No matter what age you and if you’re feeling like you’ve been neglecting yourself, stressed, burnt out or not the best version of yourself it’s never too soon or too late to start a healthy lifestyle.
Practice Self Care
I want to start first with self care. This is taking care of your mind, soul and body. This is the basis for everything else I cover here and doing this will help make all of the pieces fall together easier.
Self care isn’t just a single activity. It encompasses everything else on the list below. It means that you practice self care daily and make it a priority. When you do this you have energy and the mindset to tackle everything that comes your way.
There are many ways you can practice self care, meditating, eating nutritious meals, exercising daily or making sure you find a quiet time every day among others. Pick things that you enjoy doing that are healthy.
When you start and get in the habit of living a healthier life, you will reap a lot of benefits. Not just your body but your mind and soul as well.
Starting a healthy lifestyle is easy but sustaining it is where the real challenge lies. Think back to all of those New Year’s Resolutions you made like going to the gym, eating healthier and giving up sugar. You began with good intentions and somehow life got in the way and you stopped doing them.
There are always lots of excuses to skip doing things that you know are healthy. So next time procrastination rears its ugly head or that voice inside of you starts telling you can’t or shouldn’t here’s 10 ways to motivate yourself.
1. Have Written Goals
Start small and add more goals as you make progress. Don’t try to do it all at once. It takes time to turn them into habits. Try creating queues that remind you to do something from your goal list daily.
For example if you want to exercise daily lay out your clothes the night before and them put them on the next morning as a queue to exercise.
2. Have a vision board.
Practicing the law of attraction and having a vision board is another powerful tool to keep you motivated. Put it where you can see it first thing and during the day as a reminder of your goals.
Include photos of your goal and any motivational words or images. Fill your board with meaningful cues.
Look at it daily, even multiple times a day and whenever you feel like you are slipping back to your old habits, as a reminder of what you really want. This will help keep you working towards your dream.
3. Focus on one new habit at a time
As I mentioned in #1, you want to start small and work your way to adding more goals.
Who hasn’t tried piling on a bunch of goals at once and then didn’t accomplishing anything?
This is why it is important to choose one new habit/goal and work on achieving before adding another one from your list.
Start small and focus your willpower on one goal and you’ll have a higher chance for success.
4. Break Down Your Goals
If you have a big goal you want to achieve, it can be overwhelming. One way to get out of overwhelm and into action is to break it down into smaller victories (smaller goals). Doing this will give you the motivation to keep moving forward.
Choose to do the easiest task first before hurdling the big ones.
I highly recommend reading the book by Darren Hardy called the Compound Effect – it’s all about how smaller action steps keep you moving forward and add up into big achievements.
5. Get an Accountability Partner
If you feel you need help/support to keep moving forward, find a friend and ask for their help.
Ask them to support you when achieving your goals is getting tough to remind you of your goals. Maybe ask them to join you on your journey towards a healthy lifestyle.
You can also celebrate your milestones together.
It’s smart to declare your mission out loud. The more people who know about your goals, the more you are likely to stick to your plan.
6. Build the awareness habit.
Self-awareness or being aware of who and what you are is a good tool to facilitate behavioural change. When starting a habit, we have to know our weaknesses and conquer them before they conquer us. This takes a lot of mindfulness, willpower and dedication, but once we become acutely aware of it, we are well on our way to success. It is difficult to admit where we have possibly fallen short of our goals. We end up making up excuses for our behaviours. Get out of your comfort zone, know your weaknesses and your contributions then learn and grow from it. Find time at the end of each day to reflect and meditate on how you can improve yourself.
7. Link new habits with old ones.
Habits that you are already successful at can help you to establish new ones.
When you link new habits to old ones, it is easier to remember the new ones..
An example of this would be drinking water before you sit down to eat a healthy meal. Another example is to meditate daily when you wake up in the morning.
8. Practice the 5-second rule.
Why the 5 second rule? You want to get started right away on a new habit because if you don’t, your primal brain will kick in with all of the reasons why not to do it…procrastination, overthinking, feeling overwhelmed or tired.
A very helpful tool is to set up an urge jar so anytime your brain kick in and you overcome the negative thoughts and do the habit you add a glass bead to an urge jar. You can find out the details why this really works at theLife Coach School Podcast Episode #263[
9. Commit at least 60 days to building a new habit
When you are building new habits, commit to at least 60 days. Many people believe that it takes 21 to 30 days.
According to habit expert James Clear it takes on average, more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.
Do not worry if you mess up. His studies also show that missing or skipping a day or two will not affect your habit forming process.
10. Add rewards to the process
Add some fun into building your new habits by rewarding yourself.
Say you are building a healthier eating practice. You can reward yourself with a cheat day where you can eat what you want.
Don’t go crazy with the rewards and resist the normal tendency to be hard on yourself.
11: Use daily reminders to initiate behaviour.
This can be in the form of written goals, a vision board or a friend. There are also apps available to help remind you of your goals and record your achievements.
Create a routine.
on the other hand, is the consistent action you take to create a behavioural change.
Focus on how you feel.
Self awareness is powerful. Take a few moments daily to reflect on what you’ve done and how you feel is a great way to keep in touch with the positive effect living a healthy lifestyle has on you.
Use any or all of these tips to help get you going and keep you on track to a healthy lifestyle.