Do you ever adopt a new diet for a week or two, only to lose interest quickly? Maybe you made a new year’s resolution to go to the gym every day but only went for a month or so? It’s tough to stay motivated with new healthy lifestyle habits. No matter how much you want to, you always lose interest in them. But what if there were some easy ways to stay motivated and inspired? What if you could keep wanting to exercise? Here are 7 of our top tips for staying motivated to have a healthy lifestyle:
1. Be positive about yourself
Because you can’t do good if you don’t feel good. So whether you get your five a day, you miss a day of exercise or haven’t eaten healthily, missing a day here or there is not immoral! So don’t feel guilty or bad, and don’t punish yourself. Positive self-belief is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
On top of this, make sure the people you spend the most time with help you feel good about yourself. For example, if your friends tempt you to smoke, drink or overeat, try hanging out with different people.
Don’t worry too much about dress sizes, a goal weight, or meeting your exact step count goal every day. Instead, do what you know is right for you – eat vegetables, move a little, and be happy.
2. Have a realistic goal
If you want to make lasting healthy changes in your life, a realistic goal is the best way to stay motivated. Of course, you’re probably not about to climb Everest next week, even if this is your eventual goal. But if you set a goal like walking 6000 steps daily, swimming ten laps at the pool twice a week, mastering a specific yoga move, or cycling around your street every evening, you’re much more likely to stick to it.
If you’re having trouble sticking to your goal, try having a friend hold you accountable. Alternatively, apps like the Couch to 5K app can give you that gentle prod you need to get going.
3. Make small and gradual changes to your lifestyle
If you try to overhaul your diet completely or implement a fitness regime overnight, you will probably find this daunting and very hard to stick to! Instead, try making one small change every day. For example, if your goal is to eat less meat or processed food, try changing one meal or snack to something plant-based or more wholesome. If you want to move more, try walking a little further daily rather than immediately overdoing it at the gym. Try standing up at your desk for an hour, going for a short lunchtime walk, or drinking one glass of water a day – even the little things can make a big difference.
4. Exercise in a way that suits you
Exercise is tough. This is especially true when it disrupts your usual routine, takes up a lot of time, or you don’t like doing it. However, there are some simple ways to make exercise work for you.
The best way to exercise is in a way that suits you. If you struggle to find the time for exercise, try working it into times you wouldn’t usually be doing anything. For example, you could do stretches or lunges as you boil the kettle or walk around your sofa during ad breaks. Or, you could walk to the café during your lunch break rather than eating more local.
You can also make commutes and journeys a workout. For example, try cycling to work, parking a little further away and jogging to your destination, or walking up and down on public transport.
Alternatively, try thinking of ways to exercise that you will enjoy. For example, if you don’t like jogging in the rain, just jog on the spot in your home! If you detest running, try out parkour, yoga, dancing around the kitchen, or anything that sounds fun to you.
Here are some more tips on how to work some exercise into your day.
5. Get enough good quality sleep
Okay, so this isn’t that related to physical activity. However, getting enough sleep has a myriad of benefits. When you get enough high-quality sleep, you’ll have superior energy levels and feel more motivated in your life. You’ll also have better concentration, improved mental health, and greater well-being. Combined with a balanced diet and some physical activity, you’ll feel amazing when you get enough sleep and have even more motivation for your healthy lifestyle!
You know the drill – no screens leading up to bedtime, and make sure you have a relaxing environment. But you can also try a lavender pillow spray or some white noise if you struggle to get to sleep.
6. Exercise with a friend
Those personal trainers at the gym are terrifying, but they serve a vital purpose – to motivate you and hold you accountable. However, if you want a more friendly way to meet your physical activity goals, why not exercise with a friend? This way, not only do you get the benefit of catching up with a pal, but you also stay motivated and have more fun!
Another way to stay motivated when you exercise is by going to exercise classes. This way, you’re part of a community, and the instructor keeps you all motivated.
7. Celebrate every day!
All these healthy lifestyle changes can make you feel great. But equally, all that physical activity, celery juice cleanses and cutting out caffeine can be a real slog. That’s why you should feel free to celebrate every stage of your healthy lifestyle journey! You don’t have to post your breakfast acai smoothie bowl on Instagram daily, but it’s meaningful to feel good about your actions. Having a healthy and reasonable goal to work towards is essential. But savour life’s pleasures, and don’t let reaching the next goal take over your life.
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