5 Mistakes You are Making Holding you Back from Better Health (and how to fix them)
Are you trying to improve your health? Did you have New Year's resolutions that, in this third week of January have fallen off? Sometimes, we think we are doing all the right things, but here are 5 mistakes you could be making that are holding you back from having the health you want. BONUS: there's a 6th tip at the end of this list!
You're waiting to feel ready.
News flash: if it was easy and we were ready, we would have done it by now. Embrace the fact that you may never feel fully ready or feel like making a change. That motivation you have to "start my diet on Monday" could easily be pushed off to Tuesday or next week or next month. If we wait until we are ready, we may never start. You have to push forward and do it anyway. Stay tuned, this first tip is related to that bonus point.
You have an all or nothing attitude.
Where are my type A people? Is that you? A grand start where you are going to eat better, exercise everyday and not snack after dinner, but soon enough the hand is in that bag of goldfish crackers in the pantry at 8:03 pm on a Wednesday night. After that, might as well have a cookie and something else since you "broke the diet" anyway. Realize that you are a student of change. Change is hard, and again, if it were easy we would have done it by now. It doesn't have to be all or nothing and small changes add up to significant results. Play around with what changes work for you, what you are motivated to do and what is supporting your health goals.
You are trying to do it alone.
Research shows that the hardest change is doing it on your own. Motivated by group fitness classes? Sign up at your local gym and commit. Want to learn to run? Don't just download an app, but sign up for a learn to run course. Trying to lose weight? How about a weight loss partner. As a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, I can be an accountability partner for you, but it is you who does the work. Accountability is key, as is knowing that the key person you are accountable to is yourself. If your kids need a ride to their activities, you are always there to drive them, right? Be accountable to yourself and not just others.
You are not cheering for yourself and your accomplishments along the way.
Being hard on yourself is NOT motivating. If you feel horrible about yourself and your efforts, you are actually less motivated to keep going. Train your brain to see the good in what you are doing. My recommendation: give yourself a high five in the mirror every morning and celebrate something about yourself. We encourage those around us all the time, how about you encourage and acknowledge yourself.
You do not have a clear vision of why you want to change.
You want to lose 10 pounds so you can do what? You want to eat better and remove processed foods from your diet so you can do what? Consider how the change you are making fits into your long term vision for health. As you move forward with that change, understanding your initial why is critical to long term success. Not only is it tied to motivation, but it will help to remind you why you want better health and if the changes you are making are aligned with that vision. Be the change you want to see.
BONUS TIP: You are only considering one aspect of health.
Trying to lose weight but sleeping poorly or have high levels of stress? You may get frustrated with your (lack of) results if you are not taking into consideration broader aspects of wellness. Consider your nutrition, exercise, stress management (meditation), and relationships as all contributing to your overall health and wellbeing. Trying to manage your stress, but involved in a toxic relationship? Stress management may not be so successful if you do not consider how relationships may be contributing to your health issues. Think holistically; your overall results will thank you for it.