How To Stay Consistent With Your Health And Avoid Falling Off Track
How do we maintain the motivation, discipline, and obedience we need when it comes to living a healthy life? As a society and especially as women within the chasing freedom community, our biggest struggle is that we have this desire to get healthy, but we can't seem to make it happen and sustain any changes.
First things first: you aren't alone in your feelings of not being able to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle. We all have old habits and environmental stressors that show up that take over what's really a priority. It takes time and effort - it's a commitment to live a healthy lifestyle. So yeah, it's hard!
This is something I want to work on too...with you - health is SO important. And when I talk about health, I talk about it in a holistic sense. I believe that health isn't just about the physical form; movement and the food that we eat. Yes, as a whole, these might be some of the biggest struggles that we have when it comes to our health, but I see health as a whole container and the foundation of the container is our spiritual health.
When we know what we believe in - when we are in tune and spiritually healthy - life is better. Keep that in the back of your mind as we run through the topic of health, consistency and why we fall off track.
The 3 Main Reasons We Fall Off Track And Actions You Can Take TODAY
1. Life gets too hard
When you're in a difficult season, thinking about planning ahead with your food and squeezing workouts in, feels exhausting. When I'm in a tough season, it's really easy to come up with an excuse to not do 'that thing' because it just seems like a little bit too much - I'm already so exhausted. I know a lot of you can relate to that! And then what happens? We end up fighting ourselves because we know it won't really take THAT long to take care of 'future you' that little bit better.
Here's how it commonly plays out (at least for me): we've just got home from work and sat down to chill for the first time that day, exhausted, and then the battle in our head starts and exhausts us even more. We know we should get up and prepare some healthy food...it'll only take a few minutes. But getting up feels too hard. The internal battle we're having comes because any time we have actually got up and prepared meals for the next day or layed out gym clothes, we've set the next day up for ourselves to be in a much better space where we're more likely to reach health goals. So we know it's going to help us, but still, we don't do it.
Here's what's REALLY going on...our routine is not solid enough. We don't have this true-blue plan to figure out how to navigate this season of life that we're in. The reason we don't have solid enough routines is often because we aren't taking where we're trying to go and what we're trying to be, seriously enough. We're not really checking in with ourselves to ask WHY we are choosing to take that extra 15 minutes to take care of ourselves...to ask why we are putting these things on the back burner when we say our health is so important to us. Food and movement are two of the biggest components of us having the energy to do what we actually want to be doing and really thrive.
Action: To combat the 'life-getting-on-top-of-us' excuse, next time you're faced with that internal battle, try taking a conscious moment to reflect and ask yourself "why am I making this choice right now?".
2. We simply just don't care enough
Sometimes, the desire to say screw it is bigger than the desire to improve. If this resonates with you, the question you should be asking yourself is: "what is it going to take to care enough?" For me (and this might work for a lot of you), I sit down and give myself time to watch my hand write out the answers to the following:"I want to be healthy because..." and then on another page, "these are the things keeping me from being healthy...".
Action: journal your answers to these questions and take time to REFLECT. Reflect on the answers you see in front of you and I guarantee you that your care-ometer (it's a word now) is going to go up a lot!
We often feel exhausted in our bodies, or every time we look at ourselves, we hate what we see and then we feel frustrated. We know we need some kind of plan and kick up the butt, but at the same time, we aren't identifying the real WHY; the real reason why we want something and the things that are actually getting in the way of us reaching that healthy point, so we just slap a diet on top of everything else going on in our life...and then what happens? We're 2 weeks in and we're frustrated, feeling like a failure because we can't stick to it. We feel like we've wasted money and then we want to cry because we've fallen into the same trap again. Like, how did that happen AGAIN? All that turmoil because really, we just haven't cared enough. We aren't sacrificing or getting rid of things that are causing unhealthy habits in our lives. We're not consistent enough to see the result to create the momentum to keep going.
I often get asked how I stay motivated. Here's my honest answer: I don't stay motivated. Motivation comes from continuously seeing progress and a lot of times we don't see progress, so we quit. In reality, if you're doing something the right way, progress won't come within a couple of days or weeks - it takes time. Since you are your biggest critic, you are the last person to actually see your progress. The more self-aware and intentional you can be, the more likely you are to stay consistent with food and movement and your health journey as a whole. Do yourself justice and take time to be more intentional and more self-aware. I know you might not feel like you have the time to do this, but I promise that you do! And when you do make that time, you're actually going to have more free time than you've ever had. I bet you don't realize how much time you're spending hating your body, spending money and energy doing and choosing things that don't honor and steward your body. This is going to be freeing for you; maybe even a huge pivot in your life once you are able to do this!
3. You're in over your head
Maybe you're a little ambitious...and don't get me wrong, it's not a bad thing! I love ambitious women - that's how I define myself to a degree! But people who dream big often tell themselves unrealistic things about what and how much they can do. You can be realistic and you can still be challenged, but we often deceive ourselves in moments of motivation. When we have bursts of motivation, we run with our dreams and we can tend to get a little in over our heads with our ambitions that we lose sight of our whole lifestyle outside of reaching that goal.
The other problem we tend to have is that there's no solid, verbal commitment to our ambition...it's only things we tell ourselves about being 'all in' and that 'everything is going to change'. BUT if you don't have a solid plan to reach a goal, and haven't verbally committed by telling the people who love and support you, it is literally just a thought. Often we don't actually tell people these things, because it's a lot safer to not tell them and fail, than to tell them and fail. You don't just feel like you let yourself down, you feel like you let someone else down too. The pressure of telling someone that I'm committing to something gives me a new fire...what about you, sis!? Try it out if you haven't already!
Action: sit down and write out what goals you have for yourself right now based on your current lifestyle, commitments and relationships. What is going to improve your life right now? Then tell someone what you are committing to! I know it can feel so scary. Make sure you can tell that person WHY you are going to do it. Just pick 1 thing. Tell someone about it and then start to recognize what that does for your life. It's crazy how 1 good, new habit in your life can give you perspective on all the other habits that you have. When you experience results, that's when momentum is created which in turn brings more, better habits into your life. It's addictive. Over time, once we commit to something that is serving us, we crave it. If you're this ambitious soul, it's time to sit down and take inventory of your life. Be realistic. What's going to challenge you? Then tell someone.
Last question for you to ponder and maybe journal on: do you actually believe that you can simply live a healthy lifestyle?
If this blog spoke to you, go check out episode 84 of my podcast - The Chasing Freedom Show. You might even like my episode from 27 September 2019 called Motivation, Inspiration & How To Stay On Track. You can find it on Spotify, iTunes, or SoundCloud. If you love the podcast, screenshot and share it with me on social media @trainertanner #chasingfreedom.
P.S. Did you know that I have a FREE business coaching Facebook group (called Chasing Freedom Biz Leaders) for women who are wanting to start or build up their businesses? I do a live coaching here every Thursday at 12.30pm EST on live video. Join now if you want to be coached for free, to post and share with the other amazing women and to be held accountable. I just love this little group because I genuinely love and feel called to build up leaders in this world.
P.P.S. If you're wanting something a little more to help elevate you and your business, it's time to start gearing up for the Belong Conference this year! This is a live, in-person conference that'll be in downtown Louisville, Kentucky in the fall of 2020. It's a 1-day conference where you'll experience massive growth in your business AND in your faith. Keep up to date by following @belong.conference on Instagram.