One minute you’re hitting the gym 3-4 days a week and eating all the right foods. The next minute, you’re binge-watching Netflix on the couch instead of breaking a sweat, snacking on way too many Oreos, and have replaced water with copious amounts of coffee. If this sounds like your life, or just extreme exaggeration of it, you aren’t alone! When motivation fizzles, good intentions turn into burdens. Barriers such as time, boredom, and exhaustion keep us from achieving our goals. So how do we keep our motivation levels high? How do we keep the flame burning?
1) Make it SMART
Remember the last time you set a health goal for yourself? “I’m going to get in shape!” or “I’m going to start eating healthier!” While these are great goals, they aren’t SMART. No, I don’t mean that they’re ‘dumb’ goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Setting SMART goals is one of the most effective ways to reach our objectives. It gives your goal a sense of direction, ensures that your goal is realistic, and puts a time stamp on it. “I’m going to get in shape” turns into “In three months, I will consistently go to the gym for 1 hour, 3-4 days a week”. “I’m going to start eating healthier” turns into “In three months, I will consistently eat 5 servings of vegetables, 5 days a week”. See the difference?
2) Switch it Up
Do you get bored with eating the same meals or doing the same workouts every single day? I don’t blame you! Boredom is a huge barrier when it comes to reaching your goals. Turns out, you don’t have to eat grilled chicken, brown rice, and broccoli every night for dinner in order to eat healthier. There are a TON of websites out there that offer quick, healthy, and easy recipes. Switch it up week by week! Try new things and check out new methods of cooking (ever hear of an Instapot? Life changing!). Stuck in a rut with your workouts? Try a fitness class, try Crossfit or Orange Theory, or take your exercise session outside. Don’t pigeonhole yourself! There’s more than one way to be fit!
3) Find a Buddy
I have one word for you: accountability. Have a friend who you find inspiring and motivating? Recruit them to help you out! Having an accountability partner can do wonders for reaching your goals. They’re aware of your goals and can help keep you in check! Plus – working out together (or eating healthy together) makes it more fun!
4) Don’t Be Afraid to Reassess Your Goals
So your goals just aren’t working out. You keep losing motivation or you aren’t making any progress. This could be a sign that your goals might not be SMART enough. Or it’s a sign that there are some barriers you need to address. Don’t be afraid to reassess your goals! Whether that looks like changing your goal around or working to reduce the barriers you face, try to figure out why things aren’t working out. The answer may surprise you!
Written by GUADS staff member Angelina