Motivation Articles

Be Your Own Cheerleader

12 Ways to Build a Support System--and Be Your Own!

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It can be tough to stay motivated when it comes to weight-loss and fitness goals. Why else do so many people make the same New Year's resolutions year after year? If motivation flits in and out of your life, don't worry—there are ways to make it a constant companion rather than a fickle friend.

One of those ways is to have a solid network of friends and family that knows about your goals and supports you in all that you want to accomplish. But what if your network is in another state, on another coast, or even in another country? Or what if your loved ones just aren't supportive as you'd like them to be? The good news is that with a little know-how, you can put together a support system that will work for you—or become your own cheerleader!

12 Ways to Stay Motivated On Your Own

1. Give yourself a pep talk. Remember Jessica, the self-affirming Internet sensation? Sure, her self-pep talk is silly and cute, but she's wise beyond her years and that positivity is infectious. Channel your inner Jessica and set aside a minute every day to let the positivity flow; write down (or say aloud) everything that you like about yourself and your life, and use that minute to reaffirm why you want to meet your goals. You may feel silly at first, but it's harder to feel unmotivated when you're literally cheering yourself on!


2. Find some virtual buddies. Technology makes it easier than ever to connect with like-minded people—and it doesn't matter where they live! Online communities (like SparkPeople) can be great resources for support and tips. Chat on message boards about topics from diet and nutrition to exercise and fitness. There's even a SparkPeople message board purely for discussing motivation. SparkTeams narrow down the focus even more, so click around and to find a good fit for you and your goals.


3. Surround yourself with success. It may be said that misery loves company, but it should be that success loves company. Why are weight-loss reality shows so popular? Because viewers can see that other people have overcome obstacles on the way to achieving their goals. Success stories can be great for lifting you up and revving up that motivation when it's lacking, and reading that someone else had the same problem and pushed through can help you push through the hard times, too. SparkPeople's own success gallery can provide a quick motivational pick-me-up and remind you of the reasons you're taking control of your health and fitness.
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About The Author

Erin Whitehead Erin Whitehead
is a health and fitness enthusiast who co-founded the popular website FitBottomedGirls.com and co-wrote The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (available May 2014). Now busier than ever with two kids, she writes about healthy pregnancy and parenting at FitBottomedMamas.com.

Member Comments

  • Every time I get motivate I akways end up hurting myself some kind of way. This time I strain my back. Next week I will be back again. - 10/30/2013 1:54:34 PM
  • SEDONACOLE
    I loved the post, and the best way I found to get what I want is to visualize myself already having it, NOW. I learned that once I make a 'decision' to have whatever it is, that visualizing it feels natural and I know I'm on the right path. I learned that little trick from the online coaching folks at www.FTRnation.com (It stands for Free Thinking Renegades, which about sums it up!). I also found having a coach also helped, lol!! God bless :) - 7/5/2013 12:23:10 AM
  • I like the idea of throwing a dollar into a jar and buying something good with them after they accumulate. Sometimes I treat myself without there being much reason, and the treat in itself isn't that good for me. 30 days of exercise = $30 (or 30,000 won in my case) to spend on something healthy sounds like a nice reward.

    I also like the idea of engraving the date of an accomplishment onto a piece of jewelry for some reason. I'm not a big jewelry person but whenever I accomplish my weight loss goal, heck yeah, I'll take a bracelet with the date engraved on it to not only reward myself to remind me to keep my weight at that goal. - 7/2/2013 4:07:06 AM
  • Great article! there are a lot of good tips and although I read other articles on motivation before I got some new ideas. thank you. - 7/2/2013 2:59:07 AM
  • GREENVALLEYS
    Great ideas, my favorite is pay yourself. - 5/22/2013 6:28:12 PM
  • I clicked on this because it said "How to motivate yourself when no one else will", I think that would resonate with a lot of people trying to lose weight...then it opened and I was totally turned off by "Be your own cheerleader"... sadly patting myself on the back isn't going to do anything for me. Also, anything that requires other people to be my support in order for me to be motivated isn't going to work either...

    I'd like to see a real article on how to motivate yourself...in the meantime I'll go back to reading success stories, because that does give me a little motivation... - 5/22/2013 5:16:39 PM
  • I have had a couple of miserble weeks latley and when I read turn your pet into your work out buddy I laughed. I have a 20lb cat that has been on a vet ordered diet for 3 years, and getting him to move is a exersize in it self. A exersize in futillity!! I imaginedtrying to take him on a walk and it just made my day! - 7/25/2012 7:08:14 PM
  • POOKYBOTTOMS
    I use to be an awesome self motivator, but somehow it all just disappeared and i cant stay motivated no longer than a couple days. - 7/24/2012 12:28:44 PM
  • I know what I want and I am learning more each day about what it takes to push through failure. So when I think I can not do any more...I try one more minute....Yes I am my own booster club!! - 7/23/2012 9:49:00 PM
  • This is a great article. When it comes to weight loss, we can be our own worst enemy or our own best friend. My biggest support system is my Spark Teams. I share experiences with my Spark Friends and always know they will encourage me, support me, give me a hug when I need one, and never judge me. I am also rewarding myself along the way - only this time not with food! - 7/23/2012 12:59:24 PM
  • BAMAJAM
    Just want to add that being on your own can be a clear advantage. You are not tempted by others bringing food/snacks/goodi
    es---into your home. You can schedule walks whenever you choose if you do not have the obligations of providing care for others in your home. It will take self-control and discipline, necessary for any accomplishment in life..., but have determination to attain good health! - 7/23/2012 12:22:51 PM
  • The weight loss challenge we have at work can be a good motivation but this Spark site is the best motivation that I have had in a long time. I quit smoking six years ago on a cessation site so I have every belief if used right this will take the weight off and help me to be healthier. - 7/23/2012 10:53:22 AM
  • I need the extra motivation to keep me on track now that I have reached my goals. Friends look to me for advice and I use this as motivation. I have to follow my own advice and stay active and fit. I love all the advice Spark people gives, but I have to put in the work too. I am going to seek out new ways to motivate my self and others!!! - 7/23/2012 10:46:17 AM
  • I found it rather motivating when my doctor said that if I lost another 20 pounds I might be able to stop taking blood pressure medication. - 7/23/2012 8:58:51 AM
  • AWESOMEKATY
    I just started a team called The Peppy Party which is all about cheering on its fellow members and yourself! If anyone is interested I hope it'll be a great way to pep some people up and keep spirits high!! It's worked so far! - 7/23/2012 7:33:31 AM