So you found something that you are passionate about that will inevitably increase your health and are riding the wave of excitement while you begin implementing these changes into your lifestyle. The first few weeks are normally the easiest - as you are still eager to see the changes that these new healthy habits will bring. But after that refreshing new feeling starts to wear off, you can easily become less motivated and driven to continue using these healthy tactics and begin to effortlessly fall into your past routines.
We have all been there and fallen into that trap. Fortunately, there are some small things you can do on a daily basis to increase your chances of making these new healthy habits stick and saying goodbye to having to “start over” again.
Write Down Your Goals Daily
Without sounding a bit cliche, the trick of writing down your goals every single day really does work. A Harvard Business Study found that 3% of graduates from their MBA program who wrote down their goals every day ended up earning ten times more than the other 97% of their fellow graduates within a ten year span (1). Why is this? Writing down your goals not only holds you accountable, but also gives you a clear vision of what it is you are wanting to achieve. When you actively write your goals down, you are training your mind to think about the layout of your day first thing in the morning, making it easier for you to clearly see your goal. If you are doing this daily, you are also able to break your goals down into smaller achievements, making it easier for you to attain them.
Think of something you want to achieve within the next month. Does it seem out of reach? Does it seem overwhelming? Take that goal and break it down into smaller goals. For example: are you wanting to lose five pounds? To some, that may seem overwhelming, however if you break that down into smaller achievements, it may not seem as daunting. Focus on the things you can control daily. If you want to lose five pounds over the next month, what can you do every single day in order to help reach that goal?
Increase your water consumption by drinking an extra two glasses of water per day.
Cut out refined sugar and processed carbohydrates.
Add in 30 minutes of activity daily.
Setting small goals like this can help you to achieve your larger goal more easily!
Change Your Identity
We often are our worst critics and talk to ourselves worse than we would talk to our mother, child, or best friend. Instead of negatively viewing yourself as someone who is not capable, try shifting your identity into whatever it is that you are looking to achieve.
Do you have someone you look up to that influences the goals you have set for yourself? If so, begin to emulate that person. What are the traits about them that motivate you to want to be healthy? Start thinking that way about yourself. “I am healthy”, “I do love to eat clean because I love the way it makes me feel”, “I am motivated and driven”. When we talk positively to ourselves, about ourselves, we are changing our perception as someone we look up to or have great respect for. Your identity determines your beliefs, and your beliefs are what determine your behavior (2).
Take Control of Your Mindset
One of the most intimidating things when implementing new healthy habits into your life is how overwhelming this whole lifestyle change can be all at once. One thing you can do to combat these potential anxious feelings is to look at your end goal and remember what you will gain when you reach it versus all the things you will be “giving up” to get there.
Our mind is a powerful thing. Reframing the way we think to be more optimistic versus pessimistic can really help to make the journey a lot more enjoyable. Are you having to give up your favorite sweet treat in order to lose that five pounds? No problem! Now you get to learn new recipes you can bake and share with friends, family, and on social media! Little mind-shifts like this can do wonders for your mental clarity in times of doubt or struggle. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t - you’re right.” Your mind is as good as the limitations you place around it (4).
With so many fad diets recycling on social media these days, it can be really confusing on what you should or shouldn’t try for yourself. Make sure to do your own research on these different topics and/or diets and see what resonates with you most. What works for one may not work for another, so knowing the science and research behind a specific concept may help you understand why it may work for you versus someone else.
For example: the person you look up to online who is healthy and happy and thriving may follow a complete plant-based diet. This will inevitably spark your interest into adopting a plant-based diet for yourself since it works so well for them. However, you may have a sensitivity to grains or legumes, or maybe your body cannot process soy products very well. These factors may make it difficult for you to transition over to this type of diet and you may need to make this change slowly over time versus all at once.
There are a lot of doctors and health care professionals online now that are certified in their field that are providing their following with science and research backed information, making it easier for you to find the real facts about certain health topics (3). Try to follow these professionals and read the peer-reviewed articles that they provide for their followers in order to get the most up-to-date information on health and wellness.
Find an Accountability that Works for You
Holding yourself accountable is a big way to make sure you reach your goals in the timeline that you lay out for yourself. This may look different for everyone. Some like to share with other people what goals they have set for themselves to keep them motivated, whereas others may feel like this is too much pressure and want to keep it quiet until they reach the goal they have set.
Some ways to help hold yourself accountable can include:
Finding an accountability partner - this can be someone who has the same goal in mind so you can both motivate and encourage each other to stay on course.
Posting your goal on social media - letting the world know your goals can help drive your passion during the trying times you may experience when you want to quit or give up.
Keeping your goals to yourself - it may be more motivating to some when they don’t share their goals with anyone and those around them begin to notice a change. “You look great, what have you been doing?” This is a very organic way to encourage you to continue implementing these healthy habits in your life.
Being passionate about your health does not have to be an overwhelming thing that weighs on you every day. Adding in new healthy habits can be fun and long-lasting if you can take things slow and find what works for you. Whether it’s writing down your daily goals, being mindful of the way you view and talk to yourself, or getting deeply educated on these topics, becoming a healthier version of yourself can be attainable at any stage of your life!
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. Readers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither the author(s) nor the publisher of this content take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All readers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
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