How do I stay “motivated”?
Recently, many have asked how do I stay motivated all the time. There must be a secret potion or pill you can take to remain motivated. In reality, I don’t believe in motivation. It is not about being motivated but living a healthy lifestyle. It is about making training and eating well apart of your life. When those habits become as automatic as brushing your teeth, who needs motivation?
How do we get there? Where do we start? It sounds difficult! When we’re overwhelmed, we tend to continue the same vicious cycle we’re on. However, I am here to help break that cycle and provide some direction on ways of creating healthier habits that are apart of your life like brushing your teeth.
Find your WHY!
The best way to get started is finding your WHY. We all want to be healthier, to feel better, to move better but why? What is your purpose? Ask yourself these questions and dig down deep to create a strong connection to becoming a healthier you. Creating a specific and intrinsic why will form a greater connection and will result in a lasting habit. Do some digging and create an internal why as opposed to using punishment or rewards to keep you “motivated”.
Find what will make you happy and what is important to you, not your coach or the person working out next to you, but you! By looking inside you will be reminded of what you want, as opposed to what everyone else wants. Making a specific connection to your “why” will keep you focused as the new habit develops (99U.com).
How to put your WHY into action:
Now you have your WHY (a reason behind a new habit), let’s make it lasting! How do you make it automatic, a part of your daily routine, how long will it take? Any change to your daily routine will be challenging because there are several distractions and you’re breaking something that is already automatic. Instead of throwing out certain habits to replace new ones, create behavior changes to the already existing habit. Sticking to a new habit will be easier if you incorporate it to your current routine. Multiple studies confirm this to be successful when developing a new habit. For example, your new habit might be to “eat breakfast with my coffee”. Instead, try “with my coffee, I will eat an apple & oatmeal.” You are no longer relying on will power but connected your new habit of “eat breakfast” to a current habit “morning coffee.” Start out with a small habit you are connected to. It will take daily practice but living a healthier and happier life is worth it.
Interested in learning how to make habit changes? Email us at BodySpaceFitness@gmial.com to take advantage of Precision Nutrition Counseling with one of our coaches!
Creating a new habit takes time and it is important to remember the process. It takes an average of 66 days to create a lasting habit not the 21-day myth. This is according to new research by Phillippa Lally and colleagues from the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre based at UCL Epidemiology and Public Health. The team of researchers completed a groundbreaking investigation on how people form habits. The research explains key factors in creating new habits and breaking old ones (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/). The research found that it took people an average of 66 days to reach a point of self automaticity to perform the new behavior. In the beginning visualize yourself performing the new habit automatically and connect an emotion to it. How will you fill when this new habit becomes as routine as brushing your teeth? This will also help you focus on developing the new behavior.
Making changes that you want require time and commitment but as habits become routine, you will no longer need to rely on motivation. As you continue to develop healthy habits, remember to be kind to yourself and to take one day at a time (APA.org). It will be challenging, but you can do it. You deserve to live life ane healthiest and best version of you. Be specific, be patient and enjoy the process to creating a healthy lifestyle free of motivation.
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Resources: American Psychological Association. 2017. Making Lifestyle Changes That Last. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/lifestyle-changes.aspx Gregory Ciotti. 2017. 5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick. http://99u.com/articles/22557/7-habits-of-incredibly-happy-people University College London. 4 August 2009. How long does it take to form a habit? http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0908/09080401