintain your desired weight.
Remember that people who beat themselves up when they don't do well will risk losing their motivation and end up quitting. Learn to do it better next time and move forward. Your ability to motivate yourself is crucial to lifelong success. Motivation is the force that keeps pushing you towards goals. Imagine the new you and keep your eye on the target, even if you don’t the bullseye!