When you’re trying to lose weight, some days you feel fired up, motivated, and ready to go!
Other days your motivation may be low – or even nonexistent.
And that’s totally normal…Motivation comes and goes. No one feels motivated all the time. Remember, building healthy habits takes time and effort, but the rewards are worth it. By focusing on small changes and consistency, you can maintain your motivation and achieve your weight loss goals. So, start small and keep moving forward!
So how do you stick to your healthy lifestyle when your motivation is lacking?
The key is to set up healthy habits to help you stay on track consistently. Whether it's having a breakfast smoothie or going for a morning walk, healthy habits hardwire you for weight loss. The more of them you have, the less you'll need to rely on motivation. Healthy living becomes your default mode.
Start small by choosing one healthy habit to focus on at a time. Habits, like muscles, are built through repetition. So practice your new healthy habit until it becomes natural. Consistency is key here, so set a schedule for your habit or set reminders on your phone to help you stay on track. At least 21 days is a good rule of thumb for developing a new habit.
Once you've nailed one habit, add in another. This builds momentum, making healthy living your new normal, which makes achieving your weight loss goals much easier. Remember, small changes over time add up to big results.
Make sure your habits are realistic, manageable, and enjoyable. If you hate waking up early, don't set a goal to go for a run at 5 am every day. Instead, find an activity that you enjoy and schedule it at a time that works for you. If you're struggling to stick to a habit, re-evaluate and adjust as necessary. Maybe you need to make it easier or break it down into smaller steps.
Make a plan for setbacks. No one is perfect, and slip-ups are bound to happen. Plan for these setbacks in advance and have a plan to get back on track. For example, if you know you have a busy week coming up, plan some quick and healthy meals in advance so that you're not tempted to order takeout.
Finally, remember to celebrate your successes, no matter how small. Recognizing and rewarding your progress can help you stay motivated and committed to your healthy habits.
In his book "Atomic Habits," James Clear explains that small habits can have a big impact on your life.
By setting up healthy habits and focusing on consistency, you can make long-term changes that lead to sustainable weight loss and improved health. So start small, stay consistent, and celebrate your successes along the way. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend picking it up!
So finally, let’s sum up my best strategies for building healthy habits and maintaining motivation:
Start small. Choose one healthy habit to focus on at a time. It could be something as simple as drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning or going for a 10-minute walk after dinner. Once you've mastered that habit, add in another one.
Be consistent. Habits are built through repetition, so aim to practice your healthy habit every day. You can set reminders on your phone or schedule it into your calendar to help you stay consistent.
Hardwire your habits. Over time, your healthy habits will become automatic and you won't need to rely on motivation to stick to them. This makes healthy living your default mode, making it much easier to achieve your weight loss goals.
Focus on progress, not perfection. Don't beat yourself up if you slip up or miss a day. Instead, focus on your progress and celebrate your wins. Remember, small changes add up over time.
Find what works for you. Everyone is different, so find the healthy habits that work for you and your lifestyle. It could be cooking healthy meals at home, taking a yoga class, or going for a hike on the weekends. When you enjoy the habits you're practicing, you're more likely to stick to them.