A new year always brings new energy but keeping that motivation going can be challenging. Knowing what keeps you motivated will help you to stay focused. You may be motivated by rewards and or you may be motivated by recognition from others. If rewards are something that motivates you make sure you treat yourself after every achievement. Keep in mind that rewards should be non-food based in order to avoid emotional eating. If recognition from others is your primary motivator then join a network where constant support will be available. Be careful, however, that you are not motivated to alter your behaviours in order to please someone else. Positively transforming your lifestyle should be about you and your health and not to appease someone else’s wishes or desires.
We all have reasons for why we may not have changed our behaviours already. We may have plenty of intention to change, but if there are obstacles preventing us then these need to be dealt with first before we can break free of negative habits. Some common obstacles include:
- Lack of time
- Lack of resources
- Lack of support
- Too busy at work
- Too many responsibilities
- Too tired or in too much pain
- Not knowing where to start
- Negative thinking
Identifying obstacles and then working to overcome them is a necessary step. There may be times where our responsibilities at home or work override our own needs. This is okay for a short period of time, but if we continue putting others first we will feel frustrated, resentful, worn out and eventually sick.
A few things to keep you on the track of staying motivated are
- Identify your reasons for wanting to change. When the reasons to change are more compelling than the reasons for staying the same, you will find it easier to stay focused.
- Recognise where you are on The Stages of Change model. This can help put some perspective on what to expect if you decide to embark on truly wanting to alter.
- Rating current aspects of your health can provide an objective and way to measure your progress, which can help to keep you motivated.
- Many people find regular rewards and positive feedback from others two ways that help to keep them motivated with making positive changes.
- Knowing what your strengths are and how you can apply these to the areas that you know need modifying is also an effective strategy for staying focused.
- Be prepared to face obstacles and resistance to change. This is normal, and if you identify what these obstacles.