When trying to get healthier or improve an area of our lives, we tend to focus on our actions first. We exert will power to change our behaviors, but then wonder why we can’t stay consistent and why we “self-sabotage.”
I find that most of my clients know what to do to get healthier, but they struggle with consistent execution. I’ve been coaching for 10 years and have noticed a common pattern among nearly all my clients: your thoughts make or break the execution of your goals. So how do we get our thoughts to support us in the pursuit of our goals?
1. Define your WHY.
Why do you want to get healthier? What is your internal motivator? I recommend that your “why” be based on something deeply personal and meaningful to you, such as “I want to run a marathon” or “I want to be healthy for my kids,” rather than an external motivator (ie: what other people think of you). External motivation is often short-lived and unfulfilling, but meaningful internal motivation will fuel you as you work towards your goals.
2. Let your WHY guide your thoughts.
There is a big difference between the thought:” Ugh, I have to exercise today” and “I’m choosing to exercise today because I want to keep my body healthy and active.” The first thought discourages you and the second thought supports your efforts. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to have a constant cheerleader in my head rather than a negative Nancy. Keep your thoughts in check and make sure they’re aligned with your WHY.
3. Take consistent ACTION (despite what you feel). If we only did the things we felt like doing, we’d all be in trouble. Motivation fluctuates and you’re not always going to feel like putting in the effort. Take action towards your goals despite how you feel. You’ve made a commitment to yourself, and commitments should be kept. Remind yourself of your WHY and go out and get the job done!
Choose thoughts that empower you > Take daily action towards your goals > Those consistent actions will turn into habits > Your habits shape your life.
Learning to love yourself is the first step to good health.
We compare ourselves to others and set our standards by the standards of others. We pick ourselves apart and put ourselves down. We try so hard to change everything about ourselves, sending messages to the body that it is not acceptable or lovable in its current condition.
What if you stopped fighting yourself and your body, and started loving it instead?
What if, instead of following every fad diet, you chose to eat foods that nourished you?
What if, instead of doing exercises you hated, you chose to move in ways that you enjoyed?
When you embrace where you are now and appreciate your body in its current state, suddenly, it becomes easier to make healthy choices that suit you.
No amount of kale or cardio will improve your relationship with yourself and your body. True health involves inner work, and learning to love yourself is the first step. In my Nourished for Life e-book, I talk about how to end the war with yourself and adopt a more nurturing approach to health and wellness.
Let’s talk about personal development. We all want to grow, improve ourselves and raise the standards for our lives – and those are admirable goals. I personally work hard to become a better version of myself each and everyday. However, there are two key points to keep in mind:
1. Make sure that whatever you are doing, you are doing it for YOU and not for the approval of others. If you’re constantly seeking the approval of others, you’re wasting your time and energy. People’s opinions of you should not and do not define your self-worth.
2. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We are all a work in progress, and when striving to better yourself and your life, it’s important to know the difference between self-improvement and self-criticism. Striving for more doesn’t mean you can’t be happy with who you are and where you are now.
Be careful with how you talk to yourself. Are you constantly putting yourself down with thoughts like “I’m stupid,” “I’m such a mess up,” or “I’m not good enough?” If so, STOP that negative talk in its tracks. Negative thoughts lead to a negative outlook on life and harsh self criticism leads to a low self-esteem.
Remind yourself that you are worthy, you are good enough, you are accepted and you are loved.
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” ~ Song of Solomon 4:7