We’ve come such a long way toward reaching this physical – and philanthropic – goal, and it’s been fantastic! We’ve learned a lot, including what the experts SELF know – that you can train your brain to bring better-body results. Here are some final tips for keeping the progress going from here on out.
See the finish line. Before starting a new routine, write down one or two big-picture reasons you're doing it. Whether you want to look hot in a bikini or finish a marathon, when you get to a difficult point in your regimen, you will draw stick-with-it motivation from visualizing success.
Set mini-goals. When you lace up your shoes, decide exactly what you want to accomplish that day. An objective can be as simple as making it through a tough class or as specific as wanting to lift X more pounds than you did last week. Small, repeated successes will help you stay committed to your long-term plan.
Zero in on the muscle. Letting your mind drift while jogging can be a good thing, but during strength training it might mean diminished results because your form may slip. Think about the targeted muscle, squeeze it before you release and envision how you want it to look.
Tweak your self-talk. Your body won't do something unless your brain tells it to. If you start thinking, I can't run up this hill, your body listens. Negativity is like rocks in a backpack. It slows you down. To fight self-doubt, spin the truth: Instead of cursing the hill, think, This hill is hard, but I'm getting better with each step, and eventually they will all feel easier.
Give credit where it's due. When you have a great workout session, it's not luck or a fluke. As you drive home or rinse off in the shower, remind yourself that you were successful because you've been pushing yourself harder or eating better or staying more focused. Knowing you are in control of the outcome keeps you motivated and striving to do your best.