Any medical professional will tell you that staying physically fit and mentally engaged is critical to your long term health and happiness.
A dietician advises you to eat small meals every three hours throughout the day, remove artificial sugars from your diet and consume as many fruits and vegetables as you can. Health and fitness bloggers write about how to get in better shape by trying the new 15-minute ab workout, stretching and meditating each morning when you wake up and adding cardio to your workout routine. Your friends will tell you about how the new paleo diet is the best for weight loss, how green tea speeds up your metabolism and share their personal progress by divulging how many pounds they lost in such a short period of time.
What may be missing in the advice you are getting about health and wellness is the reason why any of these health tips work. What motivates you to make these healthy behaviors habitual?
Living healthy and fit is a feeling and an attitude, rather than a number on a scale or image of yourself in the mirror. It’s the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.
Picture a scenario in which your boss offered you double the pay to work twice as many hours in your workweek. Would you accept it?
It’s a fair offer. For many, it’s a very enticing offer. You would have twice as much money to pay your bills, save for a new home or a new car, your retirement, a college fund for your children and your bucket list of items you wish you had the opportunity to buy. Still, there is something more important than cold, hard cash that is missing from this offer.
All of the free time you had outside of work to run errands, cook dinner, exercise or simply relax would now be spent in the office. No longer could you watch your favorite television show at night, because it you wouldn’t have the time without losing valuable sleep. You would no longer have as much time to spend visiting and catching up with close friends and relatives. Is the offer still worth it?
Money is an extrinsic motivator. It’s a tangible reward for the effort you put into a particular behavior, which, in this case, is your work.
The same values instilled by management in the workplace translate into personal health and well being.
The old adage is that in order to lose weight, you simply need to burn more calories than you consume. New research is rapidly dispelling that ideology as a myth, yet many still believe in its merits. There are countless stories of people who experience drastic weight loss in a short period of time only to gain that weight back shortly after. The reason for this likely has less to do with a person’s dietary and exercise habits and more to do with their motivation.
All of the diet and fitness tips from experts and friends are just numbers, facts and figures that demonstrate what behaviors work best for staying fit. There are hundreds of ways a person can become more physically active, lose weight and feel better about themselves. The key is to find out which ones will make you feel better about yourselves and leave you motivated to continue your pursuit for a happier lifestyle.
A morning run or a series of stretches at sunrise help to manage blood flow and circulation as you shake off the grogginess of the night’s sleep to prepare yourself for the day’s endeavors. Physically, you’ll feel more nimble and mentally prepared to tackle the challenges the day may bring. These are intrinsic motivators—the type of rewards that can’t be quantified and are more valuable than materials to most people.
Focus more on the feeling you have from working out and eating healthy—like a renewed sense of energy and greater focus on your daily tasks—and you will understand better the true value your new-found habits.
Harvard research shows that setbacks on the path to reach your goals are actually the most detrimental to your continued progress. Though, the same individuals who face challenges at the beginning of their paths to positive behavioral change and overcome them are the most likely to experience long-lasting change.
Just as a watched pot is slow to boil, tracking your weight loss on a scale can lead to disappointment. Instead, celebrate small victories in your daily routine to stay motivated to build a better lifestyle.
Following through with the healthy habits you committed to are reason enough to be proud and satisfied. If you set out to exercise four times a week, then revel in your willpower at the end of the week. Changing your diet can be highly stressful, so cutting out foods like sugar or curbing your appetite for carb-heavy foods is quite an accomplishment. Being motivated to change your life will help you counteract the urge to quit on your goals.
By constantly tracking your weight loss progress in numbers and figures, your focus is askew. Your friends and family will notice your change in figure over time and compliment you. They will also notice when you fall off of your exercise and diet plans. Ultimately, they only want to see you happy and healthy, qualities that won’t show up on a scale or be noticeable based solely on your appearance.
Consider the reason why you want to lose weight, exercise more or eat healthier and allow that to be your driving force behind your new lifestyle choices. When you dig deep, beyond the surface, you may be surprised to find that your most satisfying rewards are immeasurable.
Effective weight-loss programs offered by Caterpilly include ways to maintain your weight for good. Their program promotes healthy behaviors that will help you to lose your weight. Join Caterpilly for motivation and effective weight loss program!