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Stick To Healthy Diets Effortlessly By Riding Your Motivation Wave

Stick To Healthy Diets Effortlessly By Riding Your Motivation Wave

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.

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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.

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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[1] that the key is to ride this motivational wave when it’s at a high.

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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.

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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.

Reference

[1] BJ Fogg: Motivation Wave

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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