These three aspects are really important to keep you focused on your health-related goals, especially on days when the motivation is low.
It’s relatively easy to come up with new health goals, such as to eat better or start exercising.
Most of us have done it over and over again, throughout different periods in our lives. Yet somehow they don’t seem to stick and we keep starting over, hoping that this time we really will become our ideal self.
Just as usual, at some point, we lose motivation again. We might even forget why we started in the first place.
There are lots of reasons why your health goals might not stick to you and you lose motivation along the way.
A lot of it actually has to do with your motives behind creating the goal and how you formulate it.
Here’s a guide of how to create new health goals, which really stick this time:
1. Find your “why”.
Simply asking yourself "Why do you want to reach your health goals?" can get you far.
Is it because you want to physically look better? Do you want to feel better? Do you have an underlying condition that would improve with a better diet or exercise?
It’s extremely important to dive into the root cause of why you want to achieve your goal.
By really knowing your why, you will be much more likely to stay motivated during days when you really don’t feel like sticking to your new regime.
Knowing your why increases your intrinsic motivation, which is the strongest motivation type that comes from within, i.e. you will know and thoroughly understand the purpose of your goal (1).
Tips: try finding a deeper reason than just the superficial physical appearance. It may work in the beginning, but goals like getting stronger, improving endurance, feeling more energized, or elevated mood will definitely keep you more motivated throughout the process.
2. Consider how you formulate your goal.
However, sometimes negative messages can also give you an eye-opener, even shock you and give you a sense of urgency, pushing you to start changing something in your life (3).
Consider these two goals:
“I will stop eating junk food so that I don’t get more or and keep feeling so bad”.
“I will strive to provide my body with highly nutritious food so that I can stay healthy both physically and mentally”.
The first statement is quite negative and gives you a sense of fear. However, it can also give you a sense of urgency to start acting, in case your health is compromised.
The second one is more positive and gives you a feeling of hope. This one will more likely keep you motivated once you’re already in the process.
3. Gather knowledge about your goal.
It’s extremely important to become informed in all the aspects of your goal, especially when it comes to health goals. The more you know about the body and mind, the more “Why’s” you will come up with that will keep you focused on the goal.
If your goal is to start eating more nutrient-rich foods, start looking up what they are and what they do to your body.
Try sticking with things that have been proven in long term studies, instead of falling for short term diets or diets that are in right now.
If your goal is to exercise, look up the benefits of exercise on your body - such as improved sleep, better self-confidence, improved mental health and more - and you will gain much more motivation to continue.
Over time, your goal will become your lifestyle.
I personally love to read up about diets that centenarians have. It motivates me to eat similarly to them in order to also live a long, healthy, and happy life.
I also love to read books, watch videos, and listen to podcasts with functional medicine specialists or other specialists in their fields. For example, I find the majority of content on Mindbodygreen very interesting and relevant.
When it comes to exercise, I usually set goals such as “get stronger”, or “be able to run a half marathon”, or “be in a better mood and have better sleep”.
My background in biomedicine provides me with lots of information about physical health, which also keeps me highly motivated.
Before you go, let’s recap
Firstly, in order to motivate yourself to reach a new wellness goal, you need to know your “why”.
Secondly, although basing your goals on fear or negative aspects initially, might push you to start working on it, a positively formed goal will more likely keep you motivated throughout the process.
Lastly, it is of the utmost importance to gain information about your goal in order for you to keep yourself motivated.
Also, make sure to enjoy the process rather than just focusing on the end result.
I am very interested to hear your opinion and tips on what you'd like to read about in this blog, so you are more than welcome to leave a comment here or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to be mindful! ✨
Laura | MSc in Medical Science, Certified Mindfulness Life Coach
Deci, Ryan, Edward, Richard (2000). "Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being". American Psychologist. 55 (1): 70–71. doi:10.1037//0003-066x.55.1.68
Werrij, Marieke & Ruiter, Robert & van 't Riet, Jonathan & de Vries, Hein. (2010). Self-efficacy as a Potential Moderator of the Effects of Framed Health Messages. Journal of health psychology. 16. 199-207. 10.1177/1359105310374779.