Staying Motivated With New Health Habits
Once you've taken that first step to get started with a new health or fitness routine, the initial excitement is often enough to carry you through for at least a few weeks... but what happens when the momentum stops?
Finding motivation is key to keeping us going in the long term, so here are some tips to help you stay inspired and on track.
Revisit your goals
If you haven't put some time into thinking about your goals yet, that needs to happen now! If you have sorted your goals, read back over them and either reevaluate what you've got or use the revisit as inspiration.
It's usually not enough just to have your goal in mind; you need to have your reason WHY you want to achieve it - and that reason has to be really good otherwise it won't keep you going. From there you need to flesh it out even more so that it turns into an action plan.
For example, if your key goal is weight loss, aiming for a number on the scale typically won't work on its own for long-term motivation. Are you doing it to feel more confident? To improve your health? To have your clothes fit better? How can you measure that? And what simple activities can you do on a daily basis that will help you get there?
Add some fun and variety
It's tough work sticking to a health, fitness or nutrition routine that's boring and the same from week to week. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. How could you add more fun and variety into what you're doing? Some ideas could include:
Find a new recipe to try, use some new and different ingredients, get experimental with some of your existing recipes, eat out at a restaurant and see if you can copy the food in your kitchen at home, try and re-create a healthier version of one of your favourite takeaways, take a cooking class, invite friends over for a meal and get social with your food, get some new tableware or a new lunchbox.
Look at doing an exercise class or trying a sport that you haven't done before, go for a run or walk somewhere different to usual, invest in some new activewear, work out with a friend or family member, arrange a fitness-oriented team building activity with your workplace, book a session with a personal trainer, adjust your workout to something slightly different (i.e. if you usually run 20 minutes in a flat area, try a hilly route next time, or run on the beach/on a forest trail/along the seaside/up a mountain), do a fitness test and try to beat your personal bests, create a new music playlist to train with.
Try a different type of yoga or meditation to what you're used to, book a private session with a yoga teacher, do something that makes you happy, have a catchup with a friend you haven't seen in a long time, take your yoga practice outdoors, read a new inspiring book, create some artwork, go to a yoga event that you may not have tried before (i.e. kirtan, a workshop on inversions/chakras/props, a retreat).
Get social with it
Surrounding yourself with other individuals who have similar goals (or get what you're trying to do!) is a great way of staying motivated. You can cheer each other on, have someone to lift you up and keep you going when you're not feeling into it, and help you brainstorm new ways to stay motivated and inspired.
This could mean working out in a group, signing up to a sports team, joining health and fitness-related forums on social media, attending health and wellness events with others, or attending workshops.
Letting friends, family and work colleagues know about your goals and inviting them to join your journey. It may even be help from a professional such as a personal trainer, yoga teacher or nutrition coach.
Anything face to face that gets you interactive generally helps with support, motivation and accountability - all good things that will help you stay inspired!
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