Self Motivation. How to find it. How to keep it!
Have you noticed how often we’re bombarded with adverts, articles, posts or visuals of new diets, new exercises, healthy this, skinnier that? You read your friends’ posts and wonder “how do they stay so active?” Let’s help you find that self motivation for a healthy lifestyle and keep it for good.
The truth is we all have our ups and downs, moments of motivation and moments of lethargy. Just as everything on earth, and the earth itself, all humans function in waves. We can read as many motivational Instagram and FB posts and that usually sparks a thought or a feeling but likely only lasts a few seconds. So the question is how do we stay motivated all day every day?
This isn’t an article on losing weight but rather an article of how we can self motivate ourselves to become healthier. In that quest to become healthier we tend to look in many different directions for an easy answer. We look to diets and workout plans and virtually anything to get on us on the right path but the real underlying ingredient we need to discover and continuously tap into to find a healthier mind and body is self motivation. Without self motivation we wouldn’t accomplish many things in life. So how do we keep that motivation and constantly apply it to our health?
Self motivation kicks in every once in a while and we tell ourselves, often in the new year, “right….this time I’m going to do it. I’m going to eat better, workout, stop all vices and stick to it” but a few weeks down the road and it’s back to those same bad habits. The following are five easy ways we can find self motivation and keep it for life.
Research shows that in order to set a good habit, or break a bad one, the new behaviour must be executed 21-23 days consistently. So in order to set a good healthy lifestyle habit we have to do the following for at least that amount of time, and ideally longer. The longer you practice a good habit the more engrained it becomes. The transformation of an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy lifestyle requires time and patience.
We’ll start with the most effective key points first for those of you skimming through this article whilst at work, or on the train or queueing at the bank teller.
- Visuals. We’re bombarded with images all day, why not create your own visuals to motivate yourself? Take your camera or phone and every single morning take two seconds to take a selfie of yourself. Yes, that’s right a selfie. If your goal is to lose weight or gain weight, take one wearing very little. Sounds narcissistic and it is but we’ll use that to our advantage and NO you do not have to “share” your selfie with anyone. Simply keep that photo for yourself and without fail take one every single morning for at least a month. Every morning when you take your selfie look at the previous one and compare. This will stay a constant reminder in your brain as you go about your day and at the end of the month do your own before/after photos. You be the judge!
- Set and share your goal(s). One way we know for a fact goals can be achieved more expediently is by setting and sharing your goal(s) with everyone you know. Everyone! At work? Tell your co-worker. At home? Tell your family. Just met someone or made a new friend? Setting a goal and sharing them is the best way to achieve them. Why? Because whom better to keep you accountable than your friends, family and acquaintances. Once you share your goals ask a few of those people to call you, text you, tweet you and FB you everyday with one question “What steps did you take today toward your goal(s)?” Accountability is strong and a fail-proof way to stay motivated. Always, the first person that will stray you from your goals is you. Therefore share, share, share your healthy goals and you’ll see you’ll get there before you know it.
- Take inventory in your kitchen and have your kitchen work for you. Restaurants do it. Cafés do it. Why not us? Go into that refrigerator and go into your pantry and cupboards once a month and write down everything you have. Inevitably you’ll throw stuff away, stuff that you know you don’t need nor should eat. Start anew. Start with a blank slate. Break it down to the essentials. Simply, anything that is packaged and can last for more than a week or two you shouldn’t eat. Things like crisps, biscuits, packaged cereals, jellies, sauces, packaged soups etc. All these items have preservatives and usually are chalk full of sugars, sodium and fats. You don’t need any of that as you transform your lifestyle into a healthy one. Buy fresh produce and stick to those for a month. Yes, this will force you to cook more at home but you’ll notice your healthy lifestyle results in a matter of days not weeks or months if you do this. It’s your kitchen’s way of holding you accountable and motivating you toward your healthy goal. There are unlimited choices of delicious treats, we’ll be sharing some ideas for healthy options to sweeten your tooth as well. 🙂
- Cook at home! Now rather than diving into every FB post about the Kardashians dive into healthy recipe sites. Here’s a great one Minimalist Baker. Find great recipes and attempt to make them at home. Look at it this way, you’ll burn calories because you’re having to “work” for your food. Sign up for the newsletters to all those healthy sites and you’ll receive constant email reminders of your goal(s), thus keeping you motivated. It makes a great difference and will give you the building blocks to your new self motivating healthy lifestyle.
- Just move! Lastly, move that body. Move that bum up down and all around. Doesn’t matter what type of exercise you enjoy just move and make it a point to move every day. Studies have shown that simply cleaning you house or flat for an hour burns just as many calories as running on the treadmill for 30 – 45 minutes, and you’ll be left with a clean house. That’s a win win! So make the habit of actively moving 30 to 60 minutes a day. Do this for a month and it will become a good habit, and you’ll feel guilty the days you’re not active. This is one of those rare occasions where guilt actually feeds into that self motivation and ultimately does us some good.
Putting these 5 steps into practise will guarantee you a concrete self-motivating healthy lifestyle. The more steps you enact at once, the stronger your self motivation will become. With new healthy habits and a strong self-motivation you’ll feel unstoppable. This feeling will transcend into other aspects of your life and next thing you know everything will be going your way. So, try it! What do you have to lose?
At Sky Pilates and Yoga we’re all about goals, goal setting and helping you find your path to healthy living.