The Secret To Lasting Motivation

February 19

Recognizing where you are and planning where you want to be are the first steps to lasting motivation. Step by step, you can develop healthy habits that will inspire and motivate you for success. That success can be centered on your health, career, finances, relationships or weight loss. The secret to lasting motivation can be found within your own mind.

Sounds incredibly simple, but it is true. Motivation can be harnessed and trained to work for you. It isn’t always easy, staying motivated for life takes determination. It all depends on how important your success is to you.

When you want to stay motivated, it sometimes requires changing your behavior. If you are becoming bored with your workout or you reach a plateau in your weight loss, you may lose your motivation to diet and exercise. Many women lose motivation when they don’t see results soon enough. However, persistent behavior, like diet and exercise will bring long term results, if you give it time.

Stay motivated by planning your weekly menu. Make a grocery list and stick to it. Avoid foods high in sugar and sodium. Plan meals with lean meats and vegetables and buy only those foods on your list to save money.

Be aware of what you are eating. Turn off the television and be mindful of your meals. You will know when you are satisfied and begin to really pay attention to the amount of food you eat. You know your body better than anyone, give it the attention it deserves.

As much as possible, go outside and enjoy an activity. Do something physical, something that requires strength. Remind yourself of why you are in as good of shape as you are—because you exercise. Take up running for an easy outdoor acitivty. Running works your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. It increases your metabolic rate, so that you burn more calories, even at rest. Strenuous exercise reduces endorphins. Stimulates creativity and elevates your mood. Exercise is fun and makes you look good and feel great.

Keep a fitness journal to track your success. Writing keeps you accountable for all the choices that you make. Keeping a journal is a fun way to see where you started and how far you have come. Write down everything you eat, drink and all the activities that you do including your workouts. Look forward to charting your success and take time to write everything down.

Begin each day with affirmations. These are positive phrases you repeat aloud to yourself to affirm your goals and inspirations. Saying them in front of a mirror has proven to be quite effective. When you make room for positive thoughts and behaviors you chase away the negative ones.

Remind yourself of why it is so important to you to stay in shape and live healthy. Each one of us has her own reasons for exercising and dieting. Whether it is to feel good, look good, stay healthy and vibrant, or to feel more energized, there are real reasons that you cling to your desire to live a healthier lifestyle. Celebrate your goals and your victories. Your accomplishments are important, reflect on them as much as possible to keep you motivated and inspired.

~ Karen Ficarelli

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