By signing up to the Watchfit app, you have already committed to a healthy life style so you are on your way to a fitter you. But how do you keep motivated to exercise regularly and eat healthy meals? What will stop you from slipping back into lazy ways? How will you avoid reaching for the sweets, cakes and chocolate rather than the fruit and vegetables?

While a lot of motivation has to be self-perpetuated – you have to want to do it – it is also hugely motivational if someone is there to lend a support when necessary.

Starting a diet or an exercise programme with a friend is always a good idea. You can help each other to stick to your plans and if one of you is wavering, the other one can be the motivator. Involving your friends and family in your goals is also a great motivator. If you are getting support and praise for your efforts, your self confidence and self belief will rise, and those goals will not seem so far away.

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But one of the most powerful motivators is to see the progress you are making for yourself. By signing up to the Watchfit app you have got one of the most powerful motivational tools at your fingertips. You can see the activities you have done, the calories you have burnt and the targets you have already achieved. You can plan for the future and set yourself new goals and, most importantly, it puts you in control.

All the research into goal setting and motivation refers to the following principles as being key to success:

Specific – make your goals specific so you can focus on them. For example, “I want to be able to run a five kilometre race in six weeks time.”

Measurable – your goals should be measurable. “I will eat no more than 1,200 calories a day.”

Attainable – there is no point in setting a goal that is too ambitious as it will leave you feeling disappointed and discouraged.

Realistic – your goals must be realistic. If you have just started swimming, there is nothing to be gained by planning to swim the Channel in six weeks time. If you set unrealistic goals, you will never experience the pleasure of achieving them.

Time specific – set a time limit on achieving your goals. “By Christmas I want to have lost five kilo grammes. If you don’t set a time limit, your goals lose their focus.

By sticking to these principles when you set your fitness goals, you are far more likely to achieve success, but we know that self-motivation is not always easy. There will be days when you just don’t feel like going for a run, or you feel down and want a chocolate bar to make you feel better. The key is to not beat yourself up, but just adjust things slightly. If you eat more calories than you planned to, then eat a few less over the next few days to get yourself back on track. If you skipped a bike ride, go for one on your rest day. With diet and exercise, it is important to realise that the goals and rules are not immovable. And with the Watchfit app helping to track your progress, you remain in control.

 

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
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