It’s 6pm and you are getting ready to pack up and head out of work. Having eaten lunch at 1pm, you’re stomach is starting to remind you that it is time for dinner, and your tired brain is calling for the couch and TV. All of the sudden your grand plans to go to the gym just got pushed to the side, and you find yourself scooting on home to relax and order in some pizza.
Motivation. We look around and it seems like other people have it down. They get up at 4am to go to the gym, they pack their food for work everyday, and they always say no to the desserts in the office kitchen.
The secret is that motivation isn’t generated naturally. We must actively take steps to foster and build it on a daily basis. Here are a few simple steps that you can take to help build and maintain motivation for eating healthy and staying active:
- Review your goals daily: Live with intention. Each morning write out 3-5 goals that you want to achieve that day. Not only will this keep them top of mind, but also you will be more likely to do them.
- Schedule your workouts like a business meeting: Plan out when you are going to exercise and schedule it in your calendar. Also make sure you pack your cloths and snacks ahead of time so you are ready to go.
- Workout with a purpose: Aimlessly going to the gym is not conducive for motivation or results. Instead, pick a strength goal, sign up for a running race, join a bootcamp, or hire a personal trainer. Seeing yourself achieve results will help drive you to keep going.
- Find a buddy: Working out and cooking with a friend is always easier than doing it on your own.
- Plan time in your calendar to grocery shop and prep meals for the week: Start small with a goal of cooking 1-2 meals weekly and work your way up from there. Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and PCC also all have great pre-made healthy options that make this transition easier. Not only will you save money by bringing your own food to work, but you will also save on calories and enjoy increased energy.
- View health as a lifestyle not an all or nothing challenge: Too often we hit Monday full of determination to be “perfect.” When we slip up we tend to throw in the towel and give up on the rest of the week.
- Keep yourself accountable: Sharing your goals with others will help keep you on track. Health coaches are great for this!
- Reward yourself along the way for making progress: Don’t just wait until you have hit your overall goal to celebrate. Rewarding yourself for the smaller steps will help keep you motivated.