When you set out to get healthier by changing your diet and incorporating more exercise into your life, it can sometimes feel like too much of a challenge.

This can ring especially true during the holiday season when there are tempting treats and festive meals everywhere, and the snow and cold are making it especially difficult to leave your house … or nice, warm bed for that matter.

But even outside of the holiday season, it can be difficult to stay positive and motivated, especially if you do not see the results you want. But you set yourself on this journey for a reason.

Staying overweight can have serious long-term health consequences, such as developing diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancers, and more, and you want to make sure you are healthy for the long haul.

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Image courtesy of Max Pixel

If you need help staying motivated and keeping a positive outlook on your journey to a healthier life, here are some tips to take into consideration:

1. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

We all have and use social media — it’s just another part of life now. Sometimes it’s a wonderful tool that allows us to keep in touch and connect with others — and other times it’s a relentless timesuck and anxiety- and depression-inducing hole.

Studies show that social media has a profound effect on our well-being, and recognizing how it affects you personally is important to use it as an effective motivator.

If accountability helps you to stay on track, consider creating a blog or Instagram account where you can visually track your progress, victories, and struggles. Follow others who are on the same journey as you and gain some inspiration from them.

On the other hand, if being on social media causes you to compare yourself with others in a way that is detrimental to your motivation and self-esteem, you may want to take a hiatus from social media while you work on building good habits and routines.

Staying positive is important for keeping motivated and maintaining a healthy approach to your wellness journey, and if social media is hindering that, you need to cut it out — or at least cut it down.

2. Gamify Your Progress

Sometimes health and fitness can seem pretty boring. It can be hard to stay motivated when your only motivator is getting healthier — which sometimes isn’t a good enough motivator to get you through those days of salads, treadmills, and no desserts.

A great way to add a bit of excitement to your health goals is to gamify them. There are apps that are helping to make personal goals more fun by turning them into games.

Some apps will allow you to earn points as you hit daily exercise or nutrient goals. These points might be for badges or level increases, but some might even be tangible prizes, such as coupons or free gifts.

For example, a couch-to-5K app might offer exclusive deals as you progress week by week on your personal running goals. Though, whatever your goals might be, there are bound to be apps that will make the process more fun and help motivate you to stick with them.

3. Simplifying and Diversifying

A big motivation killer — especially with the nutrition aspect of your health goals — is having to find food that is both healthy and quickly prepared. You can easily get stuck in a rut of eating the same few dishes over and over because they are quick and simple to make, and that will get boring really fast.

It’s easy to fall back on unhealthy and fast alternatives. Especially with schedules being hectic and there not being a lot of time to make a different meal every day.  This, in turn, can make you feel like you’re failing your goals.

Luckily, there are things you can do to make your daily meals healthy and convenient for you.

One option that many busy adults have turned to is prepared meal services. Companies, like Blue Apron and HelloFresh, put together kits for consumers who don’t have the time to gather ingredients and search up new and exciting recipes.

If a prepared meal service proves too expensive, you can try to incorporate food prepping into your weekly routine.

Choose a day out of your week to prep a large amount of food to be eaten over several days. You can either do the same meals every day for that week or prepare bulk ingredients that can be easily changed up for different meals.

Staying positive and motivated when trying to reach your wellness goals can be tough. Just remember that your journey is different than everyone else’s, and your progress may come at a different pace than others.

Your ultimate goal is to be healthy and feel good, and as long as you keep working at it, you are sure to find success.

Noah Rue

Noah Rue is always wondering where his next trip will take him. When he’s not traveling the world, he writes about sustainability, technology, workplace management, career development, and other interests. Noah also enjoys a good meme from time to time. You can contact him at nyarrue@gmail.com.