Keri Coon, C.N.P.
It's plain and simple. Motivation is essential for successful changes to your lifestyle. The challenges and changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic may have you questioning if you can tackle new resolutions. Don't let the pandemic stop you. You can capture motivation and make it work for you.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
How do I get motivated?
Perhaps you get motivated with singer James Brown's song "I Feel Good," or by participating in virtual workout classes and seeing how hard others are working. Decide what works for you.
What is motivation made of?
It's energy that predicts the strength and persistence of behavior. Like vitamins, you have to take some motivation every day. Sometimes that means acting as if you have it when maybe you're not really feeling it.
Where does motivation come from?
Internally, motivation is your optimism, your history. There's nothing more motivating than success, so how can you plan to be successful? What is the smallest step you can confidently take? Externally, take a look at how your environment is motivating. What small goals can you reach until your internal motivation kicks in? What has worked well in the past to motivate you?
What does motivation look like?
Consider your body posture. Is it a confident pose?
What does motivation sound like?
What is your internal coach voice saying to you? Think "You can do it" and "You are awesome."
What does motivation act like?
Is there evidence of healthy choices in regards to eating and moving?
Next, consider these feel-good elements of motivation:
- "F" is for first step.
What is the first step towards building your motivation? How can you shine up the habits you already have? What does it look like to take those habits one step further?
- "E" is for environment.
Who in my environment is uplifting? How can I tap into that energy? How is my environment exercise inducing? Are shoes readily available wherever you are? Are exercise clothes fun and fashionable? Does your environment and social network promote healthy choices? If not, how can you lead the way? Begin with a baby step.
- "E" is for enlarge your view.
What if your blood glucose level was within normal range or you were within 10 pounds of your ideal weight? In what ways would your life be different? Where does the journey begin? What is working well for you? How do you build on that?
- "L" is for loving yourself.
By taking care of your body, you are giving yourself the best gift of all. Think of one thing now that you love about yourself. Think about one thing every day.
- "G" is for get ready.
The way to success is 90% preparation. What do you have to do to get ready to embark on this healthy journey? What do you have to get rid of? What do you have to leave behind? What can you do today to get ready?
- "O" is for optimism.
Put on your rose-colored glasses, and plant a smile on your face. Shrink your inner critic down to microscopic size. When evaluating your efforts, think first and foremost about what went well. What did you learn?
- "O" is for obstacles.
Yes, they will be there setbacks, off-road trails and dead ends. Your attitude must be one of optimism. What about this setback is of value to you? Maybe early on you realized something about yourself that you never knew. What is your response to obstacles? Is this where your motivation falters? What can you do to build your resiliency physically, mentally and spiritually? What can you do to not let the pandemic get in the way of reaching your goals, yet still keep you and others safe?
- "D" is for determination.
It is never done. Once you are on the healthy journey path, you'll want to stick to the path. Yes, a few side trips and some wanderings might happen along the way, but no hijackings 50 miles off the path. The hard part when veering too far from the path is finding your way back. That takes determination.