Maintaining Motivation

Monday January 20, 2014

Written by: Samantha Malfitano, CPT

Happy New Year 2014!  As you begin your New Year Resolution to lose weight and get in the best shape of your life there are a few important keys to remember to ensure this goal will be not only attainable but maintainable for life.

According to the article “Maintaining Motivation”, by The Sport in Mind, they introduce the tools you will need to keep you on the fast track to achieving your goal in fitness & health.  It begins with goal setting.  “Research shows that goal setting is an effective strategy to keeping on track with exercise.” (Kaplan & Maehr, 2007).

To create a goal, first you must write it down.  Be specific and realistic. These goals should be challenging but not so difficult that it discourages you on the first try.  Create short term goals and long term goals.  The short term ones will be the stepping stones to the bigger goals.

Second: Using imagery.  Research has shown that using this technique enhances your motivation by visualizing yourself reaching your goal. Mentally you are preparing yourself for the work it takes to succeed in your new healthy lifestyle and have set the pace for your path to success in reaching these goals.  With imagery you can focus on retraining your thought process to more of a positive perspective about your goals.  Also recognizing the environmental factors that may influence you, the emotions you may feel when reaching this goal and actually seeing a positive image of yourself in mind.

A third key is monitoring:  Keeping a journal of daily emotions, a nutrition log and or exercise journal to track your progress.  No matter what the goal is, holding yourself accountable for your mental and emotional state during this process is a sure way to stay on track.

The fourth key is to get an exercise partner.  The best way to spread the positivity and excitement of beginning a new journey is by sharing it with someone. Whether it’s a friend, a spouse or a coach, it is a great idea to have another pair of eyes on your goal to be your best self, in order to motivate each other, mentally and physically. An accountability buddy is a great way to check in and keep up with progress.  You may prepare healthy meals together, exercise together or just have that extra support on your side.

Wishing you all the best in your journey; always remember to work hard and never give up.  It is the work you do today that will bring the results you see tomorrow.