It’s strange how unpredictable life can be. We set out on a path of health and happiness and despite all the planning and preparing, something happens along the way which catches us off-guard and brings our progress to a screeching halt.
You go through a heartbreak, lose your job, lose a loved one, have your life turned upside down by an accident or a trauma – the possibilities are endless. Let’s face it: life isn’t always easy, and the first thing to fall off the agenda when things get rough is health.
Some decisions, although not as dramatic as others, can impact your life in a big way. These decisions can be as small as choosing between a pizza and a salad for dinner or fitting in a quick workout on your way home from work just to stay on a healthy path despite having an overwhelming number of responsibilities that often overshadow our physical and mental health. So no matter how busy or tough your life gets, here are a few tips to keep you motivated on your health and fitness goals.
Motivation is just as unpredictable as life itself
It’s hard to maintain the same level of motivation to eat healthy and exercise every day, and no matter how determined you are to reach your goal, you’re bound to fall off the motivation wagon sometimes and lose the desire to finish what you started.
The sooner you come to terms with the fact that motivation comes and goes, the more prepared you’ll be to face the ebb and flow. As the famous Japanese proverb goes: Fall seven times, get up eight. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how often your fitness goals were sidetracked by other responsibilities, getting back on track eventually is the most important part.
Remind yourself why you’re doing this
It is natural to lose connection with your purpose as other responsibilities take center stage in life. Reminding yourself why you started on your health journey in the first place is one of the biggest reasons to stay motivated, especially during the days when you’re struggling to make good choices and tend to be sliding backwards instead of progressing forward.
Having a strong will power isn’t easy. If you seem to give in to your unhealthy cravings easily, you need to remind yourself every-so-often why you’re doing what you’re doing as a way to re-focus your energy on your goals.
Maybe you’re getting married in a few months and need to lose a few inches off your waist to fit in the wedding dress, or losing the extra pounds that you gained over the holiday season – never lose sight of the motivation that set you on this path in the first place.
Less planning and more doing
You had a momentary lapse of judgement and indulged in one-too-many slices of pizza. Where do you go from there? Do you sit and regret your decisions or take action to get back on the health train? The easiest way to get something done is by actually doing it!
Most people come up with elaborate plans to achieve their goals but don’t go through with them because over-analyzing and excessive worrying gets in the way. So if you find yourself feeling unmotivated, there is no point in sitting and doing nothing about it. You’ll be surprised to find out how easily you can re-gain momentum by simply ‘doing’.
Give yourself a break sometimes
When life hits you hard and you can’t seem to find the motivation to do the things that you used to love, it’s okay to momentarily step back from it and allow yourself some room to make mistakes.
However, letting go of high expectations for a while doesn’t mean that you’re giving up. It simply means that you’re taking a break which will eventually be over in a couple of days, weeks or even months. Once you’ve given yourself time to recover, you’ll be back feeling more motivated than ever.
When life knocks you down, take responsibility for being there for yourself and practicing self-care before expecting someone else to take care of you. Prioritize your health by getting enough sleep and eating mindfully even when you’re tempted to go in survival mode.