Shift Your Focus

It makes sense that forcing a lifestyle change that doesn’t speak to your intrinsic motivators might fail. Instead, try focusing on developing your motivators so that the thought of quitting ceases to be appealing. Follow along for a few tips on creating health-positive changes with this new focus in mind.

Photography: Gregg Lambton-Carr

It makes sense that forcing a lifestyle change that doesn’t speak to your intrinsic motivators might fail. Instead, try focusing on developing your motivators so that the thought of quitting ceases to be appealing. Follow along for a few tips on creating health-positive changes with this new focus in mind.

Sit down for a minute and jot down all of your daily responsibilities, I’ll wait…

Do you see how there isn’t much time left to fit in extra tasks such as cooking more, or going to the gym or walking? Why? Because your plate is very full; your job is demanding, your children require your attention, your household needs management, etc. So, it makes sense that forcing in a lifestyle change that doesn’t speak to your intrinsic, personal motivators might fail. 

I know you’ve probably tried to add in some self-care elements in the past.You’ve started fitness programs, you’ve probably started a “no-fail,” step-by-step diet, but you still ended up back in your usual habits. If you look back, were you more focused on seeing immediate physical improvements or were you focused on developing your motivators?

Here are a few tips on creating health-positive changes, but this time, with a new focus: developing your motivators so that the thought of quitting ceases to be appealing.

Assess your “why”

Why do you want/need a change? Is it only aesthetic? On the surface, maybe. Dig deeper. Are you feeling sluggish? Is your doctor advising a health change? Do you wish to keep up with your children, or show them a strong example of a healthy lifestyle? Improving energy, getting stronger, or lowering blood pressure can often show quicker results than aesthetics changes and can help motivate you to keep going. 

Set a short-term time frame

We all want it right now, but there is so much power, and momentum gained in hitting short-term goals, often. Set your sights on 2 weeks, one month, or 6 weeks, for example.

Create an actionable, quantifiable goal

What are you planning on doing, and how often do you plan on doing it? Make this action fit your schedule and your personality. If you aren’t looking forward to completing this task, then eventually it will be a chore that you’ll simply remove from the to-do list. It is more beneficial to start small and build up as you get comfortable with a change. Adding in 2 at-home fitness classes per week for 4 weeks may bring you much more success than adding 5 days at the gym when you are starting from zero. As success is achieved, your confidence to move the bar will in turn grow.

Reassess after each goal period

How successful were you in hitting your goal? Do you need to set your goals higher or lower next time to create success? Success breeds momentum, and momentum breeds intrinsic motivation. 

Lifestyle changes are more of a marathon than a sprint. You’ve tried the sprint method in the past, you burnt out, you couldn’t sustain the longevity. Go slow, set the bar for moderate successes, make sure it fits your personality and schedule, and watch your motivation grow as you see inward and outward changes.

Learn more about Jenny Fisher / owner and creator of the Get Salty by Jenny Fisher App @jennyfisherfitness


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