Whether you’re painting a room, growing a garden or honing your body to perfection, it’s easy to want to rush the final outcome, but it all takes time. That’s especially true when you want to sculpt your body toward the perfect you. You have to remember, results happen over time not overnight. However, there are other ways to mark improvement and change than just the final product. These will keep you motivated until you do lose the 30 pounds, replace fat with muscle or achieve whatever your final goal is.
Congratulate yourself on smaller gains.
It may take a while for your body to respond to your efforts enough for you to easily see the results, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get an “atta’ boy” along the way. Track your workouts, including notes on how you felt during the workout. You need to start with a benchmark measurement of a specific routine or movement. Were you out of breath after the first minute? Did you have the strength to lift a certain amount of weight? Test areas of flexibility and record the results. After working out two weeks, repeat your tests and record the results. You should see some big improvements.
Get an A for effort.
Unlike a participation ribbon, giving yourself credit for extra continual effort is actually important. If you work out to the max regularly, you deserve to get credit for the effort. You have to be honest with this one or it won’t be a valuable tool. At the end of every workout, record the minutes you worked out—not including resting minutes—and how hard you pushed. Give yourself a three if it was extra hard, two for about average and one for simply going through the movements. Multiply the minutes by the number for your daily score. Get extra points for exercise or activities outside the gym. A fast paced 20 minute walk would give you 20 times your effort score. Try to increase your score every week.
Take a picture it lasts longer.
In this world of 1,000 daily selfies, there are actually good reasons to take a photo, besides just posting them on social media. Get a close fitting and more revealing workout outfit—specifically to measure your progress. Make it cheap because you may only use it for this purpose. Find a location in your home that has a piece of furniture or other item in it to get a prospective of your size. Find a location for the person taking the picture to stand that you can relocate easily to insure the distance is the same. Once a week or every two weeks, put on the outfit and stand on your mark with the photographing friend on theirs and have a picture taken. Use your phone and keep a log with the date and time of each picture. You could have your own version of the incredible shrinking man or woman as you lose weight.
- Relate your improvement to every day tasks. Did you have to rest a while before tackling a second flight of stairs and now you can do two without a problem? Give your self a gold star.
- Make the results suspenseful. Don’t weigh yourself, but use your “fat” jeans to tell you how you’re doing. Find a pair that you can’t zip up unless you lay on the floor and work toward being able to easily zip them while standing up.
- Focus on healthy eating by learning one or two new recipes a week. Track the new recipes—but remember a side of chips or fries isn’t allowed. The whole meal plan must be healthy.
- Be patient and follow the plan your personal trainer gives you. Know that it will work if you work it hard and do what it takes. Don’t worry about the results, just worry about the workout.