We’ve all faced times where no matter how hard you try, you just can’t stick to a healthy routine. Just thinking about exercise or cooking a healthy meal can be daunting, and with fast food being, well, fast, it’s not difficult to see why so many struggle to stay motivated with a healthy lifestyle.
It happens to everyone, there probably isn’t one person who can say they have never had a period of time where they have had some time away from eating right and exercising as often as they should.
Finding the motivation to look after yourself doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours in the gym or spend one day a week prepping healthy meals, you can do it so much easier.
Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can stay motivated below:
Give Yourself A Real Reward
No, this doesn’t mean eating an entire cheesecake after a run, it’s about giving yourself something that is going to help you get closer to your goals. Why not indulge in an episode or two of your favourite tv show or reading about the Association of Naturopathic Practitioners after your workout, to enable your muscles to recover? Or treat yourself to a massage after two or three weeks on track with your exercise routine. After you have eaten a healthy meal, reward yourself with some self-care such as taking a hot bath or home spa-treatment.
You are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, so the best thing you can do is to stop rewarding yourself with junk food, one of the main causes of a bad diet. Exercise will slowly become a habit, and your motivation will grow as you reward yourself in a positive way.
Set Yourself A Commitment Contract
We can make a promise after promise to ourselves, however, research shows us that we are more likely to eat well and exercise when we make the commitment to some one else such as our family or friends. Why not set a contract with your family to state you will workout three times a week for 30 minutes and that you will cook at least one healthy meal each day so you can be healthier for them?
Turn Your Workouts Social
In the world of today, it is very common to see people using social media as a way to stay accountable for their progress or commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s sharing their weekly weigh in, showing progress pictures, showing methods of exercise, or sharing pictures of your food, sharing them on social media may be a good way to keep you on track.
Always Remember The Why
There is going to be a reason why you want to live a healthier lifestyle, so, remember what it is when you feel yourself slipping. Whether you’re doing because you’ve gained a little weight over Christmas or through pregnancy, or you’re trying to minimise the risks from an underlying health condition, always think back to the reasons why you are making changes.
Remember changes aren’t going to happen over night, therefore, you shouldn’t expect them to. Don’t give up at the first hurdle, in fact, don’t give up at the tenth. No one said that making changes towards a healthy lifestyle was easy. Do you have any tips on how to you can stay motivated? Please share them in the comments below.
There is a good chance that you may have over indulged the last few days and need thinking that you need to work off all those treats. Runner's World spoke to a sport and eating dietician about how running should never be a validation of what you eat, at any time of year. You can find out more here...
Here's Why You're Always Distracted
It is often easy to conclude that you’re just a ‘scatterbrain’ type of person and even begin to feel comfortable with it. Unfortunately, this attitude does not solve the problem of why you are so often distracted. There are so many factors that may cause your constant distraction, and it would be useful to know what they are to reduce the chances of making avoidable mistakes. For example, an Allianz Germany study discovered that 60% of drivers involved in accidents admitted to some form of distraction. Are you frequently distracted from the task at hand? Here some reasons why, and possible solutions you can try.
1. Mental health issues
Mental health issues can weaken your focus. Contrary to what you may have thought, depression and anxiety do more than change thought patterns. Their overarching effects extend to impact every other aspect of a person’s life. When the brain frequently perceives a threat, it becomes impossible to focus on a task. To solve this, you may require professional help to identify the actual source of your mental instability. Clinical psychologists and psychiatrists are specialized in dealing with issues of such nature. As a self-help exercise, begin a task that requires you to focus intently on it. Avoid checking your phone or doing any other thing that may require you to multitask. Over time, your brain retrains itself to stick only to what you set out to do.
2. When you work with relaxed deadlines
It is erroneous to think that more hours worked means you have accomplished more. When you find yourself trying to reach a deadline, you tend to avoid entertaining distractions at all cost. On the other hand, because the human brain tends to conserve energy when possible, relaxed deadlines are significant culprits for distractions. You may find yourself attending to non-pressing tasks when you have more time on your hands. It could be a video game to pass the time or a phone call to your best friend. It would help if you developed a laser focus on everything you set out to do to avoid these distractions. Begin by setting tight deadlines for yourself and discipline yourself to stick to them. Consider using DaaS cloud-computing solutions to create a timetable, with regular reminders or a to-do checklist. Create a shorter time frame to complete your tasks as this makes them more achievable and easier to accomplish. Sometimes, it may be useful to have an accountability partner to hold you to your word. For example, if you are working with a team to complete a project, inform the team leads that your report will come days earlier before the final sign-off. With this promise, the team lead will hold you accountable for the set delivery time.
3. Lack of good sleep
If you ever downplayed the benefits of good sleep, now is the time to discover its many mysteries. Lack of sleep elevates Cortisol levels in the body, which overrides your brain’s ability to function optimally. In medical studies, persons who suffer from sleep apnea have difficulty with brain focus. You may have realized the emphasis on ‘good’ sleep, and you’re about to find out why:
An extended period of sleep cannot qualify as being ‘good’ when you gulped down a few glasses of wine before retiring to bed. Alcohol is a significant culprit in sleep disruptions as it prevents you from getting enough Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycles to feel revitalized the next day. During the REM cycle, the eyes move rapidly but without sending visual signals to the brain. It is a deeper stage of sleep compared to the non-REM process. To resolve this, avoid alcohol and caffeine a few hours before your bedtime. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for an adult, regardless of gender or age.
4. You may have adult ADHD
ADHD is the abbreviation of the condition- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Unfortunately, people tend to believe this is something only “hyperactive” children suffer from. However, this condition also affects adults, and due to the variations in symptoms, adult ADHD may be difficult to diagnose without clinical help. For example, whereas a child may exhibit hyperactivity, an adult would not do so because they may have a higher level of self-control.
On the other hand, an adult may show signs of low concentration and inattentiveness. This is where distraction tendencies are higher than usual. That is not to say anybody who exhibits these traits regularly is a sufferer of adult ADHD. If you suspect this is your situation, seek a proper diagnosis from a specialized physician. Some of these conditions receive coverage from national health services. Fortunately, there are brain exercises to help you overcome your diagnosis.
You can find further information if your child is diagnosed with ADHD with this guide 'On What To Do If Your Child Is Diagnosed With ADHD'.
5. Involvement in unhealthy relationships
Sometimes after a breakup, the brain spirals into a cycle of addictive coping mechanisms. It may come in the form of entertaining obsessive thoughts, regret patterns, and flashes of excitement. Sadly, this leaves very little room for focused thinking. It may manifest at work while driving or involved in any other house chore. In some instances, people have experienced terrible breakups, which affected career progress.
It may be challenging to identify the source of such unhealthy distractions, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. When you finally realize our distracting lifestyle, it may help to join a social network that discusses healthy coping mechanisms. This teaches you to interact with other people experiencing similar patterns. A shared supportive platform begins to help you discover positivity around you while breaking the cycle of constant distractions in your daily life.
Repressed experiences and emotions are other factors that may be responsible for your distracted tendencies. It is worth knowing that constant distractions are unproductive and tend to build an air of negativity around a person. Although they are impossible to avoid regularly, it is better to be aware and devise healthy means to handle such situations. In some instances, distraction is a sign of uncontrolled elevated stress. Keep your mind calm and your body in a deliberately relaxed state to reduce harmful stress responses.
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Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live