As I mentioned last week, I had the opportunity to be interviewed on CBC’s Here and Now on Monday. It was a fun interview with Karen Gordon (if I recall correctly), a fill-in host, all about how you keep up your motivation. For a direct link to the audio, click here.
I admit it is tough, at the best of times, to get off the couch and get out and run, or whatever your chosen activity is. Frankly, the last few weeks have been tough with snow and cold on many of my running days. It can really be draining. My strategy has been this: set a goal, constantly monitor your progress, and constantly review your goal to remind yourself of it.
Set the goal
First things first: stop thinking of this as a New Year’s Resolution. When I set out on my attempt to lose weight, I set a goal – 60 lbs in 6 months. I wrote it down. It met all the attributes of a SMART goal.
Specific – the goal was to lose 60 pounds
Measurable – I could actively monitor how I progressed by monitoring my weight loss.
Attainable – I knew that I could lose that amount in 6 months if I worked hard.
Realistic – given all the other factors, could I realisticly lost 60 pounds in 6 months?
Time limited – is there a deadline? An end date? A time when that will be “done”? There was – 6 months.
Monitor your progress
Anyone that follows me on twitter (@bigmanbigloser) knows that I record all my runs. Through May of last year I was also recording my badminton workouts, but have since switched to recording how I do competitively – win/loss ratio, etc. However, when trying to reach the goal, I didn’t just track my activity. I tracked my weight as well. I developed an obsessive love affair with my scale, often weighing myself 3 times a day. (It was interesting to watch how much my body weight would fluctuate in a given day – or better yet, overnight!).
I’ve cut down the constant weighing, trying to do it daily, and wanting to wean that down to twice a week. However, it did help to monitor how my progress was going. It became a reinforcing thing. Not only was I weighing in with the fellows in the competition, but I was seeing daily changes in my weight which reinforced that my routine was working.
Review your goal
Have your goal written on paper? Good. Why did you do that? To review it. Review it often. See how you are doing, sure, but review it when you are down. When you want to scarf back a bag of chips, or snorkel down half a cake. Review it when you feel fantastic after you exercise. Review it all the time. Hold it up high, don’t be embarassed. Get over the thought that you are possibly the only one that needs to lose weight. Lose it, watch yourself lose it, and stay motivated. Prove to yourself that you can meet that goal.