Contrary to what many health and fitness gurus preach, eating well and living a healthy, active lifestyle is not easy. Especially at the beginning when you are establishing your habits. It requires daily commitment, motivation, and the ability to hold yourself accountable for your decisions.
If you find yourself full of good intentions that taper off after a few weeks or even days, don’t give up in frustration just yet! There are ways to help motivate and inspire you to keep moving towards your healthy lifestyle goals.
Keep reading for my best tips, tools, and motivation tricks to help you stay on track.
Get Clear on Your Motivation
Why are you wanting to get healthier? What is the motivation behind your decision?
When setting goals, you need to make sure they are coming from an authentic part of you. Aiming for goals that someone else tells you to achieve is setting yourself up for failure.
Instead, take the time to think about why you want to make healthier food choices or exercise more. Is it to improve your general wellbeing or combat illness, keep up with your kids, or feel more confident in yourself?
Once you understand what is really motivating you, write your reasons down and read them every day. This will help to keep you on track, particularly on those days when you need a bit of extra motivation. Or even put that item of clothing that you’re desperate to fit again in a place that you see it every day will help keep you motivated.
Write It Out
Research shows that those who track their goals and progress are more likely to stick to things. Keeping a food diary can help with accountability and keep you making healthier choices, as can tracking your exercise.
Writing down your moods also helps you notice when emotional eating is triggered. Tracking how you feel physically can help you link unpleasant symptoms with bad foods – giving you more motivation to eat well!
Work on Your Staying Power
Habits take time to build. After that first week or two of being propelled by inspiration, you are going to have to rely on sheer grit and determination to propel you forward until you develop the habits you are after. At the start, those ingrained habits might seem a long way off. But, you can find solace in the knowledge that after a month or so, you will be seeing some great benefits from your healthy choices.
This also means not giving up after a mistake. If you miss one workout or eat something you shouldn’t, don’t let that knock your entire plan off the rails. Forgive yourself and get right back on the horse as soon as possible. Don’t use your misstep as an excuse to take the easy way out. I recently did a video in my free Facebook group, Healthy Eating Made Easy on “Do you have to be 100% committed, or is 80/20 ok”? I also introduced a new concept that a friend of mine shared with me which really connected with my audience, and it’s the 18/21 rule so check out that video HERE.
While it can be easy to let yourself down, it is much harder to let other people down! Join a community of people who can cheer you on and hold you accountable. You are much more likely to stick to things if you tell other people and have support. Get yourself an exercise buddy, and tell your friends and family (those that you know have your back) about your commitment to wellness.
You can also utilise the support of an online group to keep you sane and motivated. A community like the Wicked Healthy Tribe is full of like-minded people all trying to achieve their health goals. We all have bad days, but the support and encouragement of an amazing community can help to pick you back up for a fresh start tomorrow. Check out more on the Wicked Healthy Tribe which, depending on when you’re reading this is currently open new members!
Nobody knows you better than you know yourself. Only you truly understand what you need to do to quit making excuses or falling into bad habits. Perhaps you need to shop and plan your meals for the week to help you make healthy food choices and get meals into the freezer. Maybe you need to have alternative coping strategies in place for a stressful day or event. Sleep in your workout gear, have your breakfast smoothie ready to go or whatever you need to do to make those decisions simple, just prepare ahead.
Achieve the Right Mindset
A large part of success comes down to your mindset. Be very mindful when it comes to your thinking. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of how hard it is to get out of bed and exercise, think about how great you feel after a workout. Also, think about the rewards you will reap after a month of conscious healthy decisions. Getting healthy is not something you can achieve overnight, it is a long-term goal you must stick to.
Take note of how your body feels when you don’t feed it the right ingredients, then compare it to how much better you feel with filling and nutritious meals. Focus on the positive aspects of the experience and it will feed your motivation.
It is also important to understand that life can get in the way of your goals sometimes. Always have those targets in your mind so that you can keep striving towards them. But, if for whatever reason you don’t quite achieve what you wanted, look at how far you have come. Focus on who you are becoming and what you have learnt along the way. These things are worth far more than ticking a goal off a list!
As much as we all wish there were some magical switch to flick in our brains to help us stick to our goals, the truth is that it is going to take some work. The good news is that, like any muscle you work out, the ability to motivate yourself and achieve your goals can be strengthened with practice.
You also double your chances of success if you have support to rely on. We would love to see you over in the Wicked Healthy Tribe if you feel it is the right fit for you. You can read all about it here.