We seem to hail monday as the day of all beginnings, many people seem to believe that it’s the only day you can begin a new lifestyle. While I do see the utility of this, mondays feel clean to us, a whole new week to shape however we want, it should not be hailed as the holy grail of lifestyle change. It’s not about the day of the week as much as the will power of the individual and real motivations behind the change. I struggle a lot with motivating myself to do things that i need to do and it boggles my mind, I cannot understand why I would rather scroll through the instagram posts of complete strangers than get a good vinyasa flow in and drop some pearls of wisdom on my blog. The more I think about it I’ve come to realize that it’s fear. Fear of failure is a strong motivation to not do things, while thinking about the benefits of success can sometimes do very little to motivate us in a positive direction. We need to let go of the idea that not succeeding at a goal is synonymous with failure, failure is the combination of lack of success and the decision not to try again. We only really fail when we give up, but we live in a society where instead of building each other up we break each other down because deep down we’re all a little broken, and we don’t want to be the only ones. Because of this we are always trying to save face and appear put together, often at the expense of achieving goals we really want. Once we start defining success and failure in more realistic ways, and learn to support and love each other, and find true happiness in the success and achievements of others, we will feel more comfortable striving for the same thing in our own lives.
Another aspect of motivation that can hinder oany future success is being motivated by the wrong things. At the beginning of any journey to a healthier lifestyle the main motivation is usually the numbers on a scale, and that can be a great motivation to get started, but it won’t help you sustain that healthy lifestyle. If you want to make any kind of long term change the motivation has to eventually come from within, it can’t be all about fitting into a bikini. It has to also be about loving your body and wanting to nurture and take care of it because when you take care of your body, it will take care of you. If vanity is your only motivator that can often lead to making unhealthy diet and exercise decision on your quest for this aesthetic concept of the perfect body, while in reality the perfect body is a healthy one. In our culture we have this perception that skinny is inherently healthy, and that is far from the truth. Starvation diets, and excessive exercise may give you the look that you want, but often at a great cost.
A third, and perhaps the best predictor for whether the change will stick, is whether you enjoy the journey, because it is often a long journey. If you’re just going through the motions with an extreme goal in mind and hating every second of it, you will almost definitely quit. The key is to find a fitness regiment that works for you and that you genuinely enjoy. I look forward to my yoga every day, a lot of people love lifting and going to the gym, other people do better in group fitness, and others enjoy working out at home. Find what you enjoy and what fits into your lifestyle and do that, it may take trying all kinds of different things, don’t be scared to try new things, and don’t be scared to quit it if you hate it, fitness is individual, not one size fits all. One change that was very hard for me to make was changing my diet, it took a long time to get to the point I’m at now where I genuinely enjoy cooking and eating healthy. Diet is the often forgotten but ultimately most important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. I received a snapchat from a friend the other day and it was a picture of her dinner plate, she had grilled salmon, quinoa, and sauteed kale, the caption read “gross healthy food”, she seemed to be laboring under the delusion that healthy food could not taste good, but in reality healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive. Very few people genuinely enjoy eating bland food, that’s why there’s so many seasonings and herbs you can add to your food, to take things from bland to BAM!!!! You’ll find that herbs and seasonings are your best friends when eating healthy.