If you feel like your motivation to live a healthy lifestyle is slipping, follow these tips to refuel your fire to achieve the good health you deserve!
Making lifestyle changes to reach any health goal requires focus and planning. Most people begin a healthy lifestyle program with a lot of excitement and motivation to make changes to achieve their ultimate health goal. Whether your goal is to lose weight, eliminate digestive problems, or improve another health issue, getting started seems to be the easy part.
Good results usually fuel your motivation to continue on your healthy lifestyle journey. However, some people can become fatigued with following the new lifestyle and begin to revert to old habits. Here are 10 tips to keep your head in the game when you feel like you need a boost in motivation:
1. Write down WHY you started this health journey and HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL once you have achieved your health goal. Post this where you can see it. Here are a few examples:
"I started this weight loss program so I could have more energy, fit better in my clothes, have more confidence in myself, and be more physically fit to do the things that I want to do in life."
"I started this gut health program so that I could be confident in my food choices and get rid of the constant bloating, digestive discomfort, and irregular bowel habits that just stress me out. I want my digestive health to feel normal again."
"I started this nutrition program so that I could have more energy, get rid of the brain fog, sleep better at night, and reduce my risk for disease later in life."
2. Set weekly SMART goals. Write them down, don’t just keep them in your head.
Specific – Every goal must be specific (i.e., “I will workout 5 days per week in the morning” instead of “I will exercise more.”)
Measurable – Every goal must be measurable (i.e., “I will eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily” instead of “I will eat more fruits and vegetables.”)
Attainable – Is your goal attainable? If not, reset the goal.
Relevant – Is your goal relevant to achieving the desired health outcome?
Time-bound – Set a deadline for each goal.
3. Involve a friend in your new lifestyle.
Schedule a weekly walk with a friend.
Meet a friend at a smoothie bar or healthy restaurant.
Talk to a friend if you’re feeling stressed about something…it’s healthier than grabbing a cookie or a glass of wine.
4. Try a new activity or workout. This is not only good for your fitness, but it can also prevent you from getting bored with your current activity plan.
5. Try some new recipes. You may be getting bored with the ones you’ve been using.
6. Set up periodic rewards for accomplishing your goals. Consider scheduling a massage, manicure, or create your own “spa” experience at home with a warm bath and candles. Other rewards may include going to a movie, sporting event, or concert.
7. Practice mindful eating. Continue to talk to yourself about your food choices. Remind yourself that healthy foods will fuel your path towards the health goal that you are striving to achieve.
8. Check your surroundings to make sure they support your healthy lifestyle.
Is your refrigerator stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables?
Is your freezer stocked with frozen fruits and veggies for smoothies or quick side dishes and soups when you’re in a pinch.
Have any junk foods sneaked back into your pantry? Get rid of the temptation.
Do you have workout clothes and shoes to continue to support your activity?
9. Track your food intake and/or activity. It can be very motivating to see what you’ve accomplished and creates accountability for yourself.
10. Forgive yourself when you don’t meet a goal, recognize why, and move forward in your health journey. Many people give up if they have a bad week. Don’t give up! Everyone has a bad week every now and then. Success occurs when you get back on track, or at least plan a date when you will get back on track, and follow through.
Motivation is NOT something you have, or don’t have. Motivation is something you can create within yourself at any point in time. It is simply a decision to make specific choices in order to reach a goal. The choice is yours. You have the power to make it happen!
At any point in your journey, if you get off track, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. The Kirkman Nutrition practice holds a philosophy of no judgement, but rather a willingness to help people achieve the better health they deserve.