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How to stay motivated

LiveWell coach Andrea offers her top tips for sticking to your goals 

So here we are at the beginning of spring; the birds are singing, it's getting lighter in the evenings, nature is burgeoning but somehow the New Year’s resolution we made feels like it was back in the Dark Ages, a long time ago and we may feel that our motivation is waning.  

Let’s look at that resolution. We often overestimate what we can actually achieve, was it realistic? How long did we think about that goal? 30 seconds? Did we plan it? Did we get the right support in place?  

We can often end up putting a lot of pressure on ourselves with these 30 second resolutions. We restrict ourselves, cut out the ‘bad stuff’ stop ‘enjoying’ ourselves and map out an austere existence that cannot end until we picture ourselves lunging over the finish line, having achieved our goal. 

Don’t get me wrong, we can achieve our goals this way, but for many, we run out of steam because our changes are too drastic, and we are in such a rush to reach our goals that we burn ourselves out in the process. Kind of like sprinting away from the start line in a marathon race. 

We then feel demotivated, our progress is not the upward trajectory we had envisaged. 

We often deal with this by saying to ourselves: "I need a reset”, “I will just get this out of the way and then I can restart”. But remember, we are not machines…we get ill, fatigued, and injured and often carrying health conditions with us. Life is also good at throwing us curve balls. 

So, let’s try looking at the process differently. Instead of measuring ‘success’ or ‘failure’, try asking yourself what has worked well? What did I enjoy? What do I need to adjust? Review your goal, make it positive, say it aloud, write it down, put it on the screen saver on your phone. 

I love the Arthur Ashe quote: 

"Start where you are, use what you've got, do what you can."

We all have different start points because the fabulous thing is we are all different. Celebrate your differentness (is that even a word?) and do it in any way you can. Whatever you do, don’t compare yourself to others, everyone has a different start point.  

It really is tortoise and the hare mentality. Don’t rush, just stick with it. If you start walking, the running will come... 

Tips to get you back on track 

  • I often hear ‘I have only lost a pound or half a pound this week’. That is an amazing achievement, go and weigh out a pound of something: sugar, flour and put it on the side in your kitchen as a reminder. 
  • The smaller the gains the more like likely they are to be sustainable. Your 10-minute walk becomes 12 minutes which turns into 15, and so on.
  • Set smaller goals withing your bigger goal. Break it down so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
  • Get some support: a friend, family, group or organisation like LiveWell can be really supportive and help cheer you on.

We can help you 

We're here for your health and wellbeing. Want to make a change? But don't want to do it alone? Register or contact us today to take your next step to LiveWell.



How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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