1. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
2. the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
If you take a look at the definition of motivation above, does it sound too much different than this one?
The object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
Take a guess at what the above definition is for before you read on.
That definition is for the word "goal."
Goal and motivation aren't really too different are they? That's why the first way to stay motivated is to set a goal. Having a goal in mind keeps you focused on what you're setting out to do and gives you purpose and direction.
Staying on top of those goals can be hard when in the troughs of a new routine or stuck in a plateau when working hard but there are several ways to keep on top of them.
1. Make a vision board
Vision boards get one of two reactions: Either they're thought of as a little "woo woo" or they're believed to be the greatest thing ever. It doesn't have to be crazy--just grab some pictures off the internet or from a magazine and put them somewhere you can look at them.
Some people like to make full blown canvases but it can be pictures stuck to your mirror, placed in your planner or on your phone background. Whatever works for you.
2. Give yourself a reward system
If you scour through Pinterest or just a general Google search, you'll find a lot related to weight loss reward systems. Some people use marbles in a jar, sticker/tally charts or other means of tracking their progress. This can be for any domain related to your goal--perfectly hitting your macros/calories, losing weight/hitting a new personal record/a clothing size. Set the system so you get a bigger reward after a substantial win, for example, after 10 pounds, you get a manicure and pedicure. After 20, a new dress.
3. Set a motivator
In my personal weight loss journey, my first goal was to be able to fit into a Lilly Pulitzer dress. They only went up to size 16 and that wouldn't work for me. During their yearly sale, my aunt and I picked out and purchased my "goal" dress--a white dress in a size 16. I hung that dress in my closet and looked at it every so often to remind me what I was working towards. This doesn't have to mean purchasing something, it could mean pulling out an old pair of pants, signing up for a race or another event, setting up a photo shoot. Something that will keep you focused!
4. Don't fall into the comparison trap
Similarly to what Dr. Seuss would say, there is only one you and you are you. Your journey is not your sisters, your friends or the person on Instagram who has a 6-pack five days after delivering a baby. Your work is your own. Just because someone else is joining a special program, doesn't mean you have to. Just because they started at the same time and are down 5 more pounds doesn't mean they are doing "better." They are not you.
5. Whatever you do, don't give up
Giving up is not an option.
A lot of fitness and health takes trial and error and all of it takes time. Sometimes we have to play around and find out what works best for our bodies--whether that's the workouts we're doing, the food, sleep, supplements--the list goes on. If something isn't working, give it a good effort then maybe try out something else.
Whatever you do, stay focused on what you're looking to achieve and the accomplishments you've already made!