Weekly Wellness: Don't lose your motivation!
COLUMBIA- Every January, about 40 – 45 percent of American adults make one or more resolutions. The top three resolutions are weight loss, start exercising and stop smoking. All great things to do! So, here’s the problem: Maintaining focus and motivation.
Statistics show that resolutions are made but, unfortunately, forgotten. Most of us are totally motivated for the first week (75 percent). Then 71 percent make it past two weeks (yay). By the end of the first month, we are at 64 percent (uh-oh). And after 6 months, only 46 percent are still going (darn).
Now that we are a few weeks past January 1 (the date that most of us choose as our starting date), we might need some assistance to keep going. What can we do to maintain our motivation? Here are some tips that might help:
Remember why you started. What was your original goal? To lose weight? To reduce risk of disease? To watch your children grow older? Try to keep in mind whatever got you going to begin with. Motivations can also evolve… write down all your motivations and post them where you’ll see them. Reminders help.
Find a tribe. Humans are social beings. Many of us are motivated by being part of a group. The accountability piece to classes or workout partners is real and very helpful.
Vary your exercises. If you’re doing the same thing over and over and over again, you might become bored (not to mention the fact that your body also needs variety). Challenge yourself to try a different class or different piece of equipment or include some other activities into your routine.
Do things you enjoy. We aren’t always going to enjoy exercising – so it helps if we can find activities that we enjoy (if even just a little). Maybe you just need to do this activity once a week to keep you motivated to do the other not-so-fun exercises the other 3 – 5 times in the week.
Set both long-term and short-term goals. If your long-term goal is to lose 20 pounds, then maybe your short-term goal is to exercise 30 minutes a day for five days every week. We want the short-term goals to support the ultimate long-term goal.
Good luck and keep up the great work!