Monday, May 17, 2010

8 Ways To Stay Motivated

Motivation - It's a word that brings up images of Matt Foley

or the ginormous Tony Robbins.

Staying motivated is hard for some people. If you're here reading this, I would like to think that you've been motivated to change the way you eat, but what do you do after a few months when the "newness" has worn off?

Here are a few ideas:

1) Look at old pictures/videos

From Stock Photos

From Stock Photos

Nothing helps remind me of what I've accomplished quite like looking at a picture of me in my supposed "prime" and a picture of me today. The difference is undeniable and makes me want to continue improving.

2) Connect

From Stock Photos

Find a way to connect with fellow paleo/primal enthusiasts. Twitter, Facebook, the MDA forums, Paleo Hacks, and Wednesday night primal chats are great ways to discover other people who have similar interests to you.

3) real life

From Stock Photos

Going out and being social helps to build your self esteem (unless it's really awkward like the guy all the way on the left "Do you smell that?"). People will notice the changes that you've made and most will compliment you on your accomplishments. Steer clear of the saboteurs who would love to see you fall back into your old ways.

4) Set new goals

From Stock Photos

We all have the long term goals of being healthier, more active, and looking better naked. Set some new goals that can be quickly measured. I set a goal of completing 4+ Crossfit WODs each week. It's attainable, measurable, and works into my long term goals.

5) Read

From Stock Photos

Read a book relating to your current goals. I picked up The Primal Blueprint. This book is serving as a tool for am learning new perspectives on issues as well as remembering why I was so excited about going Paleo in the first place. Better yet, find a few blogs to read. There is a list to the right of this website with a few suggestions to get you started!

6) Learn

From Stock Photos

This kind of goes along with reading, but take some time to go over the latest research and news stories. Learn the biological reasons behind avoiding grains and eating more fat. Find out if people are supporting or disproving conventional wisdom. Most importantly, learn to question everything you read. Who supported the study? Who would make money from this study? What would Cordain think are the flaws this study? What would a vegan nutritionist think are the flaws of this study?

7) Cheat

From Stock Photos

Seriously, go get 10 breaded buffalo wings, a burger (with the bun), fries with ketchup, jalapeño poppers, and a chocolate shake. Eat it all and remember how you feel. Not only will it cease that nagging inkling to cheat, but it will help remind you why you're not eating that way every day.

8) Find a way to be accountable

From Stock Photos

Everyone needs to be accountable to someone. Very few people can hold themselves up to high standards. Others require a method to ensure they are remaining true to their goals. I chose to blog and tweet my progress. Others may wish to incorporate a friend, spouse, or family member.

These are by no means the only way to remain motivated, these are just the methods I have used the last few months. I strongly urge you to comment on this article and share your motivational techniques with others!

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Anonymous said...

These are some great tips! I find that blogging and reading other people's blog is a huge help for me.

T.B.S. said...

I definitely agree on the cheat thing. About once every two weeks I break down and hit either BK or Mc Donalds. Mostly out of sheer laziness (like, I haven't gone grocery shopping yet and all I have in the fridge is some 2 week old bok choy). After each such excursion though, I feel like I'm ready to die. I remember when I saw "Super Size Me" and scoffed at him when he threw up after eating in his car. Now I understand how someone not used to that food can feel that way.

Primal Toad said...

I really enjoyed this article and I think the Cheat tip is HUGE! I have not done this yet, but have been wanting to as an experiment. I think you just motivated me to do it sooner rather than later.

I used to eat a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich or a Turkey Sandwich just about every day for lunch. I then ate a highly processed fake meat crap meal for dinner quite often. For breakfast was cereal. Soon, I will go back to my old ways and consume this food through 1-2 days and compare how I feel....

Hopefully I won't have to go to the hospital, lol ;)

I will be saving this article and will reference it when I do this experiment. Keep up the fun articles!

Paleotron said...

@therightfit Thanks! I enjoy your blog as well!

@TBS I totally agree on the cheats. I can have a burger here and there without any side effects except for an increased appetite. Every once in a while, though, I'll go all out and pay the price!

@Primal Toad I think you'll find that small cheats here and there are fine, but a huge cheat will leave you feeling borderline ill for a day or two. I think the first thing you'll notice is how you feel hungrier despite eating more food. It's crazy! I have yet to go all out for 1-2 days like you're planning on. You may change your mind after your first couple meals. Anyways, let me know how it goes!

AGD8402 said...

This is an excellent post! I definitely agree with all of these recommendations.

Number 3 stand out to me the most. Meeting with friends and family who can notice the difference in you plays a big part in maintaining healthy habits.

Kristy A. said...

Great suggestions! I love that you mentioned cheating. A good cheat really helps click the "reset" button on my enthusiasm. It's important to not let the lifestyle become just another diet, taking the fun out of food. When eating becomes a chore and loses enjoyment, cheat. It helps me remember why I eat the way I do and makes real food taste even better.

I also love the pictures you use! So vivid and shocking! Great choices. :)

Paleotron said...

@AGD8402 and @Kristy A.

I couldn't agree more. I just came off of two days of less than ideal eating and it's amazing how much it affects my energy levels, harms my sleep, and dramatically increases my appetite for more foods.

That whole binge (and nearly purge) was actually my inspiration for putting this whole post together.

Josephine said...

Thank you so much for this article. We've been primal/paleo for some time now and no longer feel the need do cheat or anything like that. But our friends do, this article sums it all for them. I will be certain to push it on! It really is mind over matter - and a personal commitment. Thanks!

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