Motivation is extremely easy to lose, especially when you’re trying to stay fit. And I’d like to share some things that I do to keep my diet on track, and perhaps they’ll help you out too.
The first thing most people do wrong is attempt an overnight transformation. They look at the signs of increasing fat, and decide to transform their diet and exercise daily. This thought is likely to do more harm than good.
When you commit to not eating any unhealthy food at all, you leave yourself extremely vulnerable. Let me explain it in a clearer way. Suppose you decide to not eat any unhealthy food. That becomes your goal. When you see food later, you may think to yourself, “Oh, what harm could one bite do? I won’t eat any more after that.”
This is an extremely slippery slope, because once you coax yourself into taking one small bite, you fail your goal. And when you fail your goal, suddenly there’s no reason to avoid food; you’ve already failed. Your morale drops, and down goes the motivation.
The problem is that deciding not to eat unhealthy food at all is an indefinite goal. You don’t get any victories, but you can certainly lose. Be quantitative about your goals. Say you’d maintain a proper diet for a week. That’s something you can achieve.
The second problem is that you like to reward yourself for your dedication. You didn’t eat for a week? To celebrate that, you want to go out and have a large pizza or two all by yourself. This involves contradicting the goal you’re working to achieve. Motivating yourself is extremely necessary, but the reward should be something that enables your goals. For instance, if you’ve been maintaining a good diet all week, you can treat yourself by snacking on a chocolate protein bar or two. That way, you maintain your diet and manage to reward yourself.
The most essential thing that you must remember is that your ambitions won’t pull you towards your goal. Your accomplishments, not your expectations, push you towards your destination.
When you start off with a big goal, all smaller steps leading to it seem insignificant. If you decide to jog three miles, and get tired halfway through, you’d think that you can’t complete the jog and you’ll quit.
Tell yourself to not achieve the goal, but merely see how close you can get to the goal. Okay, three miles is too difficult? Whatever, I’ll just see how close I can possibly get to that before I collapse. And the moment you take this perspective, miraculously all those same steps begin to cover a huge distance. Instead of satisfaction at the end of the run, you realize that you’re achieving something with every single step you take.
I don’t know much about success, but I do know about progress. And the key to progress is to always be proud of your achievements, yet not satisfied. To be motivated yet not expectant. To be inspired, yet not contented.