Hello again! Below is Part Four of our fat loss series titled: Are You Doing What it Takes to Stay Motivated?: 5 Mistakes That are Killing Your Motivation For Fat Loss.
We’ve all had some goal that we’ve set repeatedly and just can’t seem to stick to. We start out as motivated as we’ve ever been, but before we know it we’ve fallen back into old habits and just can’t seem to work up the energy to keep going.
What happened? Where did that seemingly endless motivation go? What can we do to avoid this loss of motivation?
In this post we will share 5 mistakes that we’ve come across in our own life that may be preventing you from reaching your fat loss goals.
1. YOU'RE FOCUSING ON MORE THAN ONE GOAL AT A TIME
If we want to accomplish anything noteworthy, we have to temporarily shift our resources from one area to focus on another. Lack of focus is one of the biggest reasons people fail to achieve their goals. For two weeks fitness is number one on their radar, but then something else comes up that they’d also like to do and that goal is added as well. Before you know it fitness is lost in a myriad of other goals, progress slows and motivation is gone.
If you want to keep motivation up, allow yourself to see progress. In order to see progress, you MUST focus on one thing and stick with it for a reasonable period of time. This doesn’t mean you can’t do anything else, but it does mean you need to keep fitness ahead of all of the other new goals you’d like to pick up until you have reached your fitness goal.
Then, and only then, move on to the next goal. As Tim Ferriss says, ‘Just finish something.’ The momentum from completing that first goal will propel you into your next challenge and in the end you’ll accomplish exactly what you set out to do.
2. YOU’RE DOING IT ALONE
Finding a supportive community is absolutely critical to success with fat loss. It is said that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time around. If you are going for fat loss and you and your friends go out 5 nights a week for drinks or take-out, do you really expect to meet your goals and be able to maintain them over the long term? How long will your will-power last?
This doesn’t mean that you should ditch your friends, but if they’re not willing to be supportive of your fat loss goals, and those goals are important to you, it does mean that you need to offset the time you spend with them. This may mean spending less time with them or it may just mean spending more time with people who are supportive of your goals.
Another great way to find a supportive community is to go online. There are many podcasts, blogs and other social media outlets like Instagram and Twitter that are great networks of encouragement and support. Just be careful to set a timer so you don’t catch yourself mindlessly scrolling Twitter or Instagram for hours on end!
3. YOU’RE ONLY FOCUSED ON THE END GOAL
You likely already know the importance of setting goals. Maybe you’ve heard of SMART (Specific, Measureable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Time-Bound) goals. The problem is that when we’re tired or short on will-power, our long term goals may appear to be too far out of reach to be worth the effort required. In order to keep up motivation, it’s important to set up smaller goals that allow us to consistently feel the rewards of achievement.
Set small ‘process-based’ goals that aid in achieving your long-term ‘results-based’ goal. If your results-based goal is fat loss, your process-based goal could be prepping food for the week on your day off or going to the gym after work 3 times this week. Whatever it is, make sure it is a realistic process-based goal that you have full control over.
4. YOU DON’T REALLY BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES
Imagine your dream body, your dream health or your dream lifestyle. How does it look? What would you feel like if this actually was reality? Do you believe that this actually could be your reality?
If you want to reach your goals this NEEDS to be your mindset. One of the best ways to keep up motivation and reach your goals is simply to actually believe that you will do it. It may sound simple, but often we are our own worst enemies. When you have negative self-talk and don’t really believe that you can do what you are trying to do, it cripples your motivation.
Luckily, this can be counteracted and replaced with positive affirmations. Affirmations are essentially you telling yourself that you are the kind of person that does what you are setting out to do. (i.e. “I am the type of person who gets up early and gets exercise before work.”) When you start to believe that you’re the ‘type of person’ that does what you’re trying to do, you’ll find that motivation becomes MUCH easier. Write out a description of who you want to be on a note card and read it every morning and every night until that description of is branded into you’re mind.
This video by Brendon Burchard is a great 'how to' for reprogramming your mind for positivity.
5. THE STAKES AREN’T HIGH ENOUGH
A great way to increase the motivation level to do something you don’t want to do is to raise the stakes. StickK.com is a website designed to help specifically with sticking to your goals by raising the stakes. How much harder would you work if you knew failure to meet your goal would result in a $500 or $1000 donation to a charity that you absolutely can’t stand?
The way StickK.com works is as follows: You start by picking an ‘anti-charity’, (some cause that you absolutely can’t stand - It can be a political cause, a religious affiliation or a rival sports team) and set up a donation that will be released if you fail to stick to your goal. You then need to pick an unbiased referee or accountability partner who you know will follow through on the donation if you don’t meet your goal by the arranged deadline.
The point is to force yourself to stick to your goal, so the stakes must be high. Don’t plan to fail by setting the stakes too low. Make sure you set up the donation for an amount that is painful to lose if you don’t follow through with your commitment.
Once again, it’s important to pick one or two strategies at a time to work on and wait until those are fully incorporated into your life before you try to apply another strategy. As we said above, focus is key to accomplishing what you set out to do.
Pick one or two habits from above, write them out on a post it note and stick it somewhere you'll see it every day. Maybe keep it on a second card with your goal card. Pick the habit that you think will be easiest to apply or the one that motivates you the most.
When you have successfully incorporated that habit into your life, go back to our post and pick one or two more. Set an alert each week in your calendar to remind yourself to go back and add another habit if you're ready for it or recommit to the habit you picked the first time if something got you off track.
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Derek & Rachel
Live For Today Fitness
Check out our other blog posts in this series here: