Staying Motivated for Healthy Habits
By Donna Stark
It's often hard to maintain motivation for healthy habits, but it can be especially difficult during the last few months of the year. Weekends are filled with tailgating and football games, heavier meals become the mainstay of our diets, and holiday celebrations begin as soon as the costumes from Halloween are tucked away. With all of the indulgences we allow ourselves during this time, it really is no surprise that by year's end, many people aren't feeling their best. If you are looking for a way to stay a step ahead of it all and sustain a healthy level of motivation, take a look at the following suggestions.
Remember Your Goals
The challenge with setting goals that require a daily commitment, such as exercise or cooking every meal at home, is that they may be unrealistic. Sure, it's easy to hit the gym once or twice a week, but every day? That requires a lot of effort and planning on your part and, if your motivation isn't strong, a problem-free life as well. So keep your long-term goals in mind and remember why you started on those harder-to-deal-with-days. You can do this by hanging notes on your bathroom mirror, tracking your progress in a journal, or leaning on a friend's encouragement.
Stop the Excuses
Excuses will only ever stall your progress, so learn how to come up with alternative solutions if your healthy behaviors are in jeopardy and take responsibility for your actions. If you don't have time in the morning to pack healthy lunches, prep them the night before. If the weather becomes too chilly for that evening run, start going back to the gym. If you keep making excuses to continue bad habits, you won't ever hit that goal you set for yourself. In fact, you will be hitting an entirely different goal and it certainly won't give you the results you wanted when you started.
It is critical that you establish clear and defined boundaries which help to create a healthy routine. Think of these as your non-negotiables, or in other words, the behaviors and habits that you must follow, no matter how busy or tired you are during the day. Here are some great examples.
- Consuming a healthy breakfast every morning
- Aiming for the recommended amount of sleep
- Choosing water over soda
- Exercising for at least 30 minutes each day
- Practicing gratitude
Reach Your Goals
Your daily motivation doesn't have to fade away as the summer season did. Make this year different. Keep your motivation strong during these last few months and end the year feeling better than ever before!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Phoenix, Ariz.