HomeQuick ReadsHow to Motivate Yourself to Take Care of You (And Your Body)

How to Motivate Yourself to Take Care of You (And Your Body)

It’s amazing how when you’re young time seems to be passing by so slowly, and of course, you look back and realize it wasn’t that long at all. Even more amazing, and sometimes startling, how quickly time decides to pass after 25. Middle age can really sneak up on a person and it’s never too early to start preparing for your future self.

That’s the self we tend to neglect the most. Recent studies find that we tend to think of our future selves with the same kind of indifference or unfamiliarity we might associate with a complete stranger! That’s hard luck for our future selves… if we let it be that way. It’s absolutely crucial we don’t forget ourselves today in order to see the best versions of us when we are older. Prepping for the future sounds ominous, and can be scary if we frame it in the large, universe-enveloping terms we often do. But we can, fortunately, take it one step at a time, if only we are patient.

Yes, we realize it’s far easier said than done. It certainly requires more than just snapping your fingers to really see the improvements we aim for in our bodies and ultimately our minds as well. There are some super simple practices and routine habits to develop which can help you to obtain and maintain a fit and youthful body. Yet, getting into these practices if often where we find ourselves lacking.

 

Make A To-Do List

 

First things first: the first step is often the most difficult. When I was in my teenage years, I had the toughest time just starting to get into a habit, like exercising daily. Unfortunately, with time I had to learn that it wasn’t just that I was 16 years old that made it so difficult to START a task; it’s simply human nature…. even when you’re 45 starting something new can seem daunting. Starting to exercise every day when you are used to a sedentary lifestyle can be a difficult thing to jump-start. You can start by

The first step to any real routine is hard partly because your mind isn’t referencing any previous version of yourself that it can use to motivate you into a new habit. It is very difficult to just wake up one morning and start drinking green juice for breakfast and having kale salad for lunch if you’ve spent the past couple years subsisting on fast foods and heavily-sweetened drinks. It’s not realistic; but that is okay. Drawing motivation to get into a routine can be a process, but one way to begin is to make a to-do list.

Now, don’t put everything you wish to be on that list right away: write down three or four new tasks for yourself and don’t make lists for the upcoming weeks, just go one day at a time. This gives you the realistic amount of time to incorporate new habits slowly and effectively. A to-do list can be an easy and realistic way to motivate yourself.

 

Build Enthusiasm

remember why you started

 

Remind yourself each day WHY you want to do something; what is you motivator that you  may have shelved on the back-burner for a little too long?

The thing is, most of us do know what we want in the bigger picture, even if we don’t know the specifics. Do we want to be content with ourselves and our lives? Do we know what qualities in life bring us that feeling of contentment? At least vaguely, yes. We may need to take the time to delve a little deeper into ourselves and motivations to know just how to keep ourselves motivated. Try saying things out loud or write down the reason why you want to do something. Dig further into that reason and remind yourself the benefits of getting that thing done

For example, you might say, “I am going for a run right now”.

Then ask yourself: “Why?”

“Because I want to become fit.” or “I want to have more energy.”

Then, once again, as yourself: “Why?”

“Because… if I become fit, it will boost my confidence and self-esteem. That may make me more productive.” or “Because…
if I have more energy, I will be able to get done the things I want to, and maybe have more free time too.”

As you may start to notice, the why’s can continue to go further and further into the many positive results of the one action you intend to perform. You can remind yourself of the dangers of procrastination, and the postives of getting the things you want to do accomplished.

 

Enjoy Yourself: Don’t Make it a Chore

 

Make your goals and steps toward achieving them fun. Bettering yourself doesn’t have to be a chore, and in time it can become fun rather than difficult. If you’re dreading whatever you have set your mind on doing it will make it more difficult to start. In these cases, find ways to make the task more exciting. You could try including other people (have a gym buddy, or a study partner!) Challenge yourself new ways, and get out of your comfort zone, whatever it may be. Changing up your routine can be a great motivator!

You can promise yourself a reward when you get something done. I heard this wonderful diet advice once, when I was working on becoming healthier and it helped me accomplish a lot of my health goals:

“You are not a dog; do not treat yourself with food.”

I appreciated this advice because it really helped me with self-control, and also gave me that initial idea of rewarding myself when I have done something that I was proud of. Yes, I couldn’t treat myself with a brownie for going to the gym, but I could treat myself with something else! Depending on the tasks you want to accomplish, give yourself a spa treat! A movie night, or a night out with friends! Anything that doesn’t counter your initial purpose is a great way to reward yourself.

In the end, taking care of yourself will start with a bit of effort that may seem daunting. But in time it will become rewarding in itself, and you can be proud that you put yourself first!

6 thoughts on “How to Motivate Yourself to Take Care of You (And Your Body)

  1. Taking care of our body should be our first priority in life yet we forget to do so because we get engaged in so many other life issues. It’s true that we fail to know when middle age arrives, time flies and we should be ready for the future. A to-do list is a good way to start a new routine and I agree that we should aim for one day at a time because a list made for a week contains stuff that we can’t follow but day to day list is usually more practical. When we do an activity that is not fun-filled, there’s no way we could be persistent with it and I have realized it from my own experiences so now I make sure to make my workout routine enjoyable. Also, I love the idea of giving rewards to oneself for completing tasks and achieving goals, I treat myself with a burger when I have done dieting successfully for 15 days.

    1. Hi Hari!

      I think it is so great that you reward yourself after successfully dieting for 15 days! I actually think it’s great that you put in a cheat day after two weeks rather than every week. I have recently been working on trying to make my workout routine more enjoyable as well, mostly by trying to create good gym playlists ahead of time! Thanks a lot for sharing!

  2. Great ideas! I have experience in behavior change and love that all your ideas start off with small steps to build long term self care. I think it’s important to start off small to build that confidence over a long period of time. I’m excited to see more suggestions! Thanks alot for this great tips they would really help.

  3. This is great, it’s refreshing to read a self care blog that isn’t just about pampering you but about making positive subtle changes in your life. If I was to add anything though, I would suggest cleansing yourself of negative energy by letting go of the things and people in your life that cause you to question yourself.

    1. Hi Nelson!

      I absolutely agree, I think I will be adding that piece of advice here as well, because I have definitely made the effort to let go of the people who have only aged me. I really appreciate you sharing!

  4. As I was reading I could feature myself in this article, I am those guys who find starting something being very hard, and the worst is that even if I start I always give up easily on the process, I have an experience like a month ago. I decided to be attending gym for some workouts, it really worked well for the two weeks later I got fixed up with more working hours and now I stopped attending the gym training, having read your article, I have realized my weaknesses and I am sure to change on that. Thank you for sharing !

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