Last Updated on December 1, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
You don’t have to wait for your heart to stop before you get motivated to lose weight and exercise. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for many of us to stay the course. I know I have issues, especially late at night. So, what can you do to motivate yourself to be healthier?
Why Motivation Matters
Effort is the cornerstone of success for just about anything you do in life. When you lack the “umph” to do something, it’s simply not going to happen.
You need to motivate yourself to put in the constant effort. Otherwise, you’ll have a less than stellar experience. When it comes to your body, this lack of effort can lead to a myriad of complications – including death.
Motivate Yourself to Be Healthy
This article is as much for myself as it is for you. Essentially, I am reminding myself why I wanted to lose the weight to begin with.
Let’s dive into it, then.
Be Honest with Why You Want to Lose Weight
Being truly honest with yourself is often difficult. It usually requires a bit of soul-searching and really looking at who you are today and who you could be tomorrow.
It’s also one of those experiences that helps you point out your own shortcomings. This is something nobody wants to admit, but they are necessary elements to help you focus on better decisions.
I find it helpful to write down why I want to lose weight in a journal. It gives me something to look back on and creates the base for a good health strategy. You could go so far as to make a pros and cons list for losing weight. Once you see the massive differences, it’s easy to find inspiration.
Make Realistic Goals
A lot of people don’t approach health and fitness goals with the right mindset. I see questions all the time in Quora where people are asking how they can lose 10 pounds per week or even 20 pounds in three days.
This is not a healthy way to approach losing weight. When you set your goals too high and don’t reach them, it’s easy to become discouraged and give up.
To properly motivate yourself, select realistic goals for your own physique. When I weighed 290 pounds, I was able to lose between three and four per week. Now that I am about the 230 mark, it’s slowing down. That’s because overweight people lose weight faster.
My goals don’t really center too much around actual weight loss. I focus more on things like personal records, keeping my calories in the green with MyFitnessPal and sustaining physical activity measured by Fitbit.
The data these tools provide is instrumental in setting realistic goals. It’s all about surpassing what you can do personally, not trying to keep up with people who are already fit.
Find Someone Who Inspires You
There’s nothing wrong with finding a “hero” to help motivate yourself for greatness. Personally, I have an affinity for Ryan Reynolds. But I have a logical reason outside of his overall sex appeal.
Being inspired by others is an incredible motivator. You can emulate someone’s greatness without seeming creepy or stalkerish.
Don’t try to become the person you idolize, but try to emulate them by example. There are so many people on the Internet today and social media connects with most of them. It’s easy to find someone to inspire you for a healthier lifestyle.
I’ve battled a bit of a mid-life crisis since I turned 40. I keep thinking I am getting too old to do many of the things I love. When I learned I am only two months older than Ryan Reynolds, it sparked something in me. The star of “Deadpool” is as old as I am.
Find a Way to Create Accountability
Accountability is one of the most difficult things to accomplish when focusing on your own health and fitness. You are purely responsible for yourself. It’s not like a job where you need to perform well or be fired.
You need to find something that will simulate accountability to help motivate yourself to continue. Personally, I use this blog and my YouTube channel. In a way, you are holding me accountable for my progress and expertise. I don’t want to look foolish in front of my audience.
I’m not saying you need to start a blog or immediately jump on the YouTube bandwagon. However, finding a way to hold yourself accountable is greatly beneficial. You could even go so far as to start a friendly wager with someone.
Don’t Focus on the Scale
Don’t put too much emphasis on what the scale says day-after-day. Your weight will fluctuate depending on many factors such as retaining water and regular bowel movements.
Also keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat. In the beginning, you may not see much of a change according to overall weight. You may create muscle mass rather quickly to replace the fat mass.Here are a few alternatives to watching the scale:
- Notice if clothes start to feel lose.
- Take body measurements with a measuring tape.
- Take weekly photographs of yourself in the mirror and compare them.
- Pay more attention to your physical capabilities.
- Consistently focus on breaking personal fitness records.
Don’t get me wrong. The scale will give you an idea of where you are physically. However, it shouldn’t be the only way to measure your overall weight loss. Scales are fickle, but moving your belt two notches or having to retie your pajama bottoms is physical evidence you are losing weight.
Listen to Some Inspiration Music
One of my most prominent methods of motivation is the right music. I have a playlist on both my computer and my phone full of inspirational music to get me “in the mood.”
Personally, I like fast-paced elements. Every time I walk, I’ll try to keep up with the beat of the song. And I tell you what, trying to keep up with some songs is quite grueling.
Music is often powerful for driving physical movements. If you don’t have a good playlist to motivate yourself, I suggest making one.
Understand the Real Impact Health and Fitness Makes
Health and fitness isn’t merely methods to make you look slimmer or be more attractive to find a mate. The real impact of losing weight is improving your life in a vast number of ways.
When you’re in shape and physically capable of doing certain things for yourself, you get a swell of pride.
- Improving Your Career
Being healthy benefits the mind and body, which means you’ll improve your overall performance regardless what job you have.
- Saving Money in Groceries
I know I save a ton of money each week by being healthier. In fact, I spend about half on myself now than I did in the past.
- More Energy for Fun Things
Health and fitness delivers a higher level of energy within yourself, which often boost motivation to do more.
- Improve Mood and Stress Levels
Exercising often leads to improving your levels of stress and changing your mood thanks to the release of hormones like endorphin.
- Pain Relief and Mobility
I can say with certainty I am capable of moving longer as I decreased the pressure on my legs and feet.
The above is only a sample of what proper health and fitness can do for you. Take the time and discover what benefits will motivate yourself to put in the effort to be healthy.
Choose the Best Diet for YOU!I’ve seen a lot of people fail trying to lose weight simply because of their diets. With so many floating around on the Internet, which is the best one for you? That completely depends on what you think will work.
Your mentality plays a big role when choosing the right diet. If you don’t think it will work, you’ll find it far more difficult to maintain.
Discover which diet you like best and stick with it. There’s also nothing wrong with taking the best of several types of diets and creating your own.
The point is you need to motivate yourself with a diet you’re actually going to follow. Personally, I simply reduce my intake while adding a few healthier foods here and there. I don’t feel regrets as I still eat a lot of what I did in the past. I just don’t eat as much of it.
Find a Way to Gamify Fitness
An excellent way to motivate yourself is to gamify fitness somehow. This is when you take something mundane and make it fun by turning it into a game. It’s a practice many businesses use to motivate their workforce.
And it works for just about any situation.
For me, breaking personal records is fun. I also have an attraction to the Xbox Kinect to help burn some calories.
Gamifying fitness works by changing your mindset about the process. Instead of forcing yourself to do a routine, you wind up getting excited over the process. For example, I was pretty excited once I broke my personal record for push-ups.
The hardest part about gamifying fitness is trying to make it something you’ll enjoy. Everyone is different, and what’s fun for me may not be fun for you. However, it’s far worth the experience if you can successfully turn health and fitness into some sort of game.
Being Healthy is All Up to You
You are the one who is stopping yourself from being healthier. Too many people are satisfied with being overweight, which is fine for them. Unfortunately, they will miss out on so much of life including the prospect of living longer. It’s not about how people view you. It’s about living and getting more out of the experience of existing.