When creating personal goals and self-improvement strategies, our health is usually at the top of the list. We start off strong – full of motivation and plenty of willpower – but we all know the feeling of losing that after a month, week, or sometimes even a few short hours.
Despite knowing that healthy eating is important for our bodies, keeping up the habit can be a struggle. So how do we tackle losing motivation and create a long-term health kick that lasts?
Demotivation Kicks In When We Don’t See Results Instantly
At the start of a health kick, we’re excited for the changes we’re making but we’re also evolved to want instant results. When we don’t see these immediately, demotivation kicks in. We know the healthy choice we need to make but that motivation wanes.
Even chopping up the vegetables can start to feel lacklustre and boring. As a result, it’s easy to let your new healthy eating habits fall to the wayside pretty quickly.
Fasten Your Seatbelt! Motivation Is Like A Roller Coaster
Wouldn’t it be great if we could bottle up that initial motivation and keep it going? There is some good news!
According to research by Stanford psychologist, BJ Fogg there is a way to ride the motivational wave that can mean sustaining your motivation for healthy habits for a more extended period of time.
So what is this motivational wave? Well, these are the fluctuations we experience in our motivational levels. For example, they are obviously pretty high in the beginning when we set out our healthy eating goals, when we’re combining it with exercise, or have a specific weight-loss goal. But they can dip when we’re tired from work, bored of the same food, stressed or fed up.
It’s this wave of ups and downs that play havoc with keeping ourselves on track.
Sticking To Your Habit Is Easy: Do More When You Feel Motivated
When it comes to our healthy eating habits, Fogg explains that the key is to ride this motivational wave when it’s at a high.
What does this mean? Well, putting in all the hard work when your brain is highly motivated will help you in those times when you want to give up or tempted to break your new habit.
One example is that once you’ve bought your vegetables and other healthy foods from the store (i.e. the wave is high and motivation is strong) utilize this time to come home and chop up and prepare the food so it’s done and ready for cooking later. Then, when you aren’t as motivated, you’ll have less work to do in order to remain healthy.
When You Feel Motivated, Seize The Moment And Do These Things!
So what do you do when you are feeling motivated? It could mean spending this motivational high researching interesting recipes and getting excited for different meals. This creates inspiration and forces the brain to see the long-term and associate healthy meals with excitement.
It could also mean spending this motivated time to cook a big healthy meal in one go and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. This way you don’t have to deal with cooking it and is ready waiting for you when the wave is low.
It could mean making dates with equally motivated friends or family to come over and cook together as a way to gather up some support and keep the healthy habits going.
It’s all about grasping the time to do the harder work while motivation is at its highest. This means the times when motivation is lower and you’re feeling lazy, it’s all prepared in advance – less slip-ups and less chance of giving up while in demotivation mode. So, take a shot at riding the motivational wave, utilise its peak and see how far it can take you through your healthy eating journey.
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