Most of us have wanted to lose weight at one time or another. For many people, that time is now. At any given moment, millions of people set the goal, whether on January 1st or the beginning of summer, to lose some weight. Setting goals is all well and good but…it’s the follow through that isn’t as easy.

It is important to realize that like achieving most goals, one must work through an actual plan that will get them to their desired result. Of course, this is easier said than done. But that doesn’t that mean losing 10, 20, or even 75 pounds can’t be done. You just need a plan and some motivation to help get you there. This article will give you a few ideas to get yourself motivated to get to the gym or turn on that DVD player and get on that yoga mat.

Use Upcoming Social Events for Motivation
Have an upcoming class reunion, family reunion, or a summer wedding? At these types of events you may want to “shock and awe” everyone at the gathering. You even may or may not want to impress those meanies or outright bullies that have been less than kind in the past. We know that you want to be healthy, feel good, and live a long life. But sticking it to that catty Natasha has its appeal too.

Mark your upcoming event on your calendar. Preferably, use a large desktop calendar on which you can actually write on. Circle the date of the event. Then you will work backward to today’s date. Come up with weekly or biweekly (depending on how long you have to lose weight) milestones that you can meet. Do everything you can to meet those milestones.

Perhaps put up a picture of yourself from high school or one from a period where you were at your heaviest on your refrigerator. If you live with other people, put the photo in a place where you will see it regularly. You’ll want emotional fuel for getting to the gym when that’s the last thing you want to do. That yearbook photo of you with a side ponytail held by a scrunchie can be that much-needed motivation.

Have Fun When You Workout
Exercise doesn’t have to be the worst part of your day. Everyone has days where they don’t want to go to the gym or even roll out the yoga mat and do a ten-minute stretching session at home. To make losing weight fun, you can play your favorite music as you exercise. Whether your go-to music is hip-hop, hardcore rap, EDM, or sappy love songs sung by the Disney Channel stars of the past, it’s all available as you start to make your workout playlist. Now you have the best excuse to spend inordinate amounts of time on Spotify. But once you get your playlist, start using it at the gym or when you work out at home. You could even go so far as to resolve to never play your workout list unless some sort of exercise is taking place.

Set Realistic Goals
That tip might seem fairly obvious. But you would be surprised how many people set out to lose 60 pounds in 90 days. This goal leads people to undergo diets and eating plans that do way more harm than good. It’s great that you want to lose weight but it’s not worth harming yourself just for the sake of looking good in a bathing suit. There’s nothing wrong with looking amazing on the beach but if you need to lose a large amount of weight, do it the safe way. If you have any passing familiarity with the self-help movement, you have heard of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) goals. In many ways, SMART goals will serve you well in your weight loss journey. But if you just start and end with making your weekly and monthly weight loss goals realistic and attainable, that will take you a long way towards your dream body.

Reward Yourself
We all know that losing weight is super hard. When you try to grit your teeth through the sugar cravings, the gym workouts that take place after a really bad day at work, and the chicken-and-broccoli dinners every single night, eventually something will give. More than likely, that something is your willpower.

Try setting up progressively awesome rewards when you meet different weight loss goals. It might be that designer dress you’ve had your eye on for the longest time. Or, it might be a trip with a few loved ones where you can show off your improved body. You can also have smaller rewards along the way, like a book from your Amazon wishlist or a trip to a seminar from one of your favorite speakers.

If you have troublesome issues surrounding food, try not to make any of your rewards food-related. You don’t want to meet a weight loss milestone only to take three steps back after you have a cheat weekend. In this situation, it’s better to reward yourself with things that won’t increase the amount of weight that you’ll need to lose.


Get a Workout Buddy
Buddies are great for almost everything. This includes losing weight. Enlisting a friend that you can take to the gym will not only make the workout more fun, but it will give you a person to which you can be accountable. If you don’t have any friends that need to lose weight, you can still use one as an accountability partner. Did you miss a day at the gym? Make a deal that you will pay the accountability partner a certain amount of money for each missed workout. Make the amount one that you will certainly feel.

Put up Post-It notes that have statements like “You can do this!”, “You got this, girl!”, “25 pounds to go”, or whatever fits your particular situation. Those who live with roommates or family can put the notes in a place that are readily accessible only to you. You can also set up an affirming message to appear on your phone screen at a certain time every day to give you reminders to keep going.

You’re not going to sprint your way to a body that’s 50 pounds lighter. A weight loss race is an endurance race. But you’re highly capable of winning this race of one. You’re not competing against anyone (not even that annoying Natasha). You’re embarking on this journey to feel better, look better, and live a long life surrounded by friends and family. When you remember those things, it becomes somewhat easier to refuse the pint of Ben and Jerry’s and select something a little more healthy.