When we think about losing weight, eating healthy, working out, or making other recommended lifestyle changes, it’s easy to feel like we’re sort of on our own. We have to rely on ourselves to make the goals and then be accountable to ourselves to meet them. Accountability is often times, the key to success when it comes to meeting health and fitness goals. But how do we hold ourselves accountable? Is it enough to just depend on ourselves? Is it enough to just keep a food journal or exercise log every day? Will that keep us on track? For some people, yes, keeping these kinds of records and monitoring themselves will be the force that pushes them to continue to meet the goals they’ve set. However, for most people, me/myself/and I just aren’t enough to maintain motivation.
Here are some reasons why:
It’s hard to push yourself out of bed at 5am to exercise if no one else is around.
It’s easier to eat the whole carton of icecream than to limit yourself to just a small serving.
It’s hard to go into a gym for the first time and know what to do.
It’s easier to stick with what you know (or don’t know).
Lifestyle change is HARD!
Great news: You don’t have to go it alone! Admitting that you can’t do things on your own is not failure! Being aware of what will help you meet your goals and then creating a lifestyle that allows for success, will improve your outlook and help you reach those goals.
We are all different and we are all motivated in different ways. I hear from people all the time that struggle with being motivated to work out. I personally have never had that problem. I love working out and I'm motivated to challenge myself in that way. For me, I struggle with food. I love food, I think about what my next meal will be constantly. I want to snack all day long. Just ask my husband, we eat dinner, then I ask what our snack will be before bed! So, those are things I struggle to overcome. I do find that I eat less and choose healthier foods when I’m around other people who do the same, or when I feel like I have to be accountable to someone else. I'm also more successful when I attach my attempts at healthy eating to other goals. So, for example, if I want to run faster in my next race, I need to avoid feeling bogged down and sluggish from eating junk food.
Motivation comes in many forms and while we each have to find our own motivation, staying motivated is not necessarily something that has to be accomplished on our own. If you’ve been struggling with making or sticking with healthy lifestyle changes, try finding someone who has similar goals, is consistent and who will hold you accountable. We all have the power within ourselves to improve, but sometimes just knowing we are accountable to one other person makes all the difference in how we perceive our ability to change. Keep in mind that the people you surround yourself with can also limit your potential and ability to reach your goals. So, try to limit the time you spend with people who influence you negatively, or drag them into your healthy lifestyle! You may be the motivation they need to make healthier choices! If you have no support from those closest to you, find a professional, like a registered dietitian nutritionist, personal trainer or counselor to partner with in your journey!