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If living a healthy lifestyle was easy, we’d all be at our dream weight, easily jogging around the neighborhood, and rising above the stress in our lives. We’d never be sick, and we’d live long healthy high-quality lives. Maybe there’d even be flying puppy dogs and money trees, too in this perfect world.
But living healthy isn’t easy. And that’s putting it mildly.
In fact, around 69% of adults in the US are considered overweight or obese. This is quite alarming, since it raises the risk for many diseases and health complications. Of course none of this is new to you, as talk of the “obesity” epidemic is everywhere. But don’t stop reading! I promise that’s all I’m going to say about it.
So, the big question is, how do those others pull off their successes in living healthy? I’ll tell you. It isn’t really a secret, though knowing the answer doesn’t make it any easier. It all comes down to motivation.
Motivation is by far the most significant predictor of whether you’ll be successful at living a healthy lifestyle. It’s the key to creating change for the better, and then also maintaining that change over time. It gets tricky, though, when someone wants change, yet their choices don’t actually reflect that. Say for example, you’re watching your calories, but at a party still go back to the buffet table 2 or even 3 more times. That shows a disconnect between motivation and your actions.
How do I get my motivation and my actions in sync?
According to my favorite Sports Psychologist Dr. Jim Taylor, you’ve pretty much got two choices here. You can either lower your change goals to match your efforts or you can raise your efforts to match your goals. There is no right choice. But to be successful with achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you need to keep your motivation and goals aligned. THAT’S the key here.
How do I tap into my motivation to create change?
“If you don’t make changes, you won’t change.” Being creatures of habit, change is incredibly hard. Your habits are deeply ingrained, but with work it’s possible to break them. If you’ve determined you’re ready to make some healthy lifestyle changes, start by identifying your goals, what you want to accomplish, and how you plan to do it. Then, do work every day to help maintain your motivation. For example, read articles related to your healthy goals, have discussions with others who share your goals, follow motivating people on your social media, and keep a journal about your progress towards your goals. Doing work each day will help keep your goals at the forefront of your mind, and will keep your motivation up. We’ve already established motivation is everything. If you don’t work to maintain motivation, you’ll quickly fall off the healthy living wagon.
And finally, I’ll leave you with this motivating thought. We all have within us a level of untapped potential. Its only limitation? Ourselves. But if you can just find the motivation, we can unleash that potential and become a better version of ourselves. At least, that’s what I’m always working on myself. I know she’s in there. She/He’s in you, too.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. What keeps you motivated? What are your tricks to healthy living success?