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Eye of the Tiger!

Most people you talk to at one time or another have stopped and started a weight loss program.  When someone starts a weight loss program, they’re usually very motivated about it.  They’ve got the “Eye of the Tiger”.  But then, after a few weeks or months, they lose momentum and motivation.  They’ve lost their “Eye of the Tiger”.

Did you set a well-defined goal?
One of the biggest reasons why many people lose their motivation is because they don’t set a well-defined goal.  What do I mean by that?  Well, let’s use the ‘ol New Year’s Resolution weight loss cliché.  It’s a new year, the holidays are over, another year has gone by and you’ve packed on more pounds.  You make a vow to yourself that this is the year you’re going to finally lose weight.  You’re all excited, pumped up and motivated.  You start faithfully going to the gym 4 days a week and you’re cutting out junk foods and eating lots of salad.

After about a month of this, you start to lose motivation.  The weight isn’t coming off quickly enough, you’re tired of eating salad all the time, you’re feeling hungry, irritable and deprived and going to the gym now seems more like a chore.

What happened?  What you did was declare you wanted to lose weight.  What you didn’t declare was how much weight you wanted to lose by a specific date.  You also didn’t declare how you were going to go about doing it.  All you did was decide to eat lots of salad and go to the gym every day after work.  Essentially, you had no plan.  Without setting a specific goal, by a specific date with a specific plan to follow, subconsciously you start to feel like you’re on a perpetual hamster wheel going nowhere.  You get frustrated, bored, don’t feel challenged, lose your motivation and, your “Eye of the Tiger”.

Setting a well-defined goal
To correct this common mistake, you need to set a well-defined goal along with a plan of action to follow.   When setting your goal, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.  Set goals in small chunks that are attainable.

Set a goal date
Your basic goal is to lose weight.  Let’s narrow that down.  Decide that you want to lose x amount of pounds, or lose x amount of inches, or drop x amount of body fat in 6, 8, or 12 weeks.

From that point, you want to narrow down your goals even further.  For example, let’s say you decided that your goal is to lose 10% body fat in 12 weeks.  What you may look to do is drop 1% body fat every 7-10 days in order to achieve your goal.  Perhaps you decided that you wanted to lose 40 pounds in 12 weeks with a weekly weight loss goal of 3 pound per week.

Each week you have a specific, measurable goal.  This helps keep you motivated, focused and challenged.  Focusing on losing 3 pounds per week does not seem as overwhelming as the bigger picture of wanting to lose 40 pounds in 12 weeks.  Each week that you lose weight gets you closer and closer to your overall goal weight.

Being specific about setting weekly measurable goals, also lets you know whether or not your plan is working.  If you are meeting your weekly goal, then you know you don’t need to make any changes.  If two weeks have passed and you know you’ve not reached your target goal, then you know you need to make changes to your diet, your workout program or both.

Plan of Action
You know that in order to achieve your goal, you need to exercise and make improvements to your dietary habits.  What you want to do is put together a weekly plan of action.  Decide what day of the week you’re going to go grocery shopping and put together a shopping list with a variety of foods that will help you achieve your goals.  Plan a menu for the week based on the foods you bought.

Having a variety of foods and planning your meals in advance helps you to stay on track.

Decide what days of the week you’re going to go to the gym and what type of workout you’re going to do each time you’re in the gym.  You can do this by participating in a variety of group exercise classes or by following a workout program that gives you a specific list of exercises to do each week over a prolonged period of time.  There are a variety of great workout programs you can purchase as a traditional book or as an e-book.  There are several I recommend that you will find on this website.

Once you have your goals defined along with a plan of action, you will feel more challenged and motived.  You will have “The Eye of the Tiger”.

Staying Motivated
Often times, someone will lose weight only to fall off the wagon and regain the weight they lost and then some.  Has this happened to you?

Once someone has achieved their initial goal, they tend to get “burnt out”, fall into a rut and lose motivation.

Let’s say you lost your initial goal to lose 40 pounds.  Now what?  Do you continue with the same diet and exercise routine?  How about setting a new goal?  Most people are so focused on initial weight loss that when they achieve it, they don’t think about setting a new goal.

There are so many other goals you can set for yourself such as, building more muscle, building more strength, improving endurance, training for a marathon, entering a physique contents (aka bodybuilding, fitness, figure competition) etc.  Find a new goal that will challenge you and keep you motivated.

What do I do?
I am constantly trying new foods that will nourish my body.  By introducing myself to new foods, I don’t get bored eating the same thing all the time while keeping my diet nutrient rich.  I also eat fresh foods that are in season.

As for my workouts, aside from the workout programs I create, I do try workout programs from my friends in the industry to not only challenge myself in a different way, but as a way to learn from others.  This keeps my workouts fresh, exciting and challenging.

The power of Social Media
Facebook and Twitter are such great resources for information, motivation and accountability.  There are so many health, fitness, nutrition and weight loss experts on social media that you can tap into for guidance and advice.  You’ll find for the most part that many of them will be more than happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.

You will also find that many of these experts share excellent content on many subjects that you can learn from to help you reach your goal.

Talk about your goals and your plan of action on Social Media.  This helps to keep you accountable.  You’ll discover that people will encourage and support you in your efforts which will keep you motivated.

Finally….
There’s nothing like a good Rocky movie to help you find and keep your “Eye of the Tiger”.

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