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Losing weight can be difficult and whilst it is easy to start on a weight loss program, it can be hard to follow through until you get the results you want. In order to motivate yourself to keep up your exercise and lose weight, you may need to develop some tricks to focus yourself on what you want to achieve. Here are some tips that may help to motivate you to get off the couch, kick start your weight loss and keep it going.
1. Set small, realistic goals
Large long term goals are overwhelming and often lead to dropping out or giving up. Unrealistic weight loss goals are also likely to be de-motivators as they tend to cause frustration when you find it impossible to achieve what you set out to do.
In terms of exercise and diet for weight loss, a goal such as going to the gym at least three times a week for a month is much better than deciding to go every day for the next year as it is much less overwhelming and achievable.
Remember once you have achieved each small goal, you can set a new one, or increase the time. Often something you have managed in the short term does not seem so out of reach for the long term if you have already achieved it for a while.
Being realistic is also important as if you set goals that you cannot achieve you will never feel that sense of achievement and success that motivates you to carry on.
2. Do something you enjoy
There is nothing worse than trying to motivate yourself to do something you hate. It is much easier to find that motivation more often if you actually enjoy the activity, so when choosing your exercise regime, try to find something you love.
Exercise doesn’t always mean hitting the gym and pumping weights for hours on end, there are plenty of other options that burn calories, tone you up and get the heart going. Investigate classes at your local gym such as body pump or pilates, or try a team sport or even dancing. If you love being outside, spend more time hiking, running or riding a bike.
Even walking is an excellent form of exercise so get some friends together and go for a walk instead of a coffee, chances are you won’t even realise you are exercising.
3. Exercise with friends
Meeting up with friends to exercise is a great way to motivate yourself; as if you do not go you are letting someone else down as well as yourself. Exercising with a friend can also be a great opportunity to catch up and can even encourage a little healthy competition that may make you push yourself more than you would alone, or force you to try new things that are outside your comfort zone but which can have benefits for your weight loss.
A good friend will also offer support and encouragement in times when the last thing you feel like doing is exercising.
4. Sign up for a class
Making a fixed commitment to a class can be more motivating that randomly exercising on your own. For a start you will often have to pay for the privilege, which in itself can be motivating as you do not want to waste money, and secondly after a while the instructor or other members will notice if you do not attend.
Sometimes it is easier to just go to the class than explain why you haven’t been for three weeks for no good reason than that you just didn’t feel like it!
5. Use visual tools
Putting a picture of yourself when you were at your goal weight or a record of your weight loss in a prominent place can help you remember why you are putting in the effort and what you are trying to achieve.
Be realistic about this though, or it can have the opposite effect, for example putting a picture of yourself at 16 or of a 6 ft supermodel on the fridge is likely to cause more frustration than motivation when you are miles away from these ideals.
Tracking weight loss on a graph or table can also be motivating, although be aware that weight loss generally has plateaus and will not drop consistently. If you are exercising, you may not even lose weight as you are gaining muscle mass, so think about more appropriate tools such as waist circumference or dress size to track your progress.
6. Reward your progress
If you achieve one of your goals, reward yourself with a special treat such as new clothes, a spa day or even a relaxing hot bath. This will motivate you to set your next goal and achieve that too as you know that success will bring you something pleasurable.
7. Talk about your weight loss goals
Discussing your weight loss goals with friends, family or your health professionals can be a good motivator as they are then aware of what you are trying to do and will notice if you are achieving it or not. Knowing that others are looking at your progress will often encourage you to try harder, and it is always good to have the support of another person when you are struggling for motivation.
8. Join a support group
If you are really struggling to stay motivated with diet and exercise for weight loss, meeting with a team of likeminded individuals that are going through the same thing as you is a great way to get support and also to get new ideas for motivation.
9. Look at what is stopping you losing weight and find solutions
If you sit down and make a list of the reasons that you cannot make healthy changes to your diet or exercise on a regular basis, sometimes it is easier to find a solution. For example if time is an issue, think of ways you can exercise at home or during a break at work. The internet is a great place to look for ideas to solve your problems as chances are there are many people out there with the same issues as you stopping them from losing weight. Finding ways to make exercise easy is a key to staying motivated and keeping it up in the long term.
10. Add variety to maintain motivation
Monotony is boring and will not give you motivation to continue. Not only this but in terms of exercise, it is thought that variety increases how effective your workout is. If you find you are bored doing what you are currently, try something new to bring a little excitement to your day and push your body harder.
There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to body language and self-confidence. So far we have being talking about ways to improve your self-confidence but it is equally important to be able to express and demonstrate your self-confidence to others.
Imagine yourself entering a room filled with people. Even before you speak, your image, your attitude, your movements and even facial expression will “witness” a lot about you. Self-confidence and comfort are not expressed only when we speak, but by how we sit, stand and behave.
10 secrets to avoid (or use) for expressing your self confidence
1. Do not put hands in pockets.
It shows that we do not feel comfortable or are not sure for ourselves, where we are and what we want. It is a logical move to want to hide our hands when we feel frustration. What you can do instead is to try to stick your hands on your hips.
2. Do not put your hands in your mouth.
This is the most obvious sign of irritation. Even if you feel overpowering desire to do, consider that everyone is looking at you and avoid it.
3. Always looks straight.
Do not lower the gaze in front of anyone; they are not superior from you. Always look up and straight and engage with other people with determination and a smile.
4. Keep an upright position.
When you are standing, watch your attitude. Stay upright with your shoulders back, even when you are reading. The upright position implies that you are not afraid of anything.
5. Walk in big steps.
The proper way to walk indicates a person who knows what he/she wants. Make sure you are walking with big but steady steps even if it is slower than what you used to.
6. Learn how to handshake with confidence
When someone extends their hands for a handshake, do not be afraid to do it. Grasp the hand across your palm and tighten it so that you both feel the contact and move up and down two to three times. Leave the other to choose when to disengage from the handshake. Also it is important, while handshaking to look the other person in the eye.
7. Watch your hairstyle.
The hairstyle, length and cleanliness of your hair are among the first things the other person will notice, regardless of gender. Make sure that when you go out (or to work) your hair is clean and tidy.
Regardless of what you believe, when you are not smiling does not mean that you are not determined. A smiling face can bring much better results in your professional and personal life.
9. Do not cross your hands.
The move shows insecure people that try to barricade themselves behind the safety of their hands and not at all open to communication. Even if you feel cold, it is best to look for some warm clothes than to sit with folded hands as if to embrace the same body.
10. Use body contact.
When we talk about using body contact that does not mean you have to go out and start touching or kissing strangers without reason! During a handshake you can use your other hand to pad someone in the shoulder or you can move your body closer as a way to show friendliness.