My article today is about Motivation. How to stay motivated? How to keep it up with new good habits, that still require some efforts and discipline? How not to drop it all and choose the “easier” way?
I want to share my personal tips about it because many people really struggle with it. As a Holistic Health Coach, I see some people really committed at first, but then they drop everything because they realize that it might not be as easy as they thought it would be. Yes, they quit even though they know that those changes were good for them, and that they should continue the process.
So, how to take all the chances on your side and keep on doing what you have already started?
1. First, find your ONE GOAL
You have to find your purpose in life. What is it, that will make you wake up in the morning, strong, determined, and smiling? This goal can not be just “losing weight” or “being healthy” or “get a new promotion at work”. It has to be something that truly, deeply excites you, as much as it scares you. Think BIG! And this goal can always change in the future, it actually rarely stays the same, either because you achieve it, or because your dreams in life change as you evolve yourself. If you can’t find anything to think of, maybe ask yourself what is it, that you DON’T want. This can actually help you open your eyes about what you truly want. I think that to find this ONE GOAL, you have to connect with yourself deeply, and not lie to yourself. It is not about what you think the others expect from you. Nor what you think you should do or who you should be. It is about what you deeply truly feel and what makes you jump around like a kid. Take time to figure out what that is, it is truly important to keep it in your mind.
2. Be conscious of every single choices you make
When you have this ONE GOAL in your head, it is easier to take the right decisions…. Either you take a decision that will get you closer to your goal, or another one that will make you go further away, or you won’t move at all, and sometimes immobility is even worse (even if you take a longer road to your goal, at least you are moving and hopefully you will get closer in the long run). So you see how powerful it is to have that in your mind? If your goal is to achieve the next marathon in your city, and you are scared and excited at the same time just thinking about it, well it is easier to choose to eat some good organic vegetables with grass fed meat rather than processed burgers….. Or if your goal is to go travel around the world for 6 months, and you have to put some money aside, it is easier to choose not to buy that unnecessary pair of shoes…:-)) what I am trying to show here is that knowing where you are going in life is crucial. Knowing what makes you thrive is crucial. Don’t let diversions take you out of your way. Your friends are having drinks and partying tonight? If you know it will make you very tired the day after, and non-efficient and it won’t help you get there where you want to be, it is ok to say no and to have a good productive inner work evening instead…. It is all about knowing what you want and taking responsibility for it.
3. Remember why you chose to start
Whatever you have been doing that changed your daily routine, there is always a very good reason why you first started. Be confident and trust yourself. Remember how you were feeling before, how you are feeling now. If you can already perceive some positive changes, it is the best reason not to quit. Unfortunately, we tend to forget how bad we were before, because humans remember better good things and are quite lazy creatures! But I truly believe that it is more difficult to live unhappy and feeling not at your best, rather than putting some effort in order to improve your life and thrive instead of survive...
4. Write a journal
As I said, we tend to forget how bad we were before, how well we progressed since we started making some changes. Those changes were a must at the beginning and that’s why you decided to make those changes. And maybe now, because you feel better, you don’t feel the need as much, and slowly but surely, you are going back to the bad old habits that are ingrained in you. Writing a journal and reporting regularly what you are doing, how you are feeling, and all the emotional and physical changes in you, can help you realize how far you have come and how frustrating it would be to quit and start all over again. Having a journal where you write everything about yourself is an amazing way to communicate with yourself, understand better what is going on with you, understand your strength and weaknesses, and realize how you are evolving and becoming a better you. Whenever you feel a bit lost, or you are losing faith and motivation, read it again, see how the changes you have made have been helping you, and remember that the most difficult is not to go on; it is rather the first step towards change. Yes, I do think that the most difficult step is the first one: when you take the decision to change your life, to change some habits, to get out of your comfort zone. Be proud of what you have accomplished so far and just continue! YES, there will be days where you are down, not feeling well, feeling weak and doubting about everything. YES, and this is normal. It is even a good way to take a step back and see if there are some things that you should change or not, see what suits you best and what is counterproductive for you. Those days are normal, and I would say they are even necessary. Embrace them and take the best out of them. Some other days, you will feel like Superman or Wonderwoman and nothing can stop you. This is all part of the journey, and remember: the journey is what counts! ENJOY and HAVE FUN, even on “down” days! You can not go back to yesterday, so make every second count, no matter what.
5. Make your own dream board
What is a dream board? It is a collection of pictures, texts, quotes, that represent your “dream” life, or everything you want to achieve, in your personal and professional life, family, love, friends... Things that inspire you, people who are role models to you. Maybe some landscape or beautiful piece of art that really mean something to you. By setting it up, you start creating your own new reality…. By looking at it every day, you remember what you are looking for in life, what you want to achieve, and what are the changes you have to make to achieve it. It is quite powerful because unconsciously, this will influence you in the decisions you make and in the way you are living your life. So let your creativity expand itself and start building your own personal dream board. I think that this should be something quite personal and you don’t need to show it to anyone (unless you want to). We all have some dreams that even we think are completely mad or crazy! But that doesn’t matter. Just collect pictures that resonate with you and that make you travel. You have to feel a real deep connection with your dream board. Go back and check it out as much as possible, especially on more difficult days. Get inspired by it. It should give you strength and motivation. You can even change some pics, and adapt them to your own changes. Sometimes, something that really fascinated you before, doesn’t attract you anymore after a while, because your focus and priorities change. So be open and relax about it. Just make it your own very personal ever-changing piece of art.
I hope those few tips will inspire some of you who are struggling and not keeping their new commitments easily. Many people ask me how I do to eat always so healthy, and have the holistic lifestyle as part of me now. I am not sure what to answer. I started because I had to, because I was in such a terrible health state that I HAD TO MAKE CHANGES. And yes, it took some efforts at the beginning, but I had no other choice. And as I was starting feeling better, and seeing a real difference in my physical, mental and emotional state, things became clearer and clearer to me: I didn’t want to go back to how I was before, never ever again. And today, those new habits and lifestyle changes I made are part of me. The same way you brush your teeth every day, I added some new “routine habits” that I don’t even overthink now anymore. It is easy, it is part of me and that’s it. Am I perfect all the time? Hell NO!!! But am I taking care of myself as I learnt a lot about myself in the process? HELL YES. I know I am such a better person today, and today I just want to share that experience with everyone. When I see people that are not living at their own potential, it gets me crazy!! But hey. Everyone is responsible for their own journey. That’s also something I learnt. You can not force anynone to do anything just because you think (or know :-)) ) that this is better for them. As a coach, I am there to help people and guide them. But at the end, they are the ones who take action and decide what they really want to do.
Trust yourself and forget about what other people “may think”. Do what you want and what you love to do because this is your life, no one’s else. Don’t forget where you want to go and what you want to achieve, and be an inspiration for everyone around you….
In Love and Happiness,