It’s easy to set resolutions, make plans in favor of healthy lifestyle changes, and even take the first few steps, but most people falter as it gets tougher, or when faced with a setback.
As the initial excitement wears off, our brains do everything in their power for a quick retreat to the status quo, where there’s comfort in instant gratification, when compared to long term discipline and regulation.
Motivation has long been considered a fleeting feeling, something that wears off when not provided with a steady succession of achievements and accomplishments. As a result, successfully sticking to healthy lifestyle changes requires an extensive reward mechanism to keep the dopamine hits flowing. (1)
1. Start With Why
In a world filled with reasons on why not to do something, individuals require a firm guiding light to stay on course when the going gets tough. Being clear and firm as to why you’re striving for a healthier lifestyle provides an anchor to keep you steady, even in the face of tumultuous storms.
While this is a simple exercise, most people fail to understand the core driving force behind their own motivations. The right answers shouldn’t be on the lines of “because I want to be healthy,” but something more concrete such as “because I want to live long enough to see my grandkids,” or “I don’t want to be a burden on my family as I age.”
2. Seek Inspiration
There is no shortage of ‘inspiration porn’ on the internet, with dozens of before and after pictures, and stories of overcoming the odds. While some might consider this a frivolous waste of time, being witness to the light at the end of the tunnel, is a sure-fire way to keep going.
Seeking inspiration is also a great way to generate ideas, with the different approaches, practices, and strategies used by individuals being revealed, which can be a solution to the problems that you are currently facing.
3. Set Milestones
As discussed earlier, our brain craves a constant stream of achievements to get improved and stay motivated, and as a result, it makes great sense to set steady short term milestones at regular intervals. This can also mean tracking your vitals on a regular basis, so you can see improvements overtime, giving you plenty of incentives to stay on track.
While a long term goal helps set the stage, and provide a heading, it can also be quite overwhelming, and stressful when staring at the long arduous road ahead. However, with a focus on reaching just one milestone at a time, the mind finds it easy to accommodate, and is unlikely to look for a way out.
4. Consider Consulting A Lifestyle Medicine Doctor
A key reason why most people give-up on healthy lifestyle changes, is that they try to do it alone, and are often overwhelmed by their own cravings, and instincts. This is where a qualified professional with extensive experience working with, and guiding people on the road to health can add value.
Practitioners of lifestyle medicine services have essentially seen it all, and know perfectly well what most people go through when making substantial changes to their lifestyles. As a result, they can help you plan your transition, goals, and even milestones to perfection, while also keeping you accountable, and motivated on a regular basis. (2)
Motivation can be a strong driving force in the beginning, but as the initial excitement wears off, people have to adopt a number of different measures to stay committed to their plans.
The key is to stay consistent and overcome the pull of the central governor in your brain that prevents you from cutting out carbs, exercising, and even cutting-off unhealthy foods and snacks.
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