When your motivation wanes, make some small but seismic changes to your daily routine.
We all know that eating well, drinking water, and moving our bodies are key components to living a healthy, happy life. But many of us also know how difficult it is to really “stay the course” when it comes to our health and wellness practices.
If you feel like you’ve lost your motivation and are looking for ways to reconnect with your mind and body, consider layering in some of these lifestyle tweaks. While they may seem simple and straightforward, I assure you, they’ll dramatically improve your wellbeing.
Tips on how to change your lifestyle
Practice taking a break. Whether it’s through a few minutes of meditation, breathwork, light stretching, or simply going for a short walk, learning how to slow down is the first step to being able to tune-in to how your mind and body are feeling. Your version of self-care is for you, and you alone. Nothing has to be fancy or complicated, the goal is to simply slow down and listen to the messages your mind and body are trying to give you so that you can better navigate your health and wellness journey. Are you dehydrated? Do you need more sleep? Do you feel the way you want to feel? Only when you slow down are you able to get answers to critical questions like these.
2. Get clear on your goals
You need to get clear on what your priorities are because in health and wellness, as in life, it’s impossible to accomplish everything at the same time.
Do you want to lose fat?
Do you want to build muscle?
Are you interested in getting stronger and feeling like you have more energy overall?
Many people drive themselves crazy when trying to lose weight because they aren’t laser-clear on what exactly they’re working towards. All they know is that they “want to feel better”. But what does that actually mean? Setting short term and long term goals that are specific and clear is a key part of any health and wellness journey. Doing so will allow you to have something concrete to benchmark yourself against, which will keep you motivated, focused, and clear on what kind of decisions and actions you should be taking to get to where you want to go.
3. Layer in positivity
It sounds cheesy, but affirmations and positive quotes/sayings can really override your inner negative narrative. Affirmations are simply positive self-statements that, if repeated over time, convince you that they are true and, by extension, boost your self-esteem and problem-solving skills. You’re essentially tricking your mind to think differently by reinforcing what’s important to you on a regular basis. Yes you may feel a bit hokey when doing them at first, but I assure you, they’re powerful and they’ve been shown to work wonders!
Examples of affirmations that may work for you:
I have amazing potential.
Today, I focus on my health, not my weight.
Eating healthy food and exercising comes naturally to me.
4. Get organized and plan ahead
You need to make your health and wellness journey as automated as possible so that you’re not relying on your ability to make good decisions to guide you. Why? Because decision fatigue is a real thing; it’s been proven by psychologists. Willpower is like a muscle and just like the muscles in your body, it can get fatigued when you use it over and over again. So your best bet is to have a meal plan for the week ahead so that you’re not making decisions on the fly. It can also help to do meal prep in advance, whether that’s simply having groceries ready or actually cooking all your meals on Sunday. Do what works for you, but the more organized you can get, the more in-control and positive you’ll feel.
5. Find an accountability partner
Find someone to be “on the journey” with you. This person can be your spouse, your best friend, a colleague, or a workout buddy. It doesn’t matter if you’re actually working out with the person or not: all that matters is that they know you have real goals to attain and they’re committed to helping you achieve them. Life is challenging and it’s impossible to be your own cheerleader all the time. If you can find someone that is willing to have a weekly call or check-in with you, I think you’ll find that your health and wellness journey feels a lot less lonely and exhausting.
Author: Sonia Jhas is an award-winning health and fitness expert. She is a certified personal trainer, nutrition specialist, speaker and media expert, and is also an ambassador for the Canadian Mental Health Association. She is a regular contributor to Optimyz Magazine. Sonia is also one of Optimyz’ Top 100 Leaders and one of our Top 10 Power Women in Canada.