There are a number of reasons why weight loss is difficult. One of the most common ones is motivation. When you start a new weight loss regime, or exercise program, chances are that you are going to be gung-ho and highly motivated. By the third week you will find that interest is waning and by the fifth week you will be right back where you started.

How can you stay motivated?

  • Plan to reward yourself. When you lose five pounds, treat yourself to a manicure. When you have shed twenty pounds, go to a hockey game. (No food rewards)
  • Set real achievable goals. Do not just set the goals, write them down. Have a plan and mark down the rewards you will receive at each level of achievement.
  • Goals do not have to be all about the weight you can use them to help with an exercise program as well. If you work out five times in a week, you have earned your reward. If you stayed off the elevator for ten days, give yourself a movie night.
  • Keep a journal of your workouts. Write down when you workout and for how long. A journal will keep track of all your efforts and show you what you have done and where you can improve.
  • Be accountable. You are responsible for what you eat and when you workout. Stop making excuses. If you miss a workout at the gym or skip a day you are responsible. Yes, things do happen and there are many things that you cannot control. However, there is probably not a day when you can’t find fifteen minutes to do something.
  • Have a number of options available. If you plan to exercise at home and use workout DVDs have more than one. It does not take long to become bored by watching the same routine every day. You can also vary the type of workout. Do palates one day and Tae Bo the next. This will help to keep you interested and it will give you the chance to work out different muscles and do different exercises.
  • You should vary how you work out. This will help to keep you from getting bored and will keep you challenged. Working with weights will certainly tone-up your muscles but it is not a great cardio vascular workout. Yoga is an excellent way to increase your flexibility and loosen your muscles. However, it will not increase your endurance. To really optimize your exercise routine find different ways to workout that will target all of these things. Do an endurance routine one day and work on flexibility the next.
  • Get your friends or family involved. One of the main reasons that groups like weight watchers are so successful is that there is a rivalry between members. Nobody wants to be the person who has lost no weight or has gained a few pounds. If you do not want to join a formal group, your friends and family can provide the same kind of motivation.

Motivation is a key factor to staying on track. If you are not motivated, you will not succeed. You have to discover what is going to motivate you and use it every day.