Health Advocate Blog

Ask a Health Advocate: How can I stay motivated to meet my health goals?

Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, promising themselves they will eat less and exercise more. But by the third or fourth week of their weight loss journey, their motivation begins to dwindle and those new, healthy habits begin to fade. Staying motivated isn’t easy, and losing weight takes hard work—but there is plenty you can do to stay dedicated to your goals. Try these tips to keep your motivation up year-round:

Write down your goals. This may sound like a simple tip, but writing down your goals can give you a point of reference. Make a list of specific goals you want to achieve this year as well as ways you plan on achieving them. Make several copies of this list and keep them in places where you will see them every day—for example, in your bedroom, tacked to your refrigerator and bathroom mirror, or on your desk at work. Keeping a calendar or journal, whether online or on paper, can also help you log your progress and stay committed.

Make your goals fun. Find sports and activities that you enjoy, then vary your routine to keep yourself from getting bored. If you’re not enjoying your workout, try something different. There are many ways to get a lot of exercise other than hitting the weights at the gym or running 2 miles on a treadmill. Try checking out a local health club or martial arts center, or sign up for a yoga or ballroom dancing class. You may find a new activity you didn’t know you liked before!

Get support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Having someone in your corner supporting you could be all you need to stay motivated. Find a friend, family member, or co-worker with similar healthy goals and make a pact to stick together. You can rely on each other during any moments of weakness. However, be sure to pick the right person to keep you on task. Don’t pick someone who will easily distract you or is unreliable.

Treat yourself. A great way to get motivated is to work towards a reward. It could be something small like a new pair of shoes or outfit, or something big like a vacation at the end of the year. You don’t always have to celebrate your accomplishments by buying something, either.  Positive thinking and reinforcement can go a long way. Avoid only focusing on your failures and shortcomings—this can hurt your progress.

Staying motivated towards losing weight and being healthy isn’t easy, but if you focus and work hard, you can succeed. Remember, if you’re a Health Advocate member with access to our Wellness Coaching service, you can always call a Wellness Coach to help you with your goals. Your Coach can give advice, cheer you on, and provide valuable help and support along the way!

How do you stay motivated? Share your motivation tips with us by tweeting to @HealthAdvocate using #Motivation, and we will share your tips with people who need an extra boost!