So, you say you want to get healthy, eat better and exercise more. While everyone has different levels of motivation, we all want to be healthy. But for some of us, it’s not always easy to follow through. As the saying goes… there’s no time like the present!
We’ve all been there before: the inner voice that proclaims “I’ll start eating better and exercising… next week.” Procrastination, in simplest terms, is putting off something undesirable in favor of something we’d rather be doing… even if that means sitting on our rear. It’s pretty easy to understand. Who puts off something they love doing?
But if you really do want to be healthy, why does that desire not amount to enough motivation to get the job done? There’s no way to sugarcoat it: eating right and exercising takes effort, the kind of effort most people do not naturally take to. That means you have to find creative ways to turn those undesirable acts into something you will want to do, or even look forward to.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Don’t be too hard on yourself. The first thing you need to know about your procrastination problem is that you aren’t alone. Not only are you not alone, there are plenty of very successful people who struggle with it just like you do. The difference is how you handle it and finding ways to overcome it more often than you succumb to it.
Squash Unrealistic Expectations
While we should all reach for the skies and test our limits, when you’re trying to overcome a serious procrastination problem, make your early goals achievable. At the very beginning, make it so easy that it’s nearly impossible not to achieve. How easy? Plan to take a five minute walk each day this week. You could do fewer days, but when starting out, you want to try to support habit-forming daily actions.
Like any big task in life, looking at the entire group of tasks that need to be undertaken to achieve a long-term goal is absolutely daunting. Small wins can go a long way towards supporting success and building confidence.
Build Motivation Through Self-Esteem
Do you ever wonder how some people actually look forward to the gym or getting up for their morning stroll around the neighborhood? What motivates them? There’s no single right answer, but it all begins with self-esteem.
In order to cross that threshold from procrastination to feeling motivation to take care of yourself, you need to feel that you deserve it! Building self-esteem isn’t achieved through a quick blurb in one blog… it’s worthy of a detailed examination on its own. But for the purposes of this blog, when you start building your self-esteem, you will see that what motivates you is not only that you deserve to be healthy, but you will crave exercise and nutritious foods, because you will feel the palpable health benefits that make your quality of life so much richer.
Use Visual Cues
One of the biggest challenges of beating procrastination, as it relates to healthy habits, is defeating negative self-talk. It’s that involuntary dialogue you have with yourself that either puts you down or gives you reasons to justify putting off your healthy ways for a few more days.
One of the ways you can beat this is to post inspirational quotes or images that make you happy in places you will see them at the right times. That way, when you feel the excuses coming on, you can look at the quote or image to return your focus to your goals.
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