Many of us have the knowledge and information we need to make healthy choices & achieve better nutrition and physical fitness. We know the recommended amount of exercise and how many veggies to eat per day… So why are we not living our healthiest, most vibrant lives?!
Various rewards are consciously and subconsciously motivating us to take action. Some examples may be… brushing our teeth to avoid bad breath and cavities, doing our workouts because we feel better after & so we can finish that 5k we signed up for, or spending time on our hobby because it brings us joy. When we become more aware of the positive outcomes that accompany healthy behaviors, it can be motivating to keep that positivity going!
There are also reasons we choose to not take action: fear, lack of energy, desire for comfort, uncertainty, we see it as a low priority task, and so on. These may appear to be the challenges and roadblocks that get in the way of putting our healthy intentions into practice.
What rewards motivate you to take action?
What holds you back from making the changes you’d like to make?
We should check in with ourself regularly to re-connect with what’s motivating us now.
Frequently ask yourself: ‘what motivates me now and later?’ What rewards of action motivate you immediately? These might be… that clear-minded feeling after a workout, seeing your workout friends at the gym or a fitness class, having more energy due to better hydration and nutrition, or noticing a healthier GI system as we eat more fruits, veggies and legumes.
Future motivators may be less tangible, but they are just as important to continue putting in the effort of healthy living. These are things like… ensuring greater independence as we age, avoidance of chronic diseases, or being around to play with our grandkids and great-grandkids.
The next time you’re feeling uninspired to cook a healthy meal or get back into your workout routine, remind yourself why healthy living is important to you. Consider all the rewards of a healthy lifestyle, and let the vision of your most vibrant life fuel you forward.
Journaling exercise: Set a timer for 20 minutes. Write for 5 minutes answering each of the following:
✔️What motivates me?
✔️What, specifically, causes me to avoid taking action?
✔️How can I begin to resolve any barriers standing in my way?
✔️What can I do this week to take one small step in the right direction towards my goals?
Valerie Koschnick RDN, CD