“How do you stay motivated all the time?”
This is one of the most common questions we get asked as nutrition coaches. And the truth is – we don’t. And we definitely don’t expect you to, either.
It’s so easy to be motivated to do something when you’ve just started it. The novelty and excitement of a new challenge can get you out of bed in the morning. But inevitably, this feeling wears off. You run into a stressful day at work, a restless night of sleep, or anything in between and you start to feel like it’s more trouble than it’s worth to stick to your program.
Motivation is what gets you started. It comes and goes, just like any other emotion. We can’t rely on motivation alone to achieve our goals. Instead, we need to implement discipline and other strategies to help us reach success.
Here are three strategies you can use to remain consistent and focused throughout your health and fitness journey!
Have a strong “why”
Knowing your “why” for starting this new journey is what will get you through the tough days.
Each of us should have a “why” that comes from deep down – deeper than that goal of losing 30 pounds. In order to figure out what this is you can do an exercise called “The 5 Whys”. It’s simple, just ask yourself why you want that goal. With each answer ask why again until you’ve gotten to the deepest reason.
Doing this exercise can get you from a place of “my goal is to lose 30 lbs” to “I want to feel comfortable and confident in my skin so that I can put myself out there again!”
Having a deep reason/”why” for making a big change or learning a new skill can help you through the days that you don’t want to go to the gym or cook a homemade meal.
If there’s a certain habit that you struggle with the most (like after dinner snacking), you can set a reminder on your phone that tells you your “why” every day at that time! This can be an awesome trick for helping you stay consistent and on track.
When motivation has gone out to lunch, you need systems (or habits!) to help you stick to your plan. With systems, you can take a lot of the effort and willpower out of your day.
Developing new habits can be difficult, but if you use a thing called “habit stacking” you can increase your chances of actually following through with that habit every day.
You can do this by identifying a current habit you already do each day and then stacking the new habit on top of it. If you add one habit ontop of an already well developed system, it will be much easier to a) remember and b) implement!
Some examples of habit stacking are:
Putting your vitamins next to your toothbrush, so that every morning after you brush your teeth you’ll take your vitamins.
After you pour your coffee in the morning, journal for 5 minutes
You get home from work and take your shoes off, immediately put your workout or walking shoes on so you can get some exercise.
Implementing systems into your day will help you stay disciplined throughout your journey and have the added bonus of becoming habits that you will likely maintain in the future.
Develop a growth mindset
With a fixed mindset, it’s easy to feel that you will never reach your goals. If you are constantly telling yourself “I’m not the kind of person who..” or “I am not good at…” you will likely have hard time reaching your goals in the first place, and wont be able to find positives along the way.
Instead of saying something like “I can’t believe I didn’t reach my goal” try saying “I haven’t reached my goal weight yet, but I’m learning so much about food”.
Someone with a growth mindset believes that they can develop their talents through hard work.
Someone with a fixed mindset believes that their talents are innate and cannot be changed.
Research has shown that people with a growth mindset achieve more than those with a fixed mindset. This is likely because they worry less about appearing to be something (like smart, fit, strong) and put more emphasis on learning.
If you can adopt a growth mindset during your nutrition program, you will be much more likely to succeed and experience success in the long term. You will learn more, you will grow more, and you will enjoy it more.
We hope these tips help you and show you ways to get around relying on motivation to achieve your goals. If you want more help feel free to reach out to us, we would love to help you on your nutrition and fitness journey!