Let’s Get Fit: 12 Tips to Stay Motivated

How do you get started and stay started?

Staying motivated during a big lifestyle change such as losing weight and becoming healthier can be difficult and  is one challenge I have faced over the years. It’s pretty easy to get started–you get rid of the junk food, buy yourself some fitness equipment, maybe some new shoes, some cute outfits and go to the grocery store with a list filled with all the healthy, nutritious food you plan on eating. That’s the easy part. But what do you do when you get home and you have a demanding job, children that need you, after-school activities and personal events that you want to attend? This is the hard part–staying motivated while still living a balanced life.

Over the years I have developed a list of ideas to stay motivated, because having a motivation plan is as important as those healthy foods and cute workout clothes. So here are 12 tips that I hope help you stay motivated on your journey:

1. Set small goals.
Something as simple as: Today I will drink one extra glass of water. Today I will not have any soda. Today I will walk around the block. Setting these small goals and building from those will help you make healthy long-term lifestyle changes.

2. Replace the processed junk food with healthy nutritious food.
Easier said than done, right? It’s hard, I know. I struggle with this, too. However, it’s important to know that you don’t have to go on a restrictive diet to achieve great results. There are healthier alternatives to the junk you enjoy. Start slow, maybe replace one of those yummy, not-so-good treats you like with a healthier alternative. There are many recipes out there. Pinterest is a big source of recipes for me.

3. Try new foods.
Eating the same foods everyday will become boring and you may give up and give in to those cravings. Try new things; find new recipes. Buy a new cookbook, spend some time on Pinterest (or your favorite recipe website) and collect recipes to help you stay out of that boring food rut.

4. Join a support group; find friends who are on the same journey.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will help you stay focused. Whether you find yourself having a difficult day, making bad choices, needing more ideas or just needing a pep talk, a support group can really be a great source.

5. Keep nutritious food on hand.
Fill your fridge and cupboards with healthy options and keep the junk out. Out of sight, out of mind. I ask my husband not to bring junk food into our home and if he does, to get something that is not a trigger for me. If I don’t have the junk in the house, I won’t eat it. Having a small, healthy snack with you–perhaps in your purse–when you’re on the go is a good idea, too.

6. Enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.
I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to cut out any major food groups to be successful in your journey, however, moderation will be key. If you’re a pizza lover like me, perhaps just have one piece instead of three. Have that treat, but fill your plate with fruits, vegetables and good stuff, too. Go for some ice cream with your family, but then choose a healthy dinner that night or go for a long walk. Treating yourself to some of the foods you really enjoy is important, but it’s also important that it doesn’t become a habit.

7. Don’t let setbacks hold you down.
If you slip, start again. Learn from mistakes and make changes. Nobody is perfect and this journey will be challenging, but learning to not let it hold you back will really be important.

8. Make physical activity part of your everyday life.
Don’t have time to hit the gym or go for a long run? That’s okay, there are plenty of things you can do at home. Grab some hand weights and do some arm work while watching TV. How about some squats while playing with your baby? Or running up and down your stairs a few times. Go outside and run around the house. Play tag with your kids; have a water gun fight. My family had a water gun fight the other day and it was hilarious and a good workout too. When you have more time, fit in those longer more intense workouts, but when life gets challenging try to adapt it to your everyday routine and stay active.

9. Join a biggest loser group and pay for it.
This is something that I have recently done. It cost me $20 to join, and if I gain weight I have to pay for each pound. Now who wants to do that? I certainly don’t want to pay more money. Another idea would be to get a gym membership or a personal trainer. When you pay for something you’re more inclined not to quit because you are financially vested.

10. Find a workout time that works. Whether it’s in the morning before your family wakes up, after work or in the evening find a time that works best for you and your family. Try a few different times to see how it works for you, your family and your body and then stick to it!

11. Reward yourself.
I love cute clothes, so I like to reward myself with a new outfit. Don’t reward yourself with unhealthy food.  I often hear things like “I had a great workout so now I can go eat some French fries!”. By eating those French fries you are just undoing all the hard work you did. It’s unhealthy for your body and mind. This type of thinking will only keep you in an unhealthy lifestyle. Instead, reward yourself with something healthy for your body and your mind.

12. Make a visual motivation board.
This week I am working on making a visual motivation board. I will fill it with motivational words, pictures, quotes and things that remind me of why I started this journey. I’ll hang it somewhere where it’s easy to view. Reminders such as this can really help you stay grounded and focused.

So there you have it–a list of helpful tips to stay motivated. Now that I have my list generated, I’m ready to get started and make this lifestyle change successful. I hope you are, too!

In my next blog I will share with you the progress I’ve made over the last month, so stay tuned for that!

Looking for additional tips and support? Follow my group on Facebook: Hot Mama Health and FIT{mess}



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