One of the questions I am asked often in regards to a healthy lifestyle is 'how do you stay motivated on a daily basis?'
Motivation is a tricky one because it comes from WITHIN. No one can truly motivate you as an individual. People can inspire and can be a source of encouragement - but sheer motivation to truly live a more health centered life (whatever that may mean to you) MUST come from within.
The above being said in regards to motivation, I have witnessed certain daily commitments in myself and others who are healthy-lifestyle focused that are consistent in keeping motivation strong.
1. Have a morning routine
It doesn't have to be a long run or a 5am workout - it can be as simple as making your bed or writing 10 things you are grateful for in your life or stepping outside for 5 minutes of silence and peace before a busy day. No matter what you choose - start your day with something that makes you feel GOOD about your day.
If making your bed makes you FEEL accomplished - you will have more motivation to keep accomplishing additional things in the remainder of your day!
Some of my favorite morning routines:
Long morning walks (with my pups) while listening to engaging podcasts to get my day going!
Morning commutes with my favorite podcasts setting the tone for the day
A short 5 minute meditation session on my deck to get me ready for a busy day
A 30 minute intense sweat session!
Saying aloud 10 things I am grateful for to start my day on a positive note
A short 5-10 minute yoga session to prime my body and mind for the coming work day
A chapter in a thought provoking book I am reading in a sunny spot with a cup of coffee
2. Schedule in movement
Literally type (or write for my old school friends :-)) it in your calendar. Why? Calendars are meant to keep us accountable to ourselves and others by way of appointments. Movement and workouts are an appointment with ourselves.
Scheduling in your movement will also prevent other people or commitments from taking up that time - thus forcing you to create this healthy habit.
The more you make daily movement a habit - the more accomplished and motivated you will feel to keep this going!
Keep in mind - movement doesn't have to be a boring workout you dislike - it can be a long walk in the morning with your favorite podcast or music, it can be an afternoon group fitness class, a bike ride, a hike - whatever you ENJOY that keeps you active!
3. Have a Mantra - and look at it daily
Sounds cheesy? It's not. Words can truly change us and having words we look at or say daily can spark a deep connection and motivation from within.
You can write your own, find your favorite quote or read some great thought leadership or inspiring people to find one that resonates with you!
When I was working on getting healthy many years back, I had a long road ahead of me. I had a lot of weight I wanted to lose but also body dysmorphia and disordered eating to overcome. My mantra then that I pasted everywhere (including the wallpaper on my phone!) was one I wrote:
"The end result is so much greater than the pain you now face."
This helped me IMMENSELY in the tough times!
My new favorite is by Thought Leader, Author and Speaker, Cy Wakeman:
This quote resonates DEEPLY within me and helps me to remember that my circumstances - no matter how great or small, are not reasons I CAN'T succeed - but they are the circumstances in which I MUST succeed!
I think this quote and concept is perfect for this very topic of motivation. All too often, we become 'victims' of our circumstance rather than using our circumstance as fuel to overcome!
4. Find daily quiet time
This is one of the most overlooked activities of our day in the world of 'Go, Go and Go some more.' But quiet time is time for much needed self reflection.
If we never find time to be still and quiet, we will never truly be able to look deeply within ourselves and find out our true DESIRES and our core motivation. We won't know our why if we are simply slaves to the 'busy' happening around us.
Try just 5 minutes a day of quiet with no other activities - no cooking, workouts, texting - nada. Sit in a quiet room, on your back porch on a mat, in your dining room - even your car. Close your eyes and breathe in and out normally. Allow thoughts to come in and out and without judgement - just simply be aware of those thoughts of reflection. If it helps to have a guided meditation app like Headspaceor Calm- go for it!
5. Listen/Read Thought Leadership
My favorite part of my day is my morning walks where I can do 3 of the 5 motivation activities at once: morning routine, movement and listening to my favorite thought leadership/career podcasts!
Whether you prefer career related professional development, personal growth, health and wellness focused or any other topic - there are so many great podcasts, blogs and content out there for various tastes!
I highly recommend seeking a few that you love to listen to or read and carving out time in your day for short consumption. Why? The tips and tools in these thought leaders content truly help people to stay motivated on a daily basis be it through mental exercises, mindset shift or even fitness activities that can keep you moving toward your goals!