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Make Over Your Motivation

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Week 4: Solidify Changes

Stick-with-It Strategies for Week 4 Think back.

List all the changes you've made in the previous three weeks and star the ones that have been easiest to maintain. Is bypassing booze something you can keep up forever? What about working out every day? Modify any changes that are proving difficult (hit the gym four times a week, not seven!) and keep only the ones you can live with permanently, Zied suggests.

Create an exercise alter ego.

"Calling yourself a runner, swimmer, or cyclist can make it easier to stick with the activity because it's now part of your identity," Chambliss says. You'll be less likely to blow off exercise sessions, as fitness is no longer simply a means to a weight-loss end; it is the end. Reinforce your new, athletic persona by surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Start a biking group (try or join a running club (go to to find one near you).

Plan for real life.

Let's face it, sometimes you're going to pig out on kung pao chicken or skip your date with the stairclimber. Slip-ups are inevitable; it's how you respond that matters. "Feeling strong enough to get back on the wagon right away is empowering," Zied says. Don't beat yourself up over those egg rolls; go through your takeout menus and highlight five healthy options. Set up a plan B for no-gym days, even if it's as simple as running around the block or doing lunges and squats in your living room.

Believe in yourself.

Borrow a page from a kids' book and chant, "I think I can!" when your willpower reserves run low. Sounds cheesy, but it can make the difference between powering to the top of the hill on your a.m. run and wimping out. Newbie exercisers who strongly believed in their ability to succeed were most likely to still be exercising one year later, according to research from Miriam Hospital in Providence. So leave your no-can-do attitude in the dust and hit the road to a better body for life.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2010

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a3984502 wrote:

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1/31/2012 02:50:30 AM Report Abuse
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1/13/2012 04:06:16 PM Report Abuse
franring1 wrote:

Dear 60- You can do it! I'm71 and have lost 20lbs in the last few months. Only 10 more to go. Slow and steady wins the race! Health and enjoying life make it really worth it.

8/4/2011 07:39:09 PM Report Abuse
juststuff4 wrote:

The Print option is the right-most icon in the row below the article title.

1/4/2011 02:34:41 PM Report Abuse
jcforhisglory30 wrote:

Dear "60" - I'm right with you but we can do this. Instead of jumping in with both feet I am going to take their suggestions on making small changes in eating, behavior, excercise. Forget your weight - think in terms of "health". I am a cancer survivor who gained a lot of weight with chemo but never lost it. 2011 is our YEAR!!!

1/4/2011 06:21:05 AM Report Abuse

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