Being an adult these days is really tough, isn’t it? You’ve got to think about your job, you’ve got to think about paying the bills, you’ve got to think about keeping the roof over your head, keeping warm, buying clothes, looking after other people: family, kids, meeting up with your friends, trying to do some hobbies and stuff outside of work, and then trying to fit in exercise and trying to fit in eating well too.
It’s a tough thing to balance all of these spinning plates it really is. So how do you put yourself first, almost in this kind of arena, how do you prioritise your health and fitness, when all you want to do is chill out in front of the TV and do nothing? It’s tough, it really is and motivation isn’t something that you’re missing, motivation really is a finite resource, we need to have habits built in that we can fall back on.
When motivation is at an all-time low. So when you really don’t want to go to the gym, you need to have a habit built-in that allows you to still do something which is better than nothing to get some exercise in. When you really can’t be bothered to cook you need some habits that are in place that allow you to make something quick and easy. This will keep your calories lower, keep your nutrients higher and allow you to make progress towards your goals. Of course, it depends on whether you’ve planned this takeaway into your allowance, then that’s a different thing. But in terms of just getting takeaways for the sake of it and not exercising and falling into those bad traps, we know that we all can do rely on habits as your way out.
I know that all I’m talking about these days is building habits, but that’s because they are so key. When it comes to identifying what you need to do, have a think about the identity that you currently hold for yourself. Have a think about the message that you tell yourself of who you are. Because the processes that we go through on a day to day basis and the habits we then have on a day to day basis stem from this identity that we tell ourselves.
The habits we then have on a day to day basis stem from this identity that we tell ourselves.
If we tell ourselves that we are someone who is lazy and can’t be bothered to cook and can’t cook, and would prefer to just eat out all the time, then those are the behaviours that you are going to reflect. If you tell yourself that you are already a fit and healthy individual who has reached their goal weight, although it might not be the case and you might have weight you still want to lose. If you tell yourself that you are this person already and you honestly believe that, then this aspirational identity that you have of yourself will help you in building better processes, better habits and doing better daily actions that will help take you there in the first place.
Have a think about the priorities that you have right now in life. Be that looking after your children, doing your job and anything else that you always have to think about. The actions that you always take will reflect your priorities. Then, have a think about how nutrition and exercise can actually enhance those priorities.
Whether it’s the fact that you are a workaholic, and you work, many many hours of the day in order to provide for yourself and provide for your family. Have a think about how taking some time to exercise and taking some time to make sure your nutrition is in check will make you more productive at work, make you actually get more done in less time, make you more efficient, have more energy and actually make you better at your job. This will help you see the importance of doing it and you’ll be more likely to find the motivation to do it because it aligns with your higher priorities.
Likewise, if you are a stay at home mum or a stay at home dad, and your main priority is looking after the children. Have a think about how getting your nutrition right and your exercise in check will actually help their health and longevity in the long run. How will that set a better example for them? The fact that you can get them involved with cooking and prepping with you and get them into really healthy habits around food. How if you’re exercising, you’re not only setting a better example for them but again, you’re going to have more energy, you’re going to have better sleep and you’re going to be a better parent for your kids.
Rather than saying, I don’t have the time, because I know that time is a very finite resource for all of us and we all have a lot of things to balance. Have a think about using the term: “how can I find the time to fit in what I know I need to do”?
Remember that diet and exercise doesn’t have to take all the time of the day, and it doesn’t have to look one way or no way. It doesn’t have to be boring or made from scratch or anything like that. Have a think about the time that you have available within your schedule, within your priorities and build yourself a plan from there. Have a think about how much time you can devote to exercise, and when that’s going to be and then do your best to stick to it.
Say: “I will exercise at this time for this length of time on these days of the week”. With nutrition, how can you make it simple and easy and quick so that you can waste less time and increase your results? Thinking about pre-prepared foods, pre-chopped meats, pre-chopped veggies, frozen meats and vegetables to keep your costs lower. Think about pre-prepared sauces and spices and things like that so that you can make meals in less than 10 minutes that are going to be nutritious and fill you up and give you plenty of protein and plenty of nutrients. Things like stir-fries and fajitas, they are great examples of those types of meals.
Understand that motivation is finite, habits are what stick.
We all have certain priorities that we put above everything else. So, have a think today about how you can align your nutrition and your exercise habits to serve those higher priorities that you have in life.