Do you often eat meals and regret afterwards that you didn’t choose a healthier option? Do you feel a need to make changes in your lifestyle but just can’t find the energy to begin? If your answer is “Yes!”, then you are not alone. Many of us know we could be living a healthier life with more vitality. The problem is finding the deep motivation to fuel these healthy life choices and to do them consistently. What is YOUR real reason to wake up every day and CHOOSE to maintain healthy habits – day in and day out. What is your “WHY?”
This is not always a clear or easy answer to find. True inspiration to leading a healthy life will not lie on the surface. Sure, we all want to have a nice butt or great abs, but that will only take you so far. You will find yourself working out, eating right for a few weeks or even months, but without deep inspiration to fuel your daily healthy lifestyle choices you will eventually fall back on old habits.
For myself, I can say my family and my clients are my inspirational fuel. I’m a mom, wife and fitness professional. My week days start early as I wake up to get my two little boys ready for school and the day ahead. After school drop off I head to my studio to train my clients. I put all my energy into my classes hoping that my clients leave feeling that they have reached their daily goal of not only working out but also a sense of accomplishment that will empower them for the rest of the day. After my studio classes, I dive back into being a mom spending my afternoons playing with my kids at the beach, doing homework, cooking together and trying me best to live whole heartedly and in the moment. Most of us can relate to a busy schedule like this and the bottom line is it takes ALOT of ENERGY. My motivation to workout and eat right every day comes in two parts.
First off I know there is a huge difference in the feeling of just surviving the day until your head can hit the pillow vs. having the energy to truly LIVE your day with vibrancy and having the energy to enjoy playing with my kids and being creative with our time together. This desire to keep up with my kids and live to our maximum potential is a deep motivator for me.
Secondly, I love teaching fitness. I have a strong connection to all my clients and our workouts go beyond sweating it out together. I help people cultivate empowerment and happiness through finding a connection to their mind and body. showing up for a workout is an important dialogue you have with yourself. It’s a daily check-in to see how you are doing on all levels, emotionally, physically and spiritually. It’s so important that I embody what I teach. I need to work on myself daily with proper workouts, food and life choices just as I coach my clients to do. Basically, I need to walk my own talk and that is my second deep motivator to living a healthy lifestyle.
So the big question is how do you find YOUR MOTIVATION? Here are the steps:
Asking yourself why you want to change an be scary. Change is not easy for anyone and change can feel uncomfortable. To find the root of why you want to change your lifestyle requires you to take the time to be introspective. To be mindful as you observe how your life is now and the emotions that your daily life is cultivating. The Root of your “Why?” can be different for everyone. For example, maybe you experiencing health issues, unhappiness, divorce, trouble at work, feelings of insecurity. All of these things can translate into emotional pain which can become a crutch holding you back from creating change in your life. Holding you back from from becoming the best version of YOU!
Create a routine of taking time to be quiet and still. check in with how you are feeling. Ask yourself “How am I feeling emotionally, physically, energetically?”. Write these answers down in a journal. This process will help you continue to define your motivation, your “Why?” for the lifestyle change. Remember, you don’t need to block out a ton of time for this. consistency is the key. If 10 minutes is all you can find to sit down and journal, that is fine. Just do it daily so you can see patterns and begin to see change as you create new life habits.
This is called habit stacking. Start simple as you bring change into your daily routine. If you add too many changes at once you are more likely to become overwhelmed and fail. One new habit per week is a great goal and be SPECIFIC. For example, you may start walking for 20 minutes every day. Track this goal on your calendar. Stay consistent. Notice as you add habits every week how it changes your daily self dialogue and journal entries. You may notice your energy increasing over time etc.
Most importantly, be prepared for obstacles and aim for PROGRESS, not
PERFECTION (we all know perfection does not exist). For example if something comes up and you miss a day, don’t punish yourself and quit. Start fresh the next day. Get up and try again!!!
As I said before, this journey to a healthier lifestyle is about progress and not perfection so as you choose new goals and habits for yourself (ex. workout 3 x per week, walk 20 minutes every day, drink 8 glasses of water per day etc) share these goals with your close friends or loved ones. Choose people who you trust and love and will be supportive of your new choices. This helps create external motivation and accountability amongst you and your peers.
As you reach milestones, be sure to share this success with your friends! Celebrate your hard work with energy based rewards such as a massage, a day out hiking with friends, a new outfit, a movie night. Be sure that your rewards are in line with the new lifestyle choices you are making so you don’t sabotage your progress.
If this journey towards change feels difficult sometimes, it’s OK. It means you’re on the right track. Remember that your REAL MOTIVATION behind your new healthy lifestyle choices lies much deeper than the surface and the commitment to these new habits will be felt on all levels of your life. Creating a much deeper sense of reward as you journey towards the healthiest, happiest YOU!
Andrea Neu Health
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