1. Team up!
Accountability is so important in staying motivated when you’re trying to lose weight. Find someone who is very reliable (always shows up on time to events, rarely misses work, etc) and ask him/her to team up to work towards weight loss. Whether you decide to meet up with your partner for exercise classes, gym dates, or just daily discussions on the phone, teaming up with someone else will help you stay focused and motivated.
2. Set monthly (or weekly) goals.
Instead of picking a number as your weight loss goal for the end of the year, try setting monthly or weekly goals. When you reach them, you’ll feel an instant boost of motivation and you’ll be even more determined to continue with your weight loss progress. If you don’t achieve your monthly goal, you can stop, reassess your progress thus far, and make adjustments in either your diet, your exercise, or your goals. Then you’ll embark on another month with clearer goals and a plan that will work better for you.
3. Share your progress on social media.
Again, accountability is always helpful when you’re trying to reach weight loss goals. A blog, status updates on Facebook, progress shots on Instagram, or short updates on Twitter will all help you feel like you’re reporting your progress to a supportive community who is rooting you on. Also, you could follow other people on social media who are working towards their weight loss for some extra motivation.
4. Bet on it.
Money is always a good motivator; after all, we all work for money. Reward yourself with a chunk of change when you reach your monthly weight goals. For example, you could take out some cash from your bank and put it aside. If you reach your goals, you can use it towards new clothes; if you don’t, you’ll donate it to a charity. Or you could join a betting group on a website (try DietBet, Healthy Wage, or Fatbet) and bet a certain amount that you’ll lose a specific amount of weight. If you succeed, you’ll walk away with some extra money.
5. Keep track of your progress.
Whether you keep track of your weight loss goals by weighing yourself or measuring your body, make sure to keep a record of your progress. Week after week, you’ll enjoy seeing the numbers drop and it’ll help you stay motivated to lose weight through plateaus and bad days or weeks. Taking before and after photos is another way to keep track of your progress.
6. Think about why you want to lose weight.
What are your reasons for wanting to lose weight? Maybe it’s to ensure more years with your family or to feel more comfortable at the beach. Whatever your reasons are, write them down in a list and refer to it from time to time when you need motivation. Include your most compelling reasons in your efforts to lose weight; for example, you could exercise with your kids or hang up a bikini in your exercise room.
7. Set fitness goals as well as weight loss goals.
Fitness goals, such as a shorter running time, completing a 5k (or a marathon!), or a certain number of pull-ups, can motivate you during times when your scale just won’t budge. Setting fitness goals will help you remember that you’re changing your lifestyle to get healthier, not just for a lower weight. That’ll help you stay motivated to lose weight.
8. Be prepared to fail sometimes.
Nobody is perfect. It’s okay to slip up sometimes. Just don’t use it as a reason to throw away your whole day or a whole week or give up entirely. An extra slice (or two, or even five) of pizza isn’t a good reason to also get dessert and skip your exercise for the day. Just admit that you enjoyed the pizza and move on with your day. A few slip-ups here and there isn’t going to make a big difference in the long run, anyway. Stay motivated to lose weight by not putting much value on failures and more emphasis on your achievements.
9. Try new things.
It can get boring to always eat the same meal at breakfast and to do the same exercise routine day after day. Change it up and try a new recipe with a vegetable you’ve always wanted to taste, try a new cooking technique, or order a new exercise DVD. Maybe you read about a new exercise technique on a blog the other day — make it your mission to try it out. Sign up for a fun exercise class or a cooking class.
10. Stay positive.
Your mental health is the utmost importance when you’re working towards your weight loss goals. Achieving weight loss doesn’t take just one day; it takes days and days of changes in your lifestyle and your diet. That’s a lot for anyone to take on, so it’s vital to be as positive as you can be throughout your weight loss journey.
For more weight loss ideas, check out 8 Fitness DVDs to Try at Home and Keep Your New Year’s Resolution: Five Healthy Food Blogs.