I’m curious to know how many of you started this year wanting to get back on track with healthier eating, but have already struggled with the motivation you need to get going in the right direction.
I was thinking back to last year at this time. I was full of positive inspiration and ready to get it right. Somehow that same determination did not come as naturally this year, and I am trying to recall what I have done in the past that worked for me. I came up with five things I (and perhaps you) can do to get motivated to get back on track with making health a priority again.
1. Record what you are doing.
Of course, I talk a lot about WW (formerly Weight Watchers) on here, and a big part of what makes their program so effective is the simple act of tracking (either on your phone or on paper) all the things you eat. This brings awareness to what you are eating.
What I’m talking about goes beyond just tracking what you eat though. You can also track other habits you are trying to make a priority, like how much water you drink, how much you exercise, and even your weight loss using a weight loss tracker. Last year, I made some weight loss trackers to make losing weight more fun!
Is there an area of your life you would like to improve in? Perhaps start by writing about it and tracking it.
2. Plan ahead.
You have probably heard the saying before, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” That may seem a little harsh. I don’t think any of us have bad intentions. I think we are just busy and distracted. Regardless, it probably goes without saying that when we regain our focus and take some time to plan ahead, we greatly increase the probability of success.
If you could use a little help in this area, we have several resources on MPM that are designed to help with planning.
Here are just a couple of planning resources on Meal Planning Mommies:
Meal planning eCookbooks.
If you are looking for help with dinner meal planning, our MPM ebooks are the way to go. Right now we have a special sale going, in celebration of our brand new ebook that just came out.
All of the MPM ebooks are marked down until January 7 for our New Year’s Sale, but the ebook I am currently most excited about is our 12 Week Meal Plan Mega Bundle: Volume Two meal planning eCookbook. If you haven’t already purchased our Volume One ebook, we have an even better deal right now. During our New Year’s Sale, you can get Volume 1 or Volume 2 for $19.99 each, or you can get both of them together (Our Double Bundle Set) for just $34.99.
Blank printable meal planning sheets/grocery lists.
Take some recipes you already love and write them on a pre-made meal plan page/grocery list. We have some blank meal planning printables you can use here. To be really efficient you could even plan out a week and then make copies of it before you go to the store, so when you need another meal plan in the future, you can just grab a copy of the grocery list and head out the door. Our ebooks are also designed to do just that.
WW friendly meal plans with printable grocery lists.
As of the time of me posting this, we have over 40 free weeks of meal plans that include printable grocery lists! I have been sharing WW recipes and meal plans since 2015, and I left some of the older meal plans with the older point systems for those who are not using the current WW FreeStyle Program.
3. Talk about it.
What do you do when you are excited about something? You talk about it, right?
But, who do you talk to? Someone who cares, I hope. It feels good to talk to people who care about the same things we do. I want you to ask yourself this question: Is there someone around me who cares about the thing I really want to work on? This question is linked to accountability, and accountability can be a HUGE motivator when it comes to sticking with something.
The beauty of accountability.
If you really want to make working out a priority, for instance, it may help to find a workout buddy. For me, I love to go for long walks with one of my closest friends, Johanna.
We can walk for 1-2 hours at a time and not think anything of it, because we are so into our conversation. Maybe for you it would mean meeting a friend for zumba classes. For some people, just competing to get more steps than a friend on a FitBit is enough motivation to get moving.
(Just took this picture this morning. Johanna had me a birthday breakfast and we went for a nice long walk.)
If there is something really important to you, find a friend or family member who can do it with you, and then check in on each other regularly.
4. Remember your reason.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Why does the thing I want to accomplish matter to me?
- If I had success in this area of my life, who else would also be impacted positively?
- How would things be different? What would be better?
These are just a few questions to get you started. Brainstorm your whys, write them out, talk about them with a friend or family member…all of these things will help. The act of brainstorming your whys will bring focus to the problem/solution, making it easier to push aside the distractions and really get your head in the game.
Free resource: In the same post where I shared weight loss trackers, I also shared free printable pages you can use to brainstorm your “whys”. Write as many as you can come up with.
Some people find it helpful to make a vision board. Once you know your why, you can create a bulletin board, or a place in your journal/planner to make a sort of collage of things that inspire you. A vision board can include pictures, quotes and sayings, and/or some of the free printables here.
5. Put the right resources in place.
Find the resources that will give you the greatest success, and then get them, or find a substitute that would work just as well. Here are a few examples of having the right resources for the job:
1. I want to drink more water, but I don’t like the taste of the water from my tap.
I will get a Brita pitcher and find a water bottle that I love, so I will never have an excuse not to drink as much water as I can.
2. I need to work out, but my feet hurt when I do.
I will get one really great pair of walking/running shoes. If working out is the problem, having a great workout outfit and a great pair of shoes can make a world of difference. I never understood how important it was to have great shoes, until I purchased a pair of Brooks Ghost shoes. Now I see supportive comfortable shoes as an investment, because they last so much longer than the cheap pairs I used to get. It only took me more than 30 years to realize that!
3. I want to eat a healthier breakfast, but I don’t feel like making anything in the morning.
I can look up quick and easy breakfast ideas and try 2-3 per week until I find ones I really love. If breakfast is a problem area for you, we have a long list of WW friendly breakfast ideas that are quick and easy. These Breakfast Tostadas are one of my favorites! They are filling and are just 5 WW FreeStyle SP per tostada!
4. I want to run, but I am worried I will find excuses not to run, because that’s what I have done in the past.
I will sign up for a 5K, so I have something to work toward.
5. I want to be better about making healthy dinners, but I don’t want to take the time to meal plan.
I will let Meal Planning Mommies do all the work for me.
What if there was a friend who would take the time to find delicious recipes for you, calculate the Freestyle Smart Points, put them into a meal plan, and tell you exactly what to buy at the grocery store to make the recipes that week? Does that sound too good to be true? I want to be that friend for you!
Good news: We have a New Year’s Sale going until January 7 on all of our ebooks! Our 12 Week Meal Plan Mega Bundle ebooks will give you a brand new WW friendly recipe each night for 12 full weeks!! Plus, you can repeat the weeks you love and add some variety to your meal planning all year long!! Even better, we have a volume 1 & 2 now, so when you buy both of them together, you will have 24 weeks of dinner all mapped out for you!
Check out our meal planning ebooks here.
Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Once we start seeing success with something, it can be a great motivator too, but we have to start somewhere. I hope some of the things on this list will get you off on the right foot in 2019!