Creative Ways to Jump-Start Your Motivation
By Martha Michael
Centuries ago, we learned from Sir Isaac Newton that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion.
Though Newton’s Law applies to physics, it also resembles the human tendency to avoid making changes -- even when it’s good for you. Gaining the motivation you need to establish a healthier lifestyle can be challenging because, for many people, it’s easier to let things remain as they are. When you get your creative juices involved, however, you can develop customized motivators that may have greater success than the traditional ones.
When it comes to exercise, there’s plenty of evidence that motivation is in short supply for Americans. Despite good intentions, including repeated promises to join the gym or commencing new diet plans, the country’s obesity rate continues to grow.
Nerd Fitness has an article with suggestions for improving your follow-through when setting goals involving exercise.
Build your own system - When you have ownership and it’s specific to the needs of your personality, you have a greater chance of succeeding.
Be prepared - Solid preparation offsets the need for willpower. It takes your emotions out of the equation, so it’s more mechanical and becomes just another event on your schedule. After 30 days your routine becomes fairly fixed, the article says.
Do some mental gymnastics - When you automate your thinking, you can still follow through with your plans when the momentum starts to fade. Once you’ve committed to a set of goals, it leaves you fewer opportunities to back out of your new schedule of health habits.
Nail down a diet plan - By choosing an established diet such as keto or vegan, you have a blueprint for everything you consume. It takes personal choice out of the program, so there’s no chance for waffling.
Creative Motivation Hacks
When you customize your plan for staying motivated, the element that fuels your health habits may be unusual because it’s unique to you. A blog on Buffer.com offers a list of health hacks to help you find greater success in carrying out your own wellness plan.
Pact app - It’s a bit like betting with a friend. When you download and use the Pact app you make promises to improve your health and you pay up if you fail to comply. Most of us are motivated if we know money is on the line. The agreement galvanizes your resolve by making sure it costs you if you give in to your urge for a sugary soft drink or spend the afternoon on the couch. What’s in your wellness pact is up to you and the price for failure raises the bar so you’re more motivated to live up to the level you predetermined.
Fine yourself - Like the Pact app, you can make it cost you when you digress, but in person rather than online. Tell friends and family you want accountability in eliminating unhealthy behaviors or continuing with productive goals. If you fall short of your pledge, you pay, but it doesn’t have to be expensive - make it a dollar. It just has to cost enough to motivate you.
Seinfeld’s method - Comedian Jerry Seinfeld shared a useful system he employed to keep his jokes fresh. He kept a calendar where every day he would put a large red “X” on the date when he finished writing new material for his standup work. Once he saw his mark fill the calendar it motivated him to continue adding another “X” every day. The same may work for your own calendar of healthy choices.
NudgeMail - This email reminder service is free to use and gives you a tap on the shoulder when you need it. You are, essentially, sending yourself an email as a motivator to follow through with your goals -- to head to the gym, meditate, or even pay the bills -- whatever contributes to your healthiest mind and body.
Developing a theory about motivation isn’t rocket science, but making lifestyle changes can be an art. By tapping into your creative side, you may discover you have a talent for designing a successful wellness plan and gain the health benefits from your newfound motivation.
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