How Do I Stay Motivated When I’m Not Seeing Results?
Written by Melissa Mapes, Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach
You’ve been watching what you eat, moving more and drinking water, even counting calories…doing all the ‘right’ things that you know will help you lose weight. You tell yourself "this week it’s going to happen" and when you step on the scale…nothing. It hasn’t budged, again.
When it comes to losing weight, it can be downright difficult to stay motivated after weeks and weeks of putting in the effort and not seeing the results you were hoping for. It’s frustrating, to say the least; making it hard to want to keep on, keepin’ on. So what can you do to stay motivated, keep your mojo, and not throw in the towel?
Here are a few things to consider:
What’s my 'why'? It’s easy to go through the motions without thinking about why we’re really doing what we are doing. Maybe you’re doing what you ‘should’ do, or what you were told to do, but do you really want to do it? Take a moment to check-in with yourself: "Why am I doing X (name the behavior) and how will X help me today, and in the long run? Why do I want to do this?" In other words, why does this matter? When know how a new behavior will give back to us, we are less likely to give up. And, if the new behavior doesn’t really matter to you, give yourself permission to stop doing it for a bit.
Reassess and tweak, if needed. Take a look at what you’re currently doing—what’s working? What isn’t? List the things you are doing that are helping you achieve the outcome you want and then choose one or two things where small changes could help.
Find a little inspiration. Who or what can you tap into to get inspired? Talk with encouraging friends who perhaps are a few steps ahead of you in your journey—what have they tried? How do they stay motivated? Check out magazines, or search the internet for inspiring stories, phrases, or pictures that move you. Sign up for a virtual race. Find what spurs you on!
Change it up! Are you bored, or in a rut? If you’ve been doing the same exercise, eating the same foods, or doing life the same way…it might be time to change things up. Get creative! Listen to some different tunes, try a new fruit or vegetable, cook something in a new way, use different equipment, try a new exercise or change up your intensity…the options are endless. Our minds love novelty so try something a little different or in a new way and see how that boosts your motivation.
Add some fun! What are ways to lighten the stress and add some fun to your day? Perhaps it's adding the element of ‘play’ to your movement routine, or doing a friendly competition with loved ones. Maybe it’s borrowing your neighbor’s dog and playing with him or racing in the yard. Perhaps trying one new food each week or cooking with a friend makes meal time more enjoyable. Whatever you do, think about how you can turn the everyday ‘to-do’s’ into more interesting experiences.