New research shows that people who focus on changing their surroundings - ditching the candy bowl and moving junk food out of sight - are more likely to stick to their diets than those who try to cut out dessert or drink less soda. Environmental changes are simpler to make because they don't require a lot of willpower. For instance, instead of swearing off soda, keep just one can in the fridge at a time and store the rest in your basement. Having to make a trek every time you want another one will force you to stop and think. Chances are, you'll decide the extra calories aren't worth it.
No one ever wins by believing that they can't. That's why athletes pump themselves up with positive self-talk. Repeating "I can do this" to yourself is a way to replace the negative thoughts that pop up when you're under pressure. It helps you focus on what you CAN do rather than on what you fear you can't.
With practice, you can turn your inner Eeyore into your biggest supporter. Every time your internal voice goes rogue, counter it with a cue statement-a brief phrase that shuts down the critic, such as "I'm strong and in control" or "It's not a problem." Single words like "Go" or "Relax" are also good. Experiment to find out what sticks, or arm yourself with several. Saying your cue aloud can help, as can writing it in visible spots. In time your affirmative thoughts will become automatic, heading off self-doubt before it appears.
This lifetime journey of ours always starts with just one step. It is much easier to think of things on a smaller scale (no pun intended) rather than to look at the big picture. When you realize that you have lost, say, 10 pounds - that will encourage you. If you say, instead, I still have to lose 50 pounds - you will get discouraged and might give up.
Just keep on thinking small - before you know it...you will have reached your goal!
Be your own inspiration. People who dropped pounds for personal reasons such as feeling confident were more likely to lose weight than those driven by external forces like a high school reunion. Internal incentives are more stable than surface ones. Write down your motives to read when your drive flags.