Sunday, February 16, 2020

What motivates you to maintain your resolutions?

Notebook, New Year on one page, Goal/Plan/Action on the other
What's your goal?

The most critical element in achieving any lifestyle change is your personal reason for wanting to make that change. One of the most common reasons for dropping resolutions and quitting work toward healthy lifestyle goals is not having found the necessary motivation.

Let’s say your resolution is to lose weight. You already know that the “magic equation” for weight loss has two factors: eating less and exercising more. How are you going to stick with both those strategies? The doctor may have told you that you need to lose weight to get your blood pressure under control and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. You may have browsed the internet for online exercise programs and noticed magazine articles about lower calorie meal plans. But the best motivation to succeed at any enterprise is internal. How do you find your inner motivation?

The first step is to ask yourself why you want to achieve that goal. There are probably several reasons you can identify. Write these all down.

Then for each reason you listed, write down specific reasons why that matters.

To follow with the weight loss example you may have listed as a reason “to lower my risk of cardiovascular disease.” Why might that be important to you? Perhaps you want to outlive others in your family who have tended to die young of heart attacks. Perhaps you look forward to playing with grandchildren. Or maybe you want to avoid the additional expense to your children of paying for your rehabilitation in a nursing facility.

Once you have created the list of reasons to maintain your healthy lifestyle resolution, and why they are important, you can use it as a motivation tool. Make a small copy of the list to keep in your wallet. You will be reminded of your personal reasons for sticking with your resolutions every time you open it to show ID or reach for cash. Create a colorful collage of words and images to remind you of your list. Put that on a bulletin board or poster at eye level by your computer or television so you notice it every time you browse the internet or sit down to watch a favorite show. Type the list in large font and print it to hang on the refrigerator door.

Seeing your list of personal motivations to succeed at your resolutions during moments of decisions and choices will help you find the strength to get past challenges to your success.

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