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Stay Motivated for the Long Haul
Motivation is the critical piece of the puzzle that moves us into action. Whether it's the motivation to learn a new language or to "Spring clean" the house, it is the hidden force behind each of our accomplishments. The same can be said for weight loss; it doesn't happen without motivation. There is no magic pill for it; we have to generate that drive for ourselves each and every day. The good news is everyone has motivation inside of them; it's just a matter of finding out what drives you. Is there a weight loss goal calling you to action? Perhaps it's having the energy to play with your grandkids, or maybe you've always wanted to learn to Salsa dance or play golf?
Whatever it is, get passionate about it and take action. The following tips can be used to help you find the motivation and commitment to keep you on track. Use all the tips, especially the ones that apply to you. The important thing is to use them regularly to steer you toward your final destination and to re-motivate yourself on the days when you need it most. Don't wait for motivation to find you, create it for yourself each and every day.
- Track your progress. Self-monitoring is a great tool for following your results and keeping you motivated. Weigh yourself weekly either in centre or at home, take measurements (chest, waist, hips) monthly and plot your progress on your Lifestyle Graph with your consultant. You can also create your own graph or use the online Progress Tracker at www.jennycraig.com. Seeing your progress can be very motivating! Taking before, during and after photos is also a great way to see how far you've come. Many Jenny clients love to compare their before and after photos once they've met their weight loss goal.
- Celebrate the small milestones. The small steps we take along the way are often as important as reaching the final destination. Choosing an apple instead of a candy bar may seem like a small step but it's the small steps that get us where we're going, so reward yourself! A small reward could be a new magazine subscription or new pen for tracking your progress on your menu or writing in your journal.
- Promise yourself something big. Acknowledging each small success along the way is vital, but what about the bigger wins, how do you celebrate those? When you get to your halfway weight, think about how you're going to feel and what reward will motivate you to keep going. Reaching your halfway weight is a major milestone to celebrate and what better way to do that than with something a little extravagant? It might be a facial or a full day at a spa or the golf course, or perhaps a splurge on a new hair style. Whatever it is, make it special.
- Visualize the future you. Close your eyes. Now, picture a slimmer more vibrant you. How do you look? How do you feel? Where are you; what are you wearing? Who are you with? This is the image you want to keep with you each and every day. When you go to bed at night and wake in the morning keep that image with you. Whenever your motivation is low, hold that image in your mind and remind yourself that you deserve to be the best "you"!
- Just do something! Some days everything just clicks and eating well and exercising is a breeze. On other days simply getting out of bed can seem like a struggle — life is like that. On the days when you're in the groove, do a little extra — take another 10- minute walk or eat some extra greens for a real nutrition boost. On the days when you're struggling, remind yourself how good you felt on those days when you did make the effort to move a little more and push forward and get your workout done — you know you'll feel better afterwards.
- Work toward a fitness goal. If you find that you're lacking motivation to be active and your usual routine is not inspiring you like before, perhaps setting a new exercise goal will help. Have you thought about competing in a 5k race or a half-marathon? What about the dance class you've always wanted to try? Now might be the time! By changing things up and experimenting with a new activity, you'll find yourself re-inspired and re-motivated.
- Join a support group. The road to weight loss isn't a straight road; there are bumps and turns along the way that you have to navigate as you move toward your destination. Having the support of people that understand your journey makes the navigation easier — you can mutually boost each other, prepare each other for the bumps ahead and share the best tools to keep going.
- Find ways to get re-inspired. Feeling in a bit of a rut, or don't feel like getting active today? Read a motivating quote from a book or watch a weight loss or makeover show. Place inspirational quotes in strategic places at work and at home. You can also visit the Jenny Craig Website at www.jennycraig.com to read other success stories or join in on the online Forums to share your weight loss "wins." Sometimes an uplifting message is all you need to get back in motion — here are some great ones:
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined" - Henry David Thoreau
"You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them" - Michael Jordan
"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin" - Mother Teresa
- Move to the Tunes Music can be very motivating; it can even lead you to exercise longer. On the days when your motivation might be low and you're feeling a little stressed, listen to music that makes you smile and get moving! Put on your favorite song and dance, and feel the stress melt away.
- Share your dreams. When we speak our goals and dreams out loud they become real. By telling your friends you become accountable and who knows, perhaps a friend wants to join you on your journey and become a weight loss buddy.