6 Ways to Stay Motivated for Wellness
Starting something new, such as a new fitness program or developing a personal/professional goal, can be a little scary and intimidating. Even scarier is deciding to make a change on a negative behavior or habit, such as modifying unhealthy eating habits or deciding to quit smoking.
Many of us have heard that taking the first ‘step’ is always the hardest part and I will certainly agree with that concept – to a point. But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that once we take that first, HUGE, gigantic step, that the rest of the journey will be gravy, because the reality is… it’s not. At all! In fact, some of us would argue that the first step was really kind of easy and the hardest part is actually staying motivated.
Personally I find that staying motivated for fitness and exercise is not a problem for me. In fact, it’s my stress reliever. Otherwise, I can become quite a grumpy butt if I don’t do it. So to avoid this, I make exercise a part of my daily routine because I can literally see and feel the benefits of it. On the other hand, if you add some very cold wintry days or some nasty rain into the mix (which means I can’t be outside in the beautiful Lowcountry), then this is when I really have to dig deep to find some extra motivation.
So, to help you along your journey with your new goal or habit, here are 6 ways to help you find your mojo – I mean, motivation.
- What’s the ultimate goal or benefit?
What are you trying to accomplish? Increase your flexibility? Run with your kids or run a marathon? Lose 20 pounds? Reduce stress? Improve your cholesterol numbers? Get off medication? Whatever your end goal, establish it and then think about what it will take to get there. Post this goal or new habit in your bathroom, kitchen, your office and wherever you visit frequently. That way it is staring you in the face as a constant reminder.
- Start small
Now that you have your ultimate target established, set up mini benchmarks and make sure they are realistic. Want to improve your flexibility? Then start with 2-3 basic stretches and work on them each night. Monitor your progress over the next few weeks. Over time, add some harder stretches or hold them longer. As you improve, add some variety and watch your progress.
- Make it fun!
We all like to have fun and your idea of fun may be different from mine so whatever it looks like to you, do it! If it helps you to get motivated wearing a brightly colored shirt, shorts or shoes to exercise, then do it. Maybe taking a local cooking class to learn how to cook healthy meals with some of your friends will make the transition to healthier eating habits not only fun for you, but also for them. Here are a few options in Charleston – Southern Seasons, or Charleston Cooks.
- Find inspirational or success stories
Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, find a person who has or is in the process of doing the same thing. Instagram is one of my favorite apps/places to find success stories because many of the ‘trends’ or ‘explore posts’ sections are already based on similar people you follow. Honestly, there are some amazing people out there doing some really incredible things and those who are doing them despite their limitations or adversities are my heroes. And watching these people succeed – Wow, THAT’S my motivation.
- Recognize your progress
If you need to do a fancy dance with loud music every time you meet one of your benchmark goals, then by all means, shake those tail feathers. Never be afraid to cheer for yourself when you’ve worked really hard because you deserve it. And always celebrate even the tiniest of wins because his means you are one more step closer to a healthier lifestyle and improved wellness.
- Be kind to yourself
Last but not least. Be kind to yourself and be glad for what you’ve been able to accomplish so far. Yes, you will slip. Yes, you will have hard days and you will definitely have bad days when you feel very unmotivated. So, when that happens, give yourself a break and re-evaluate. Start fresh the next day and just keep going. It’s ok.
Pursuing health and wellness, or any goal for that fact, is not an easy journey. But it’s not supposed to be easy when you first start and that’s because you are learning or relearning a new habit or skill. The good news is, after a while, almost without knowing it, this new skill becomes a habit and that’s when the real fun begins.
Have a great way to stay motivated? Tell us so we can share with others.