Maintaining Motivation

Maintaining Motivation

Have you ever started a fitness program and then quit? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Many people start fitness programs – only to stop when they get bored, don’t enjoy it or results come too slowly.

“Doing something for 30 days ingrains and strengthens the brain’s neural pathways, so you keep that behavior going on autopilot” says Lawrence Perlmuter, professor of psychology.

Start Small – Aim to make one change a day. Add fruit to your breakfast, skip your pre-dinner cocktail, or take a walk after lunch.

Vary Your Vocabulary – Say, “I want to workout” not “I should workout” to get in the right mind-set.

Do the ‘Write’ Thing – Jotting down your goals makes them more likely to stick.  You may also find it helps to keep an exercise journal.  Record what you did during each exercise session, how long you exercised for and how you felt afterward. Recording your efforts and tracking your progress can help you work toward your goals, and remind you that you’re making progress.

Work It Out – Exercise eases stress and distracts you from thinking about food.

Find Support – Enlist a friend to be your ‘gym buddy’ so that you have someone to keep you accountable and share your accomplishments with.

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Reward Yourself – After each exercise session, take a few minutes to savor the good feelings that exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise.  External rewards can help too. When you reach a longer-range goal, treat yourself to some new gym wear or new tunes to enjoy while you exercise.

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