Many of us (most of us?!?) would like to work out consistently and eat healthy, nutritious meals. All too often, though, a lack of motivation derails our plans. Fortunately for us, Guest Author Julia Chang is here to take us step by step from demotivated to successful. She presents us with four rock-solid changes we must make in order to get motivated to workout and eat healthily.
The big takeaway? Self-understanding is the key – read on, and you’ll understand just what I mean.
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How to Motivate Yourself to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
Exercise. Eat healthy. Sleep well. Drink plenty of water. Journal. Mediate.
We all know these are actions we should strive to implement in our daily lives. However, after what feels like a lifetime of habits, steering the ship in a new direction can prove to be very difficult.
Bodily changes, lifestyle and even our past play a huge role in our health and fitness journey. Our genetic predisposition, DNA, and blood type are also reasons that can affect our health and wellness. No matter what’s going on, you can rest assured knowing these things can’t hold you back from taking action to embarking on your health and fitness journey!
Here are 4 proven tips on how to get motivated to start living healthy, no matter where you are in life!
Tip #1: Mindset Matters
Before starting a new fitness or nutrition regimen, it’s important to take note of our mindset.
What is your current mindset about healthy living? Is it something you dread? Do you wish so badly to make changes, but can’t figure out how? Do you have fears that are holding you back?
Before you build a house, you have to lay a strong foundation. Otherwise, you’re building a house of cards. The same goes with our health and fitness. Our strong foundation is our mindset.
We all have limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are false beliefs we believe are true. They’re essentially lies we tell ourselves that hold us back from reaching our true potential.
Can you relate to any of these limiting beliefs?
- I don’t have time
- I am not a morning person
- I always fail when I try this
- I could never do that
- I’m too old for that
- I’m too fat for that
- I am not cut out for this
- No one in my family is athletic, I have bad genetics
- I like junk food too much
- I’m not strong
- I’m not a fast runner
- I don’t deserve it
- I don’t have the willpower to accomplish this
- Any change I make will be minor, and barely noticeable
- This is going to be just like the last time I tried and failed
Once you recognize and write down your limiting beliefs, you have to change them into positive statements. This takes a little bit of practice to do, but once you’re on a roll, you’ll see how easy it is to change fixed statements into growth statements!
“I’m not strong” can be changed into “I’m not strong now, but with consistent workouts and proper nutrition, I know I will become stronger”.
Turn all your limiting beliefs into positive statements.
Then keep the positive statements where you can read them daily, like your bathroom mirror, office wall, or fridge.
Tip #2: Dig Deep to Find Your Why
Find your why. It’s common advice. Yet, finding your why takes more work than throwing out a quick reason of why you want to get healthy.
Fitting into that dress or wanting to be energetic are not deep enough reasons. To put kindly, if those reasons were strong enough to keep you motivated daily, you’d be well on your journey.
Finding your why means addressing past pains. It’s never fun to do but it is a must-do. Find a quiet space with no distractions. Keep pen and paper handy.
Ask yourself why you want to get healthy and fit.
From there, peel back the layers one-by-one. Be prepared to open doors you’ve shut. If things get emotional, you’re on the right track. It may take a few hours, a few days or even a few weeks of you revisiting this topic to really gain a clear understanding of what your why is.
Once you find your why, you’ll realize it goes much deeper than your initial reason of wanting to fit into that dress or have more energy.
For many, the process of finding your why is healing.
Once you find your why, remind yourself of it often and hold onto it. On the days you’re exhausted, had a bad day or just don’t feel like doing anything, you’ll be motivated to continue because you have your strong why.
Tip #3: Proper Goal Setting
Fitting into a dress or wanting more energy are surface-level goals. It’s a great starting place, but just like finding your why, you want to get more specific.
If you want more energy, what are you going to do to get there?
How many days a week will you workout?
What healthy meals will you prepare throughout the week to increase your energy?
Timeline for taking action and seeing even the slightest change?
How will you track your progress?
Does this goal make sense for your life right now?
Do you feel you can achieve this goal?
Are you excited about this?
Follow the SMART system for goal-setting. Make sure your goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Tip #4: Target Your Fears
Fear is a natural defense mechanism.
We are wired to feel fear. Think back to caveman days – life-or-death circumstances activated our fear instincts. Present-day threats may not be as fatal, however the wiring of our brains have remained the same.
When we are about to start something new, our brain wants to protect us and minimize risk.
Though starting a new fitness program or nutrition plan is a very good idea, if we aren’t already living that lifestyle, it is considered a change. And remember, our brains are wired to see change as a risk. And with risk comes all the reasons why we shouldn’t start these new habits.
Ever tell yourself you’ll start on Monday, or after the holidays, or after a vacation? Procrastination is a form of your natural defense mechanism.
- Strategies to Build Unshakeable Self-Confidence
- Supercharge Your Self-Confidence
- How to Get Your Motivation Back When It Disappears
- The Secret of Getting Ahead is Getting Started
- Myths About Confidence it’s Time to Stop Believing
- Learn This to Increase Self-Esteem, by Julia Chang, Harford County Living
Final Thoughts on How to Motivate Yourself to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
The good news is that we can also teach our brain to associate the new lifestyle habits as a reward, thus creating good feelings. The more good feelings we feel, the more likely we will stick to our healthy habits and come back for more!
This is how healthy habits are created!
Getting motivated sounds tough, but with a few important items in place, you’ll be showing up yourself daily in no time!
* Before starting any fitness and nutrition program, please consult your doctor.