It can take months on end to build good habits and make them apart of a sustainable lifestyle, however, we all go through phases of losing our motivation and sometimes veering off track. Rather than scrapping all of your good habits and writing everything off completely, read this guide to help you maintain your good habits; after allowing yourself to mentally reset, you can hit everything hard again. Sometimes, forcing yourself to train or do more than you can handle can have a negative effect which causes you to give up on everything entirely; avoid this by listening to your body!
We can jump into the deep end when it comes to wanting to get in shape; however, we usually are very excited when we first start out, and over time, this excitement dwindles. One of the biggest things to bear in mind is that you should approach any new habit with caution as burnout can ruin things, even for the best of us! Did you know that a habit can take anywhere from two to four months to form? This helps explain why after just a few weeks of going hard and not seeing any results can leave us feeling discouraged and disappointed – be patient and start small!
If you are new to exercise, start with just a couple of sessions per week and then, one you feel exercise has become more of a habit for you, increase the number of sessions you do. This also applies to healthy eating, which is a major struggle for many people – and explains why diets never last! Rather than cutting carbs as that low-carb diet you may be considering suggests, start looking for healthier carbs to include in your diet, or just have smaller portions. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t need carbs, they are an essential macro and we all need them! The key to balancing your nutrition is to enjoy things in moderation instead; but luckily, as carbs are perfectly acceptable to eat, you will want to opt for carbs that help keep you full for longer, such as potatoes, quinoa, brown rice and wholegrain pasta.
When you do find that you are losing motivation after working hard to create good habits, you sometimes need to shake up your environment. We all can become complacent and sometimes complacency gets the best of us. Many of us struggle to drink the right amount of water, but a great reminder that you can put in place for yourself is by leaving full bottles of water around the house. For example, put one by your bedside, one in the office, one at the dining table, etc so that you feel encouraged to drink them. When things are not in our sight, we can sometimes lose focus; by changing your environment, you can help build more sustainable habits, as well as maintain those you have already put into place.
If you are feeling demotivated, ask yourself, why did you start in the beginning? Sometimes reminding ourselves of why we started in the first place can help give us the kickstart we need. A great idea is to always keep your goals noted down, so the times you are feeling a lack of motivation, you can refer back to them to help inspire you again. This may sound a bit bizarre, but your mind cannot actually differentiate between things that you imagine and those that you don’t; based on this, you should always visualize the success you will achieve when you set out to achieve the goals you have set. That way, you are so much more likely to follow through and find that motivation that you had before!
Sometimes when we get into a mental state of feeling demotivated it can be hard to pull ourselves back out of it; this is a known fact, as motion creates emotion! Even if you are not wanting to do a full-on training session, get up, get active and you will notice how your mood increases and you may find yourself discovering that motivation again. Lastly, don’t forget the support systems you have in place – whether that be through family or friends. For those that either can’t rely on their friends or family as a source of motivation, find others around you that can help; this can be in the form of reading a motivational book or listening to a podcast.
Creating habits can be such a challenge, but consistency and dedication is key. When we lose our motivation, we need to remind ourselves why we started and how far we have come; the smallest step in the right direction can lead us down amazing paths. You will be amazed at the changes you can make in your fitness, strength and nutrition when you make small, sustainable changes in your life.