You're pumped. You've set a goal.
You want to be stronger, thinner, get up earlier, start a meditation habit, quit junk food, or simply try to cook more at home. But you're struggling. It's not easy to stick to healthy habits and choices all the time.
You know what you should be doing, so when you delightfully follow through with the less healthy choice, guilt kicks in soon afterward.
The fool-proof way to achieve your health goals is not at the gym, in your yoga mat, in your pantry, or in your grocery list. You need to start with your mindset.
Once you set empowering beliefs that create a strong, motivated, and positive outlook on how to achieve your goals, you will be closer to success.
These are 8 beliefs that will harness motivation, focus, and commitment to your health goals:
The first step towards a healthier lifestyle begins with self-acceptance. Accepting who you are right now and acknowledging you're worthy of care and happiness strengthens your self-worth and self-esteem, which is crucial to make healthy and positive choices.
This belief will allow you to approach your goals and actions from a place of positivity, rather than out of self-loathing and uncompassionate demands on yourself.
For example, you don't want to start dieting because you hate your belly when you look in the mirror. That triggers a harmful relationship with food. Instead, you want to start a better diet to feel better from the inside out.
2. "I love my body"
Once you accept who you are, it's a lot easier to be at peace with your appearance. Whether you're skinny, short, chubby, tall, pear-shaped or apple-shaped, any improvement that you want for your body has to come from a place of self-love instead of hate. When you love and accept your body, good decisions become the only decisions.
This belief will allow you be compassionate with your body, feel thankful for it and be comfortable in your own skin. This is crucial to take actions that are a gift to your body, not a punishment.
For example, think of going to the gym as a way to take care of a body you love and respect, not as a way to get rid of excess fat you hate.
3. "I want to be my best self"
Think of health as a way of becoming a better version of yourself, instead of focusing on one specific task. You're not just working on your abs, you're getting stronger and resilient. You're not just cutting calories with your smoothie, you're nourishing your whole body. You're not just taking breaks, you're enhancing your brain power.
This belief will make you perceive healthy habits as stepping stones towards a more vibrant you, which will keep you focused and motivated.
For example, if you're trying to quit sodas, don't be motivated only by its side effects. Be motivated because it will benefit your brain, your weight, your gut, your energy, your mood, and your productivity.
4. "I have the power to be my best self"
You can't create long-lasting change without believing in your power of getting things done. This means dropping thoughts that make you feel you're not good enough, you're too fat, you can't stop your cravings, you're too lazy or that you lack discipline. What you think of yourself is what will ultimately manifest. So let's manifest success by realizing you are 100% capable of getting there.
This belief will help you be consistent and committed by minimizing doubts and self-criticism that hold you back.
For example, if you want to begin a meditation practice, don't think that you are too undisciplined. Believe that you can overcome your distractions, because you can. Whenever you're having thoughts of "this is too difficult for me", immediately switch them with thoughts of "I can keep going".
5. "My past actions don't define who I am now"
Kicking old behaviors is crucial to get healthier. To make old patterns disappear, you need to erase the thought that your past defines who you are. The only thing that matters is what you decide to do with your health from now on.
This belief will allow you to let go of regret and guilt from past actions, so you can have a fresh start with an energized mindset.
For example, if you're trying to stop eating red meat for the 50th time, let go of the sense of failure you had when you couldn't do it before. Try it again focusing on what you want, not what you did.
6. "I am willing to be out my comfort zone"
Have you ever heard the saying "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"? It's true. Once you believe you can do better, you have to be willing to do what it takes to get there. Accept that building good habits will require you to be uncomfortable sometimes, and be willing to feel that way until you get what you want.
This belief will set the right attitude towards your goals. It will build the mental strength necessary to keep going by acknowledging it's not always easy, but it's worth it.
For example, if you need to start getting up earlier, staying in bed will be more appealing. It's a pain to have to jump from a warm bed to a cold bedroom. But accepting that it is hard and that you will do it anyway is the only way to get it done.
7. "I am enough"
Building better habits is not about being perfect. You don't need to banish ice cream from your life. You don't have to meditate strictly for one hour. If you're already taking action to be healthier and happier, that is enough. It doesn't matter if it's baby steps or radical changes. Everyone has their own rhythm, and you have to embrace yours. The only thing that matters is that you are consistently moving towards what you want.
This belief will make you stop wasting energy on harsh self-criticism and negativity. Instead, it will open up space to reflect on what you can do better and move on with your life.
For example, if you're trying to reach a healthy weight, don't slave over the numbers in the scale. As long as you're actively improving your diet and moving more to feel better, the results will show up. Don't obsess about seeing a specific number, or it will become unbearable.
8. "I am in control"
After connecting with yourself, knowing what you want, being willing to do what it takes, and developing confidence, you need to stay focused. Getting carried away is easy, you can either become obsessive or completely give up. Don't get so obsessed that you start eating nothing but green smoothies and don't lose so much focus that half of your groceries are processed food to binge on later.
This belief will help you stay grounded and focused. You will be able to take better decisions that serve you, instead of just going through the motions.
For example, if you're trying to build a running habit every morning, staying in control and being mindful will make you show up to your training even when you want to stay at home, and it will make you slow down when you feel you're injuring your body.
These beliefs will create a new mindset of self-love, perseverance, positivity, strength and growth that will help you get through the most challenging moments of your wellness journey and move towards your own success.
Do you want to lose weight? Eat clean? Quit sugar? Meditate more? Quit smoking? Grow muscle? You can make it happen. But you will be easily unmotivated and distracted without the right mindset.
Start believing more in your own worth and your own capabilities, and don't get stuck because of a few shortcomings.
Today, focus on your thoughts and build an empowering mindset that propels you forward.
Take that first step.