8 TIPS TO LIVE BY ON YOUR HEALTHY LIFESTYLE JOURNEY
1. Self-determination: Do it your way.
Self-determination can help explain the levels of motivation in maintaining healthy habits. Feeling empowered to make our own choices gives value to our health decisions. In a world where we are constantly bombarded by irrelevant noise, it can be easy to feel that we are missing out on a myriad of experiences, especially if we spend all of our free time on social media platforms. Trust me you're not!!!
FOMO (fear of missing out) will sabotage your habits, goals, and values. So however you choose to be healthy, ensure you do it your way. Do not expect success if someone orders you to follow a particular training routine or nutrition plan.
2. Technique: Do it well.
Once you have decided on your way to being healthy, start getting good at it. Create new habits and behaviors and practice them. This practice and repetition can become a very effective and capable driving force in promoting health.
You may choose to sharpen your cooking skills, develop expertise in your favourite sport, strengthen your self-discipline or create a habit as simple as always having your gym bag ready to go. The better you become at being healthy, the more you will want to stick to it.
3. Relatedness: Do it together with like-minded people - find your tribe!
Feeling close to and valued by others is vital for maintaining your motivation to be healthy. Sustainable progress is enhanced by supportive communities, such as belonging to an exercise group or continual peer support.
Choosing to exercise with friends, sharing your meal plans with family, or seeking positive support can help you stay motivated. Find your tribe!
4. External awareness: Understand your circumstances.
Being aware of your environment and personal circumstances can help you stay grounded in your health expectations. Most of us, cannot simply change where we live or work to maximise our health. The range of possible health outcomes we will experience is tied to the limits of our genes and past experiences and the political and environmental changes around us.
You are almost certainly not going to win the coveted healthiest human award. That said, if you can make the most of the existential cards you were dealt, you may be in the running for the equally prestigious "Best version of you" category.
5. Novelty: Mix it up.
The initial enthusiasm you feel for any activity will inevitably fade away. This is not to say that your overall motivation to stay healthy should also dimmish. Shake up your food and exercise routines as this can prevent things from going stale. Try new recipes, change your gym routine, or take up a new activity.
6. Goal setting: Set clear, controllable, intrinsically rewarding goals…oh and manage expectations.
How you set your goals is likely to determine whether or not you can achieve them. Research into motivation and reward mechanisms suggests we should focus more on positively framed goals rather than striving to avoid negative outcomes. Goals should be intrinsic rather than extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is when you act positively because of the enjoyment of what you are doing.
Choose to pursue the exercise routine/type that brings you the most enjoyment, and choose the foods that make you feel good (not just in the moment). Sometimes your pursuit of a goal may involve temporarily unpleasant activities like the final 10 minutes of your workout. Aligning your choices with intrinsically motivated goals (such as the goal to feel vibrant and energised) is more likely to bring sustainable success than externally driven goals (such as seeking the approval of others). In essence, you are managing your expectations by focusing on the process and system rather than the outcome.
7. Tenacity: Be tenacious.
Angela Duckworth’s (author of “GRIT, The Power of Passion and Perseverance”) work on grit emphasises consistency of interest and perseverance of effort as the key ingredients to success. This is tenacity or persistence in maintaining or seeking something valued or desired. This quality is associated with successful ageing by predicting higher energy and general health measures. There will undoubtedly be times when the world feels against us, and we are tempted to abandon our goals. Fostering the ability to be tenacious in our pursuit of health can help us weather the storm. Show up, dig in and do it!
8. Honesty: Be truthful about what you have done, what you are doing, and what you would like to achieve.
There is indeed an objective reality to the state of our health. However, our experiences of health, are often driven by the stories we tell ourselves. We bury our heads in the sand or blame bad luck to justify our inaction. Whatever we tell ourselves, we are the authors, protagonists, narrators, and readers of our own health stories.
By being honest about our experiences, we stand a much better chance of sticking to the habits needed to pursue a healthy life.
Have an awesome day :)