From lockdowns to gyms closing, the COVID pandemic has had such a huge effect on almost every facet of our lives including our motivation and routines. While you may have started strong and committed to healthy resolves, if you’ve found yourself feeling a little hopeless when looking to the future, you’re not alone. Many months into our “new normal”, you might be feeling deflated, offtrack, and lacking the enthusiasm to continue a healthy lifestyle at home. So, how do you stay motivated when so much of what you usually hope for hangs in limbo?
Create Intrinsic Goals
Clients of LifeShape Clinic will know we are all about goals, goals, goals when it comes to achieving a healthy lifestyle! However some goals hold more weight than others for long term, healthy weight loss.
There are two types of goals people most commonly set when working towards an objective:
- Intrinsic goals – goals that come from within
- Extrinsic goals – goals that arise from external factors
At LifeShape Clinic we encourage clients to choose and set intrinsic goals as a priority. Why are these types of goals more important than ever? The pandemic has unfortunately taken away a lot of our usual events and activities. Things like upcoming holidays and weddings are key motivators for people to lose weight. However with those now gone or hanging in limbo, people feel like there’s nothing to work towards.
But you know what? Intrinsic goals are the ones that are vital for a long term weight loss strategy! Why? Because events come and go, but underlying reasons to get healthy stay the same.
So, what kind of goals should you set to stay on track? Here’s some examples:
- To commit to losing weight to feel more energized so I can play with my children/grandchildren
- To consistently do more exercise to feel healthier and lower my health risks
- Ensure I eat breakfast every day because it helps keep me satiated through the morning
- Doing yoga / meditation as it helps keep my head clear
- Fill my fridge with healthy food – this saves me time and money
Keep Your Routine on Track
Lockdowns, working from home, mask wearing, border closures. There have been a lot of disruptions to our routines these last few months. It’s no wonder we feel out of control within our own lives. So, how do you stay on track when the goalposts keep changing?
Set yourself up with daily plans that will never really change until they become a ritual for you. Here’s some examples of ways you can feel in control of your day and on your way to reaching your goals:
- Set your alarm and stick to it each day! Regardless of whether you are going to the office or working from home, sticking to a set wake and bedtime will help normalise your day and set your body clock
- Meal plan & meal prep – plan your meals and do your grocery shopping on the same day each week until it becomes a habit for you. Consider click and collect or home delivery as ways to ensure you don’t run out of time to get the grocery shopping done. Once you’ve cooked dinner, package up those leftovers so you have a healthy lunch the next day too
- Lay out your workout clothes – laying out your workout clothes is a great way to physically remind yourself to keep active each day! Consider including some at home workouts in your repertoire as well when lockdowns strike again
- Factor in down time – whether that be reading a book, catch up on some television shows, or chatting with a friend on zoom!
Celebrate Small Wins
Coronavirus has inspired some fantastic new ideas and business ventures over the last few months. However don’t feel diminished if all you’ve done is survive! Not everyone is taking part in online video challenges, taking up new hobbies, or mastering a new language. Comparing ourselves to others is damaging to our self-worth, so don’t fall into the trap of seeing other people’s “perfect lives” on social media.
If you do nothing else right now, focus on yourself, your health, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle within the limits coronavirus has thrust upon us. Aim for the small wins each day like drinking enough water, fitting in your daily exercise, and making fresh healthy meals each day rather than ordering takeout. However tiny, these small wins add up to big results you can be proud of.
Keep Your Appointments
When lockdowns happen, we miss seeing you! But guess what? Telehealth is a great way to stay in touch and stay on track. We get that face-to-face consultations help you feel the most accountable, but treat your video, phone, and email consults like you would an in-clinic appointment! When disruption strikes elsewhere in your life it’s nice to know you have a constant with your clinical team. We can still chat about your week, navigate your challenges, discuss your measures, and make a plan for the coming week all via telehealth. Having a contingency plan in your back pocket if another lockdown strikes will help you feel on track and in control.
These Aren’t Normal Times
Everything is different right now. Even when we feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel, something changes. We certainly can’t pretend everything is normal and fine. Trying to do so might even make you feel worse.
However, while we’ve been thrown into turmoil for months on end, don’t forget this won’t last forever. There will be a time we can travel again. There will be a time we can celebrate life’s biggest events with extended family again. While we can’t do anything about the bigger picture right now, you can fill your time in a purposeful way working toward where you want to be.