With the business of the new school year, colder weather, and the Fall holidays, busy parents and working adults struggle to keep up our motivation for exercise and healthy lifestyle. Staying motivated over the long haul takes hard work. You need to keep the vision of your goals and the joyful anticipation of future success active in your mind on a daily basis. And you need to anticipate the inevitable barriers that are likely to trip you up and prepare for them. Willpower is in your head, but not all in your head. You can structure your environment to make the healthy behavior easier to do, while ensuring that the unhealthy choice takes more effort. And you can train your mind to overcome mental obstacles and distractions.
Research-Based Tips for Success
Structure your environment for success by leaving your running shoes near the door, your gym clothes laid out, or a full water bottle in the fridge to keep you going through those first agonizing 20 minutes at 5:00 am as you haul your body out into the cold. Find a fitness buddy to hold you accountable, celebrate your successes, and make the routine more enjoyable. Pin stickies with motivating slogans and pictures of yourself at the peak of health next to your alarm clock, on refrigerator doors and on the television to remind you of the rewards of healthy choices. And make public and private commitments to manageable, specific fitness goals. Creative a motivating of yourself exercising. Imagine the scene and what you would see, hear, observe, and feel. Visualize yourself running in nature, breathing the fresh mountain air and feeling calm and energized. Or imagine yourself at the finish line of that half-marathon and your feelings of pride and accomplishment. Regularly bring up this image and breath in the energy of those joyful feelings.
The Benefits of Intrinsic Motivation
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