Reframing Your Brain to Stay Healthy During #MayHealth
Healthy living isn’t always easy living, but it’s worth it. Though, healthy living doesn’t need to be as challenging as some make it out to be. Sometimes all that’s needed is a simple reframe to make health challenges all the more possible.
If you have an office looking to shake of the winter dust and spring into a healthier Summer, the #mayhealth challenge in Guelph is a great way to get started. However, convincing people of healthy challenges sometimes takes a change in perspective. Here’s some things to consider.
Focus Less on “What” You’re Doing, and More on “Why” You’re Doing It
The biggest motivator for any change is finding your “why.” Some people’s idea of healthy living takes the form of “to do” lists:
- Go to the gym three times a week
- Drink less alcohol
- Cut out soda and sugar
- Eat more whole foods
- Make more meals
These lists are important, however as far as motivation goes, to dos aren’t the most effective. Just add the word BECAUSE after your to dos and you will find more motivation.
- Go to the gym three times a week BECAUSE I want more energy and stamina to play with my kids
- Drink less alcohol BECAUSE I want to lose the beer gut
- Cut out soda and sugar BECAUSE I want to avoid sugar crashes during my work day
- Eat more whole foods BECAUSE I have a history of heart disease in my family and know this will help
- Make more meals BECAUSE I want to save money and put it toward a vacation.
Make your why’s specific. If you picture yourself in specific scenarios living a long, happy and healthy life, the less you’ll worry about how many miles need to be run or salads need to be eaten. Speaking of which…
Don’t Say You “Should Do”, Say You “Want To”
If healthy living feels like a chore in your mind, you’ll procrastinate like other chores. If healthy living is treated like a desire, it will become important to you. The language choices you make influence how you think about something, so don’t say “you should” go to the gym or eat a snack, say “you want to” or “would enjoy.” It’s a tiny shift that makes a big difference!
Less Competition, More Support
We’re not going to say healthy competition isn’t going to help results. However, everyone should feel empowered by whatever progress they make. Competitive people are definitely inspired to do the best they can and rise to the top of a challenge, however, those who aren’t competitive may just need a friend to help them along the challenge. Everyone is motivated differently. At the end of the day, you want people to succeed and competition may end up discouraging some people.
Less “Cheating,” More “Celebration”
Often when people skip out on their health goals, either by eating that burger, or skipping the gym, they say they’re “cheating.” How is feeling like a cheater going to help you? Cheating is sure to inspire guilt, which could cause more cheating, putting us into a vicious cycle that leads us to falling off the wagon.
If you’ve truly worked hard and think you deserve a treat, don’t call it cheating, call it celebrating. It feels great to celebrate success, and will encourage you to have future celebrations. But more importantly, you’ll stick to your plan and celebrate because you’ve earned it.
Less “Time Spent,” More “Time Invested”
Healthy living is a time commitment, making meals and exercising needs to go in the day planner. If you’re not viewing healthy living as time well spent, it becomes easier to go to a drive thru, or spend time working instead of on your fitness. Make a point to invest in yourself and your goals. Because you are worth it!
Investing in your health now means more time, energy, and life to do those other things later. Without health, you don’t have anything else.
We’re excited to see what you all get up to for #MayHealth, be sure to follow the hashtag in Guelph and stay inspired. We’ll be happy to support along the way!