Motivating yourself to start a health journey

‘Motivation’ has acquired the status of buzz word. The Internet is awash with motivation tips on how to push yourself to study for exams and finish that last work project on a Friday afternoon. People seem to need motivation to complete the downright simple stuff, like doing their laundry. ‘Trivial’ tasks aside, how do you initiate a health journey? What about that very first step? Where do you find inspiration for such a potentially life-transforming move?

  1. Honesty is the best policy. Be open and frank about what change you’re really after. Are you set on just losing a few pounds? Do you wish to shift your eating habits and ditch the unhealthy for once and for all (well, almost..)? Are you slim already, but not toned enough? Sit down and reflect on what your ultimate aim is. And remember that change comes from within. You have to be a 100% committed.
  2. Do your research. Read about food, nutrition, exercise and mental well being. We’re lucky to have an extensive amount of informational available to us. Use these resources wisely and educate yourself. Here’s probably a good place for me to interject – just as I have in my About cinnamonontop section – that you should always prioritise your health. Don’t compromise it. If and when you’re unsure, or maybe as a great starting point, consult a professional to ensure that you aren’t harming yourself.
  3. Set concrete and realistic goals for yourself and in sync with the sought after end result. These may be weekly, or monthly. Or why not even daily? They don’t have to be huge. Baby steps, right? Update them regularly.
  4. Visualise! Invest in an Ideas / Motivation board. We aren’t talking fancy here. It may be the cheapest board on offer. It needs to do the job. Cut out magazine articles, photographs and quotes. Write down music lyrics or film lines. It can be anything that floats your boat and reminds you why you’ve started this journey and where you’d like to be.Β IMG_6824
  5. Find a role model. Find someone whose body, and attitude to health, you admire. Read their story. Chances are they were at a similar emotional place in the past and you’ll be able to relate.
  6. Surround yourself with like-minded people. Now, I’m not at all implying to isolate yourself from your friends. The Internet gives you the opportunity to network with people living on the other side of the world. Once again, utilising what’s available to us is essential. Being in frequent contact with health enthusiasts will certainly inspire you to continue. On the contrary, if you expose yourself to a news feed full of cupcake and muffin recipes, you’re rather likely to slip and give up.
  7. A healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be about over thinking. Once you’re busy analysing and jotting down Pros and Cons, you’re on the road to failure. The human mind works in mysterious ways and, sooner than later, you’ll find reasons NOT to bother. Have you ever said to yourself that your diet (please, don’t diet..it’s harmful and it doesn’t even work) will commence on Monday? To twist this around, have you ever said to yourself that your healthy lifestyle will commence on Monday? Why Monday? Do it now. Don’t over think. Just. Do. It.
  8. Write down what you eat and drink, what form of exercise you’ve enjoyed doing. Share your thoughts. This will help you track any inconsistencies. Are you an emotional eater? A diary will assist you in establishing what triggers your emotional eating, or what has prevented you from reaching all your goals this day / week / month. It’s an outlet and will rid you of any negativity. You can go down memory lane and, indeed, buy an actual notebook for said purposes. I have one:IMG_6843
  9. Evaluating your progress should be an inseparable part of your journey. Why? Because by seeing you’re improving, you will undoubtedly feel this is worth it. Beware. You won’t notice results straight away. This isn’t a quick fix. This is for life and you have to be patient. Do pay attention, however, and you’ll spot those minor improvements!
  10. Let your hair down from time to time! Indulging in foods that you love, taking a break from strenuous exercise and pampering yourself will do you a world of good. It means you’ll have the drive to eat extra healthy in the next few days and train twice as hard. Plus, we only live once. A clichΓ©, I know. But we do. We need life’s little pleasures and, if a box of chocolates will do the trick, you need to allow yourself to have it (in moderation, of course..). Β IMG_6897
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