So, you have an inkling that you want more for yourself. You want to feel that endorphin rush from a vigorous workout or energized from fuelling your body with wholesome foods. You want that bikini body confidence and to look lean, fit and toned. Did you promise yourself that getting fit and healthy was one of your big goals this year and you want to take action. What next?
There is a huge leap between thinking about it and actually taking the steps to live a healthier lifestyle. That massive chasm between those two points is called MOTIVATION! Here are some essential motivation tools and tips to get you in a committed relationship with ‘healthy, active living’. Plus, some fun BFF style tips to turn to when you feel the mojo slipping away.
Know your WHY
You need to start by identifying YOUR reasoning for wanting to transform YOUR life. Why do you want to do this? What will it mean to you? What will it give you? Why do you care? It could be that you want to look good in a bikini, be able to compete in a running race, get fitter for your favourite sport, improve your digestive health or have younger looking skin. If you are doing this because you feel you ‘should’ (external pressures) then your motivation and success will be limited. You have to ‘want’ (internal needs) to achieve change or improvement. A clear sense of purpose allows you to focus your intentions, guiding you to where you want to be despite obstacles or challenges.
To make this process easier you can set a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Regularly Assessed, Timed) and remember to reward yourself. Link the reward to your positive behaviour and it increases the odds of it becoming a habit. Habits are the back-up plan for motivation. Why? Because motivation is like an unreliable boyfriend or girlfriend. You can’t rely on it – it comes and goes and is often not there when you really need it.
Access the Active8me free SMART-R goal template here.
Imagination is powerful and visualisation is just that – using your mind to imagine what you want to achieve and how you want something to be. Because the subconscious mind can’t distinguish what’s real from what you’re imagining, you can fool your brain into learning something or activating your muscles without actually physically performing. When you visualise you create powerful emotional feelings of what it would be like which propels you towards where you actually want to be.
Visualisation is no longer an abstract concept. It is utilised widely among both elite athletes and everyday people for a variety of purposes from motivation to concentration and coordination. Visualisation is considered a mental ‘warm-up’. You are conditioning your mind for the experiences you will gain by actually following through with your plans. It can motivate you as you feel your goals on an emotional level.
Imagine the feeling of savouring flavours from fresh, wholesome food, that feeling of having eaten a plentiful meal, feeling full, yet light and energized from knowing you’re nourishing your body in the best possible fashion. Or the feeling of sweat on your skin, your muscles firing, that spring in your step, the endorphin rush and the glow that you have after your workout. You can make visualisation a daily practice or call on it when you’re trying to find the motivation to continue.
Do it for FUN!
Remember what it was like as a kid to feel free, to run uninhibited, to just play? If you approach a healthy lifestyle with the gusto of childhood fun, you will find your motivation will also receive a boost. The tough part is making it ‘fun’ if it has previously been something you have seen as a chore. At Active8me, we believe exercise should be fun, not a chore. Something you want to do, not something you feel you have to do. Something you look forward to in the day and week, not something you try to avoid.
As a suggestion, try joining forces with friends to create an environment where you cook together. Or, have a challenge with friends to learn about how to make great eating out choices in a way that is fun and enjoyable. Exercise with your friends and have a laugh whilst getting fit. Here’s a free partner workout for you to try (A snippet video from our Active8me app, full version available for all members!).
Create a competition amongst your friends, family or colleagues to see who can best reach their goals and contribute a reward for the winner. If your mindset is perceiving fun as the objective, the healthy eating and exercise will be the beneficial side effect.
Take a sneak peek at the ‘behind the scenes’ filming of Active8me workouts and you’ll feel the fun!
Just do it!
That famous slogan has its merits. Sometimes it’s best not to overthink what you need to do, otherwise you fall into the procrastination trap. It’s certainly easier said than done, and it isn’t necessarily the happy, friendly type of motivation, but it definitely works. Making your workout or healthy eating a part of your daily routine builds the foundation for good habits. Start with small steps. For example, try to schedule a specific time of day to do your workout, just like you would allocate time for a meeting, an appointment or following a bus timetable. Never forget that you will be much happier with yourself for what you did do, rather than the consequence of regretting what you didn’t do!
Sign up to a free 21 day trial of Active8me with built in daily inspiration and motivation to get you started and keep you on track for a healthy lifestyle.
Using the above essential motivation tools and tips will set you up for long term success. They will help you get motivated to start and motivated to remain consistent on the healthy living journey. For some fun, more instantaneous motivation hacks to get you moving, thinking and even laughing, read on…
A collection of some fun BFF style motivation hacks!
- Don’t wash your hair unless you have worked out…you’ll soon be too embarrassed to be seen in public if you miss too many workouts!
- Bribe yourself with a reward for success. New workout clothes, a manicure or massage.
- Pretend you are the star of a reality show and the world is watching your every move. From your food choices to your exercise habits, you’ll soon find out you’re putting your best foot forward for your audience.
- Put a motivational picture or quote on your phone. This could be a ‘before’ picture of yourself or words that make you question your motives for making bad food choices or your ideal body.
- Create your own cheer squad. Seriously, tell people what you’re aiming to achieve and ask for them to cheer you on. Don’t forget to cheer back and you’ll be high-fiving all over the place.
- Do it for the amazing pics! Show off your workout destinations or clean eating treats on social media.
- Prove your doubters wrong. There is always one in a crowd who doesn’t believe you’ve got what it takes to transform yourself. Prove them wrong, ha!
- Hang out with the cool kids. You can literally surround yourself with friends who are living the lifestyle you want to enjoy. Or, you could use social media to find those who share your passion (or sometimes, angst) for healthy living.
- Do it for compliments. It doesn’t take long for people to realise you are improving yourself so enjoy the compliments and use them to fuel your further success.
- Give yourself a big tick. Use a colourful highlighter to tick off days on your calendar where you kicked your goals. Add some fun, and colour code your great eating and workouts.
- ‘Name’ your self-doubt and chastise it like it’s a naughty kid. You’re the adult, so punish your self-doubt, not yourself!
- The colour green is highly motivating and energizing, so surround yourself with the best form of green…nature!