Life Skills : Motivation

Making Lifestyle Changes

Encouragement and Advice for Your Lifestyle Changes – Body, Mind and Spirit. We focus on ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ below but you can apply the same motivation principles to other areas of your life which you are looking to make changes in.

Always take the time to clarify your motivation. Decide what it is you want to achieve in advance, always be honest with yourself and be prepared to modify your aims if necessary as you proceed. Set off on the right course with the right intentions and you will have the best chance of achieving your aims.

  •  Set realistic goals. Avoid high expectations that will leave you disappointed. As part of a longer steady journey, taking small steps one at a time, you are far more likely to succeed.
  • Exercise your imagination as well as your body. For instance, take time to visualize yourself achieving your goals – eg losing weight, exercising, giving up smoking, or eating healthier meals. Imagining positive outcomes and mentally rehearsing can really help you succeed in the actual practice.
  • Make good habits. Create routines for yourself, and get a bit obsessional about ‘same time, same place’ commitments.
  • Use your mind as your personal trainer. Find different ways of sharpening your mental focus and also of relaxing the mind, and this can really help you create a healthier lifestyle. The practice of mindfulness is a good approach (try http://www.getsomeheadspace.com/ )
  • Do not put off the start day. Watch out for any unhelpful mental habits you may have, or negative or critical voices in your head that tell you, “You are never going to get started”, or make excuses for not doing it. Treat the chatter kindly but firmly, and simply let the negative stuff all go as passing thoughts.
  • Learn to be flexible. It is inevitable that you are going to miss the occasional targets or sessions week by week. Do not beat yourself up about missing a day or two exercise, or eating the wrong foods, but simply make sure you get back to your routine the next day.
  • Make sure you enjoy yourself. A healthy lifestyle can be fun, and it does not have to be a grind or feel like a chore. Identify the bits you like and enjoy, note the feel-good moments when they arise, and do more of the things that produce them.
  • Congratulate yourself regularly on the journey. Use your achievements for positive reinforcement.
  • Integrate body, mind and spirit. See a healthy lifestyle as part and parcel of your whole new way of life and not as something outside. Be on the lookout for ways to integrate the healthy lifestyle into other aspects of your life and you will become altogether happier and feel more fulfilled, as well as healthier.

 

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