Finding the motivation to get out of bed and adult your way through the day is hard enough at this time of year, let alone motivation to change habits, build new ones and generally attempt to bring more rays of sunshiney energy into our lives. And, if you made loads of healthy resolutions at the beginning of the year, there’s a chance that you might have considered jacking them all in and finding a pit of melted cheese to wallow in… mmmmm… cheeeeeeeese.
But NO! No way Jose… NOT ON MY WATCH! 🙂
We’re just coming to the end of the Winter 4 Week Kickstart, where my epic Kickstarters have been focusing on PROGRESS, not perfection to get amazing results… And every Monday throughout January, I provided them with a boost and something to think about, to focus on. I thought I’d share snippets with you too – so that you can hopefully use them to pull yourself out of the cheese pit, and into the Keep on Kicking Ass fast lane!
MOTIVATION TIP #1 Remind yourself where you’re going – and enjoy the ride.
When you set your resolutions, hopefully you had an end goal in mind. If you didn’t, find one. But don’t stop there.
For motivation to work in the longer term, I want you to think about two other things:
- What’s the bigger goal here? Yes, getting into your skinny jeans is AWESOME. Losing 5lbs is GREAT… but what will that mean for you? Keep asking yourself WHY – WHY do you want to wear those jeans? What does that mean for you? Why do you want to feel more energetic? What will you do with that energy? Does it mean that you’re going to be able to spend your evenings having fun with your kids and husband, and not just collapse in a slump on the sofa? Will it mean that you can take up a hobby, set a great example for your kids? What will that do for you? DIG DEEP.
- Yes, it helps to have a goal in mind – but don’t neglect or forget about the process, the journey that you’re taking… take note (physically or mentally) of the things that you ENJOY about the process. The things that light you up and make you smile. If we find and remind ourselves of the pleasure of these things, then we’re more likely to do them again! I like to capture the happy little moments of the day every evening before I go to bed – my ‘smile book’… because when you focus on the things that you enjoy in life, you notice more of it! Law of Attraction, innit?…
MOTIVATION TIP #2: You are what you think
You’ve heard of “You are what you eat” – which obviously I believe – but I’m also a firm believer in “you are what you THINK”… it never hurts to have a good ol’ slap round the chops with a healthy dose of positive thinking! Motivational thinking for the win! Wahooo!
In my mind, there are two parts to this: first understanding what your own thoughts or beliefs are about who you are… and the second is understanding how to change those thoughts, to help you achieve the things that you really want to achieve. Sounds simple right? Ha! Okay, let me break it down…
How do you currently describe yourself – how do you define who you are? Imagine that you looked yourself up in the dictionary. What would be written next to your name? It’s kind of like thinking about your CV, the words you use to describe yourself – but not the one inflated with bits of bullshit… 😉
Then, think about what you can do to change some of the negative language that you used. What are the positive elements of your identity that you can repeat (out loud if necessary), and BELIEVE. Get used to using to describe yourself in a new way.
So, I’m no longer ‘Bella, the slightly chubby, bingeing emotional eater’… I am Bella, the recovering emotional eater. I’m happy in my own skin. I’m someone who stops to ask why I’m about to bury my head in the bread bin, and usually comes up with a solution that will work better instead. I’m someone who breathes, stretches or moves to shake things up before I plummet into an emotional eating spiral. I’m someone who will consciously eat something (no matter what it is), not mindlessly shovel. I am someone who prefers a quick homemade meal to a greasy takeout. I am no longer the Queen of Procrastination – I’m someone who gets stuff done. Ha! Yeah okay… I might have to fake it til I make it with some of them, but it’s happening. And the more I say it, the more I believe it, and the more likely it is to happen!
MOTIVATION TIP #3: Focus on ONE thing
I write this one into the basic principles of the 4 Week Kickstart. Think about your baseline – the one/two/three things that you can fall back on and rely on. When you fall off the wagon, after a boozy social weekend away with the Kardashians in Vegas (it happens…), climbing back on the wagon can feel like an awful lot of effort.
Go back to your one thing… mine is my water habit. So no matter what, I know that I’m always still doing one happy healthy thing for myself, I’m getting my gallons of water. Yours might be different – you might walk everywhere, or always do yoga first thing, you might always eat veggies, …. or you can steal my water habit. That way ‘clawing things back’ is less of a mission – there’s less clawing and more gracefully easing from one state to the next.
The other ‘one thing’ challenge that you can do is to shake things up – do one thing differently… take a different route to work, use your left hand to brush your teeth or eat your food, change your latte for a peppermint tea… By doing something a little bit different every day, you give your brain a little kickstart and little nudge to break out of slumps and ruts and remind yourself that you’re alive! And trust me, doing this with the most random things can have an impact across lots of different part of your life. Try it!
MOTIVATION TIP #4: Get accountable
Accountability is absolutely key when it comes to creating, building and keeping habits. Think about some of the things that you do every day without thinking: brushing your teeth for example… from an early age, your parents were there to keep you accountable and make you do it. School systems kept us accountable for a whole heap of other things. The structure of our jobs does the same. We’re held accountable to so many things throughout our lives, hopefully for mostly positive outcomes.
I could probably write an entire blog post devoted to this (and maybe I will!), but here are 4 different ways to use accountability to as a motivational tool:
1. be accountable to yourself – using what most would call ‘willpower’, but what is, in essence, the power to choose. Now some people can appear to pull their willpower out of a sheath like He-Man or She-Ra… It involves relying on yourself to make healthier choices – easy for some, trickier for others.
2. do it on your own, but use habit trackers… there really are apps for everything these days, or you can use planners, journals or just a good ol’ notebook. Again, you need a bit of willpower to make it happen, but this can be really effective.
3. use your mates – find your kindred spirits, the friends who have similar goals to you. Get together, get motivated… I love this. But, be warned – this may result in going to the pub instead of going for a run (been there), or going for a run and stopping in at a pub on the way back (done that)… All still very nice, but probably defeating the object slightly! (Damn.)
4. use a tribe… my 4 Week Kickstart has always been a great little place for people to find the kick up the bum. And now, I’m even more excited that I’ve launched Nourish365, the super cheap and easy cheerleading and butt-kicking service to keep you feeling motivated and full of beans!
Get in touch and let me know what you’re doing to keep yourself motivated! And if you’d like to have a chat about how Nourish365 might be able to help you do away with the yoyo, then book yourself in for a quick chat!