How to overcome your biggest health obstacle: motivation
I don't believe that we need a new year, a new month, or even an 'I'll start again Monday' to provide us an opportunity to make a fresh start.
Having been a trainer for over 10 years, I believe I've heard all the excuses in the book, most of which only serve as a sugarcoating to allow us to be able to swallow the bitter pills of procrastination, fear and self-doubt.
Here are my top 5 tips for living an amazingly healthy life whilst avoiding its common pitfalls.
1. Have goals
As the old saying goes, 'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.'
Having goals ensures that we are working towards the fulfillment of one of our basic human needs, personal growth. I believe that we should all have goals for each area in our life, all of which require that you answer 3 key questions.
1. What do you want?
2. Why do you want it?
3. How will you achieve it?
Write out your goals using specific, positive wording as if you've already achieved it. Play around with emotive words until you come up with a concise statement that resonates with you. It's even more important that you put it up somewhere you can it read daily.
For example, "I'm so happy and thankful that on Sunday 9th August 2015 I am standing at the finish line at Bondi Beach proud that I have completed my first ever City to Surf"
2. Start saying 'yes' to things you'd usually say 'no' to.
This requires that you start pushing the comfort levels of both your health and your life.
This could mean running an extra set of stairs, lifting a heavier weight or simply saying yes to your boss asking you to present a new idea to the board.
It's the conscious choice to overpower your subconscious telling you to 'stay safe'.
3. Start saying 'no' to things that you'd usually say 'yes' to.
Every choice we've made so far has brought us to the exact point we're right now. We're merely by-products of our nutrition, exercise and lifestyle habits.
So if you're not satisfied with the result, then there are sacrifices that need to be made. Things like saying no to the extra serve of ice-cream, no to the snooze button and no to going out on 'school nights' to ensure you get adequate sleep.
Making the decision to say to no to the easy things means that you've taken responsibility for your outcome.
4. Strive for consistency, not perfection.
Perfection is a myth that ruins so many.
Consistency is the key that opens the door of success. I am a firm believer in the 80/20 rule - 80% of the time doing what you know is right, and allowing 20% for those naughtier moments in life - the key is not to get the ratios mixed up.
Understanding that there will be times that you fall off the healthy horse is important, but it's ensuring that you take as little time as possible in getting back on the horse that's more important.
Never forget that even slow progress, is progress.
5. Actions, not words.
A small amount of action will always bring you closer to your goal than a large amount of intention.
Once you take full responsibility for the outcome you desire, accepting that your success isn't going to be a straight, well-sealed road, the quicker you'll get there.
It's about taking small, consistent, action, daily.
I love my 'Get S**t Done' lists - it's basically a To-Do list that carries the requirement to actually get things completely, completed.
My big suggestion is that you take immediate action towards the hard things at the start of your day when willpower is at it's highest, you'll not only get a big hit of dopamine [a powerful neurotransmitter responsible for making you feel good and have self confidence] for your troubles, it will also help motivate you towards getting the rest of the G.S.D list completed.
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