It's here, the new year!
And for many of us the new year rimes with new goals, new habits, and resolutions.
This typically looks like starting a diet or joining a gym. We've all done it before. Yet we've already spoken about the high failure rates of diets and we all know how empty the gym looks comes February.
So what gives? How come so many of us give up on our resolutions so quickly?
One of the key reasons we give up early is because we haven't connected with a specific and meaningful why.
Lack of direction and meaning usually results in lack of commitment. And without commitment we won't last very long.
If the reward or meaning behind your new behavior is big enough it will be much easier to stick to it even on days where you don't have the motivation.
But when there is a lack of meaning assigned to our goals, our excuses will more often than not get in the way.
Motivation isn't something we can obtain in endless supply, it's not something we can count on during every minute of every day as it is a limited resource that can become quickly depleted.
Motivation is a habit and it requires 3 things:
Small simple steps
Let's break these down:
We've already touched on your "why" but I'm repeating it because it is massively important. Your why or your purpose will determine how far you are willing to go and how much you are willing to give for your vision.
"Getting healthy" or "losing weight" isn't meaningful enough. These kinds of reasons aren't robust enough to get you out of bed in the morning when you just want to hit the snooze button.
So what's an example of a good why?
"To be able to keep up with my grandchildren"
"To empower others to never give up on their dreams"
"To push myself to become the best version of myself as an example to my children"
"To prove to myself that I am capable of accomplishing things no one thought I could"
When you develop a rock solid why, showing up and doing the work no longer remains an option for another day, it becomes a non-negotiable.
If you have a strong purpose in life, you don't have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there. Roy T. Bennett
Get very honest with yourself and take all the time you need to reflect and find your why.
A great way to get to your core why is to ask yourself the question: "what is important about achieving this to me?" And then keep asking yourself "what else?" until you hit your why.
You will know you have found it when you feel a strong emotional reaction.
It's a lot harder to do the do when you have no energy. This is why taking care of your physical body is a key factor if you want to accomplish anything in life.
Energy drainers may include processed foods, sugar, chronic caffeine consumption, alcohol, chronic stress, low blood sugar, excess use of electronics, poor sleep, sedentary lifestyle, and toxic relationships.
Things like energy drinks, caffeine, and sugar are typically fixes that we turn to in order to pick us back up but though they may feel good in the moment they can result in a crash later on and deplete our energy on a cellular level.
When used on a regular basis to combat fatigue they can actually do more harm than good.
Energy enhancing foods can include leafy greens, colourful fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, eggs, oats, berries, beans, beets, and dark chocolate.
It's important to be aware of the things that drain your energy and the things that increase your energy so you can make changes as needed.
Optimizing your energy will help you stay focused, become more creative, and show up and give your best to any situation.
The most successful people in the world know this. This is why they make spirituality, fitness, and nutrition non-negotiables.
Implementing good sleeping habits, eating regular and nutritious meals, drinking enough water, spending time in nature, managing your stress, and exercising daily are all essentials to optimizing your energy and should be prioritized!
Small simple steps
Rome wasn't built in a day honey. And you weren't either!
When we set huge goals for ourselves without breaking them down realistically we set ourselves up for failure and disappointment.
This doesn't mean don't aim for the stars! It means working backwards from your ultimate goal to create bite sized action steps that bring you closer to that goal.
The key to making new behaviors stick is by turning them into a habits. How do we create a habit? By repeating an action over and over again until it becomes automatic. This means it does take time! But the smaller and more simple the action step, the easier it will be to keep doing it until it does become second nature.
Give yourself some small milestones to reach on the way to your big goal and make it specific so you know exactly what you are doing and where you are going.
For example, instead of simply stating you want to eat healthier, break it down.
Could you add an extra serving of vegetables per day? Could you start cooking meals at home at dinner time instead of ordering takeout? Could you add a side salad to lunch?
Set yourself up to win by keeping it simple, easy, and specific.
About the Author
Laurence Annez is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Health Coach, specializing in PCOS and women's hormones. She also holds a degree in Creative Writing and has extensive experience writing on health and wellness topics. Laurence's mission is to inspire and motivate individuals to take control of their own health and reach their ultimate health goals.