Let’s face it. I do not know one person who is motivated to be 100% healthy every single day. Even though I am a fitness instructor, there are days that if I were not on the schedule to teach, I probably wouldn’t make it out of my bed. I think sometimes we believe that motivation will just come to us when, in reality, we have to just act out of pure will. The good news is that motivation develops motivation. When we force ourselves to do something that is good for us even when we don’t necessarily want to, we feel accomplished and inspired to do it again.
One of the strongest forces against motivation in fitness and many other areas is a rigid mindset: we are either all in or all out.
“I’ll start on Monday.”
“When life slows down, I’ll start to exercise and eat healthier.”
“I just ate four donuts, so why exercise today?”
When you find yourself having any of these thoughts or not feeling motivated, try these 5 steps:
- Find a friend to go with you. Everything is more fun with a friend!
- Write down two reasons why you want to exercise.
- Write down one person besides you who benefits from your good health.
- Just do something. Even if it’s just for five minutes, something is better than nothing at all.
- Be accountable. Make a bet with someone, sign up for a class, or give yourself a small reward for following through. It’s amazing what just a little accountability will do!
What if we get rid of that perfectionist mindset, allow ourselves to work in baby steps and celebrate those? Maybe you can’t commit to an hour, but can you go on a walk with your kids around your neighborhood? It may not seem like much, but if you do that every day for a month, you’ve logged potentially 30 miles under your feet and have spent time with your family in the great outdoors. Success! No, you may not have time to cook a gourmet, organic, grass-fed meal every night. However, can you grab the frozen vegetables that take two minutes to microwave them instead opting for fast food? If so, that is a win! Celebrate the little steps you decide to make every day and watch them get easier and start to grow into bigger leaps towards the healthy lifestyle you desire.