Today I’m sharing some tips on how to find your motivation to be healthy. I know it can be tough to keep motivation high, so I’m hoping these tips will help.
When you’ve decided that you want to start to make some healthy lifestyle changes, it can be tough to keep the motivation going after a few weeks. The newness has worn off and it’s tempting to go back to old habits. Below you’ll find a few tips that I’ve used to help keep my motivation up when it’s waning.
Get other people on board.
Your “team” will look different from other people’s, depending on who is in your life. Your doctor is a good start – they can give you the best advice that’s specific to your current situation. In terms of nutrition a Registered Dietitian is the perfect person to talk to you about diet if that’s something that you’re wanting to work on. Just like your doctor, they’ll be able to give you scientifically sound advice that’s specific to you. Don’t forget about your mental health! A qualified therapist is also a great option if you’re wanting to work on your mental health.
Other people you could include could be close friends that you’ve shared your desire to make changes and can encourage you, your significant other if you have one and your kids if you have them.
Plan for obstacles.
If you know Wednesday is going to be a long day at school, work, or taking care of the kids, make sure that you prep as much as you can on Tuesday so dinner is easy to make, or better yet, eat leftovers. Have a hard time getting to the gym before work? Schedule in workouts after work instead as a transition time between work and going home. Prepare for those times when you know that you’ll struggle and learn from times when you make less than healthy decisions.
I know that I’m much more motivated when I’m accountable – to myself or someone else. That’s why having a team behind you is so important. It’s much easier for me to make healthy changes if I know someone is going to ask me how it’s going. Knowing that I have plans to meet a friend at the gym in the morning means that I’ll most likely go because I don’t want to stand them up.
Using a food tracking app helps me be accountable to myself even if no one else sees it. Knowing that I’ll have to log it is enough for me to make healthier decisions. Interested in learning more about how I use My Fitness Pal? Check out this post and this post.
Ask for support.
Create your own cheering section. Share your accomplishments with people that you know will be supportive. I think just about everyone has a friend or significant other who will be so excited when they hear about the positive changes you’re making. Use that as added motivation when you’re not feeling motivated yourself. Sometimes it can be hard to see how much progress you’ve made and how much you’ve changed when you’re in the middle of it. Having someone removed from the day to day decisions is sometimes just who you need to show you how much you’ve already achieved.
Being successful at small things leads to momentum and the ability to make bigger changes. Not only do the small changes add up over time if you do them consistently, but you also give you the confidence that you can do other, bigger things as well. Focus on the positive changes you’ve made. Remind yourself how much things have already changed and use that to make further changes.
Give yourself grace.
I know that this is one thing that I really struggled with (and sometimes still do). Go into making healthy lifestyle changes knowing that you’re not going to be perfect. Life happens, plans change at the last minute, and sometimes things are out of your control. Don’t dwell on the “failures”, but instead use them as learning opportunities. Take what you’ve learned and use that in the future. Learn from it and move on. Finding your motivation to be healthy will take some time and effort.
Reflect on your day.
I like to spend a minute or two at the end of the day before falling asleep thinking about how the day went. What positive and healthy decisions did I make? There’s probably more of them than I realized. Where could I have improved? How can I use what I learned from those situations and make better choices in the future?
It doesn’t have to be a long and involved process if you don’t want it to me. Checking in with myself and spending a bit of time reflecting on how my day went really helps. Maybe you’d rather jot down a few things in a journal at the beginning or end of the day. Use what works for you.
How do you find your motivation to be healthy? Tell me about your tips in the comments below.