“If you get tired, learn to rest. Not to quit” -Bansky
There are times when I feel like I’m totally rocking my health and wellness regime and other times when life gets bumpy and I fall off the wellness wagon so hard it hurts. I watch the wagon drive away without me and the further it fades into the distance the harder it is to imagine catching up with it, let alone climbing back aboard!
If you can relate don’t panic and don’t feel bad. You are not alone. There is a reason gyms see a huge drop off in memberships by the end of February – all of our good New Year’s resolutions start to fade and the busyness of life tries to take over.
It can be easy at this point to feel like giving up! But knowing that these times come up for everyone and having a plan in place for what to do about it is key. Over the years from personal experience and from coaching I’ve come up with a list of tricks for how to get motivated to pull yourself out of a wellness rut and back into a healthy routine:
1) Journal about a time you felt really good about your health and wellness habits.
I write about what kind of exercise I was getting at the time and what kinds of things I was eating. I write down how it made me feel – how it helped me to feel less stressed out and happier. I remind myself of things like the fact that I’ve never once regretted going for a run once I was able to motivate myself to get out the door.
2) Be kind to yourself, like you would to a best friend.
I was shocked to read how many negative thoughts a day women have about their bodies, but when I really tuned in I realize that I’m guilty of it at times too. It is so easy to get down on ourselves for where we’re at especially if we’re feeling a little frustrated and out of shape. Try to focus on praising yourself for resetting. Remind yourself that what matters is that you are getting back on track and not staying stuck.
3) Set a date with a friend.
It’s much easier to make excuses to not do something when it’s just us, but if we’re meeting up with someone else and they are counting on us to be there it’s a lot harder to back out. Spend time with friends who also care about their health and wellness and then lean on them when you need a little help staying motivated.
4) Set a goal and talk about it.
Sometimes we need to set an inspiring goal in order to feel that surge of excitement again. If I’m in a running slump I pick a fun race to run and sign up for it. Or I pick an online healthy eating challenge. I love this fun and free challenge offered by Simple Green Smoothies. Here’s the important part…I tell my close friends and family I’m doing it. It’s not bragging. There is power in saying we are going to do something out loud to people who love us and want to cheer us on. It makes us more committed to doing it.
5) Make yourself a rewards chart.
Sticker charts aren’t just for kids! Choosing a reward to help stay motivated can be really fun. Just make sure to pick something that doesn’t make you backtrack (i.e. a slice of chocolate cake for 5 days of working out). My favorite reward is new socks. I really love new socks and would do pretty much anything for a pair (I know, a little weird). I have a friend who will buy herself a song on ITunes if she meets her weekly goal. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Figure out what works for you.
6) If you are sick cut yourself some slack.
It’s easy to get derailed by sickness and feel frustrated. What a waste of time! But sometimes your body needs a break and in the long run you’ll be up and running (literally) a lot sooner if you get some rest.
Even if you are in a good place right now with your wellness practice, having these tips in your back pocket can help you stick with your goals and aspirations. If you’ve fallen off the wellness wagon, don’t worry! There is always a seat waiting with your name on it. Try out one of these tricks and hop aboard. Be happy, be healthy, be well!