Over the years, I’ve had ups and downs in my health (haven’t we all?) I read a quote from someone just last week: “You will never always be motivated. You have to learn to be disciplined.” We all know that living a healthy lifestyle is vital in preventing some diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, but maintaining that is hard.
So if you’re with me, keep reading for my tips on getting motivated so that you can stay healthy.
Picture your future self – but not too far in the future
What has always bothered me about the push for healthy living is the focus on the “future self” – an unattainable version of me that I may or may not become someday. While long-term goals are great, it has helped me picture how I want to feel – not only a year from now but also tomorrow. I often remind myself that I will only become who I want to be if I live like that person today.
Don’t Do It Alone
What are your friend and relationship habits? While there’s nothing wrong with sitting on a couch watching a show together and eating ice cream, it’s helpful to include activity in your everyday social outings. Go for a walk, take a bike ride, or even enjoy a gym class together.
Focus on What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t
If you’re trying to eat healthily but only think about the sugary, processed foods you’re saying no to, it will be tough to stay consistent. Instead, try making a list of the healthy fruits and veggies you love and put them on your grocery list. You can also do this for workouts. If you love tennis more than running, text a friend to play. If you prefer walking over weight training, carve out some time for a stroll and queue up a great podcast to listen to while you’re out.
Sleep is one of the most overlooked health benefits. When we talk about “self-care,” it’s easy to think more of spa days than snoozing. While there’s nothing wrong with a spa day (I would welcome one myself), sleep is necessary for my self-care. It’s a treat!
If you’re anything like me, it can feel almost impossible to go work out after a long and hectic workday. Rather than forcing yourself to exercise after that workday, consider the root of the issue: stress. Set yourself up for success by creating a calming morning routine, thinking about how to make healthy boundaries with your time and coworkers, and drinking lots of water throughout the day. If those tips don’t work, consider fitting in your workout before the workday begins.
Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, AARP, Healthline, Your Teen Magazine, and many other publications. She is a professional member of ASJA. You can find her at Twitter @CherylMaguire05.