I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I am here to tell you that your motivation is not going to be enough this year.
January has come again and with it comes New Year's Resolutions. We all have them, even us trainers. There is some magic surrounding January that gives everyone a surge of motivation to get started with their weight loss goals.
Within the fitness industry we have seen a recent trend of people bashing New Year’s Resolutions. We’ve all seen the meme’s mocking the packed gyms. However, you will never hear me say there is a bad time to set a goal and get started. The new year provides a fresh start and a blank slate. This is a fantastic time to reflect on the past year. Evaluate what worked and what didn’t, what you were happy with, what you weren’t, and what you want to achieve this year. These goals can be set in regards to your life, business, relationships, and most often health and weight loss.
If January is the time you decide to reflect and set a weight loss goal, all the power to you. I am here to help because that surge of motivation is not going to be enough for you to see lasting results. Let me share why and provide you some action steps on how you can hack your motivation to ensure your weight loss success this year.
Why Your Motivation Is Not Enough To Reach Your Goals
I am sorry to say that your motivation will simply not be enough to help you reach and sustain your goals. I don’t generally like starting off negative but sometimes honesty is the best policy.
Your motivation will fade. Motivation is finite. Motivation comes and goes. Motivation may be there now, but when your tired and stressed or something important comes up it won’t be. What do you do then?
Why is Motivation Good?
Motivation is not a bad thing to have, it acts as a great kickstarter. We don’t start something we are not motivated to start. Look at your life and the things you do now. At one time you were super motivated to become a [insert occupation here]. But did you stay as motivated through all the years of school? Are you motivated every day to get up and go to work? Noyou probably hit some bumps along the way. If you answered Yes, you're probably not telling the truth.
We need the motivation to get started. But we need some other ingredients to keep going.
Why is Motivation Not Enough?
Let’s brainstorm a few of the things that cause our motivation to reach our weight loss goals to eventually fade:
- Work stress
- Financial stress
- Relationship stress
- Stress of all forms
- Unrealistic goals or expectations
- Life (being too busy, too many commitments, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
- Other priorities in your life getting in the way of your adherence
- Slow progress
- Lack of enjoyment in your nutrition plan or workout regime
This list can go on forever. The main point is that your initial surge of motivation is inevitably going to fade. When it does, what will you rely on to keep going? Too many of us rely solely on that motivation and when it fades so do our goals, hopes, dreams and aspirations. So what do you do?
How to Hack Your Motivation This Year For Lasting Change
Don’t worry we are still going to use your motivation as the catalyst to get started. But we are going to add in a few more ingredients to hack our motivation. Once it fades I want you to have an army of things to fall back on.
Find Your Community
One fantastic way to hack our personal motivation is to surround yourself with other like minded people that have similar goals. Why does this work? Because a supportive community is vital to creating lasting change. Our initial motivation is great at the start, but change takes time. We need to think long term to create lasting success. To do this you need support. You need a community of people that have your back.
Find a Group Class
Try adding group classes to the mix. Rather then trying to go it alone, join in a class with people working towards the same goal. Even better, find a group that you see every week. This way you’re going through the journey together. Remember just as you need support, so do they. It is empowering to help others grow just as they will help you grow.
One of the reasons our Group Strength Classes have been so successful is because of the community that has formed around them. People are training together anywhere from 1-3 times a week. They are able to support and motivate one another. Friendships form and it shifts from being a chore to being fun. This is key.
Video URL: https://youtu.be/7awsVn-sdGQ
Find a Workout Partner
Just like a group class, finding a workout partner can be a great way to hack your motivation this New Year. They can provide a form of support, a form of accountability, and a way to make it fun. All things that can be missed when trying to go it alone.
Find Something You Actually Enjoy
Find something you enjoy. This might be strength training, it might not be. That’s cool, but don’t settle. If you don’t enjoy it, that motivation will fade fast. Maybe for you its CrossFit, maybe it’s boxing, maybe it’s spin. Try different activities, try different facilities, different trainers/instructors. Find your home and don’t settle until you find something that works for you.
Find Someone To Be Accountable Too
Another big motivational hack is accountability. Like we just spoke about we need the support of others. We need people we can confide in about our goals and people that can help keep us accountable when things get tough.
Friends and Family
When starting on your weight loss journey I recommend telling your friends and family. They are the people you are with the most outside of work and they need to know what your goals are. You might have one friend that you can always rely on to be your rock and will help you stay accountable. He/she can be that person that you reach out to when you are struggling or simply have their support when you find yourself struggling to make a good choice can be all you need.
Hire a Coach or Personal Trainer
Yes, I am both a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach but I am not biased here. Having someone in your corner is incredibly important to reaching your weight loss goals. Even coaches have coaches. It is not only important to have an expert eye helping you through your journey it is important to have someone you can check in with, someone to keep you accountable, someone you can confide in, and someone you can always rely on.
Start a Challenge
Maybe you need an extra little spark to get started. A challenge can be a good way to supercharge your journey right out of the gate. It is well known that good initial results can increase our likelihood of adherence. Poor initial results are a quick killer of motivation. A challenge can help keep you accountable at the start, it can provide a community of like minded people, and it can help with the initial results that may help keep you going once the challenge is over. Just be cautious that your challenge isn’t something unhealthy or something over delivering on promises. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. I promise you. 30 days can be a great kick start, but we still need to look at the big picture and understand that real change takes time.
Set Realistic Goals To Avoid Sabotaging Your Motivation
Unrealistic goals are one of the biggest reasons I see people quit. If that initial progress is not what you thought it would be it can kill motivation, causing you to revert back to your old ways because you feel like you have failed. Taking the time and setting realistic goals is a huge factor in maintaining sanity through your weight loss journey.
Focus on Habits and Daily Practices
First we need to set an outcome goal. This may be to lose 10 lb and become healthier. Once we have our outcome we need to create a list of the skills we need to develop in order to achieve that goal. One of these skills may be eating more vegetables. From here we need to break that skill down into the daily practices and habits to develop that skill. This could be eating 3-4 servings of vegetables every day.
Daily practices & habits develop skills. Skills lead us to our outcomes.
Change One Small Thing at a Time
We cannot practically change more than 1-2 things at a time. I suggest making one small change at a time. Work on adding or changing one habit, master it, and then add another. If your goal is to lose 10 lb and you start by adjusting your calories, stop eating out, start exercising 5 days a week, trying to increase your protein, add veggies, cut sugar, and so on this can be too overwhelming and cause us to feel like we are failing if we can’t do it all. Failure is a sure fire way to sabotage your motivation.
Set Realistic Expectations
Change takes time. It ain’t sexy. Real, sustainable results simply take time. You won’t achieve your big outcome goal in the first 21 days. If we have unrealistic goals in mind, we will feel like we failed when we do not hit them. But when we set practical goals that are achieveable, you can feel successful throughout your journey.
Hack Your Motivation For Lasting Success This Year
This year is YOUR year. You are now armed with all the ingredients you need to supercharge your motivation this year. Capitalize on that surge of motivation to get started and then use the tips outlined to make sure you don’t fall back on your old ways when that initial motivation fades.
By Landon Poburan