We all know what we’re supposed to do. Eat right, exercise, keep our BMI in the right zone and get regular checkups. Taking proper care of ourselves is the key to staying healthy. So, why is something so obviously good for us, so hard to do for so many of us?
The answer lies in two words: Motivation & Dedication.
It is often simple to get started on a new plan. You map it out. You make promises. But, ultimately getting fit, staying healthy and sticking to that plan is very difficult. It takes motivation and then, dedication to keep taking good care of yourself. Here are 5 ways to stay motivated and keep that dedication strong.
Smart Small, Win Big
Studies have shown that typically a plan to get healthy fails because we take on too much at once. A sedentary person suddenly puts in the goal to run 5 miles or a binge-carb eater gives up all carbohydrates at once. Too much, too soon will shock the system and allow for quick failure. A better program, one that keeps you dedicated to your plan, is to start gradually and increase as you can. Instead of running 5 miles and running out of steam, opt to just walk for 30 minutes, 3 times a week. Instead of stopping all carbs, decrease your intake to cut out one meal of carbs a day. Don’t make yourself any more promises than that. Once you’ve accomplished your small goals, it’s easy to then increase your plan to offer more time or more regularity. Starting small will keep you motivated by attaining tiny goals and then keep you dedicated, as you feel accomplished.
Make Life More Fun
So often we look at getting healthy as a chore. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. It’s time consuming. What if you change the mindset and choose something you enjoy. If you hate the treadmill, stop pretending you’ll love it. Switch up your routines and include fun. Dancing? Gardening? Cooking light? Whatever it is that motivates you to keep wanting more – that’s what you should be implanting into a healthy lifestyle. If a gym isn’t for you, you won’t want to go. Go outside, if that’s your thing, and love getting healthy again.
Time Is Money
We’re all so incredibly busy these days. We don’t make time to do those things that are most important to our health. We make excuses to avoid them. But, what if we implement a Time is Money mentality with a reward? If you’ve taken time for your health this week, danced for 20 minutes a day, eaten healthier, made that trip to the doctor you’ve been putting off for weeks, reward yourself. Get a manicure, take a trip to the grocery and pick out your avoided treat. Make getting healthier a priority that pays off.
What If Fear Steps In?
Inevitably it happens. You worked hard to implement changes and maybe you don’t see great results. Yet. Sometimes changes don’t actually ‘change our lives’ they just change a little piece of it. Sometimes, not so much at all. Trying change is a risk well worth taking. Research guarantees that you won’t have regrets for trying to implement those changes in the first place. Even an attempt at changing your life counts. Pat yourself on the back and keep trying new things. Do research on what works, what doesn’t for others. Seek out a coach or a friend and examine why your attempt didn’t work best for you. Learning through trial and error is often one of our best motivators. Because ultimately, when it does work – it feels great.
You’re Human, Remember?
One reason we often give up on making changes in our lives is because of the setback. You stuck with the change for a few weeks and then, bam, life got in the way. You didn’t get to the gym, you ate like garbage all week long. You skipped out on that visit to the doctor. Now you’re disappointed with yourself and lack motivation or dedication to get moving forward again. This is a great time to remind yourself that you’re human. It’s perfectly normal and acceptable that life would sometimes get in the way. Be proud of the accomplishment you made prior and give yourself a break, don’t give up. Re-motivate yourself to continue the change where you left off by making a list of all of some of the goals you’ve already met – no matter how small. Remember, small changes, big wins. Creating a new life plan, implanting change and getting healthy isn’t easy, but it is worth it. As British Playwright, Tom Stoppard once said “A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” Start your change today!
Until Next Time,
Stay Happy & Healthy,