Forming new habits and sticking to them, isn't easy business. But who ever set the expectation that it would be? Whether you're working towards kicking a soda habit, being more active or revamping your diet, you should feel motivated by the bigger picture, by health and wellness, not because it's going to be easy. Nevertheless, clients are often confronted and come to me wondering why others seem to be making their changes so effortlessly, curious about what they could be doing wrong. And although many elements come into play when it comes to successful lifestyle change, there is one factor that is often overlooked and that I consider to be a health-limiting component: attitude.
To deem something easy is a matter of perspective, which is why shifting that perspective, or attitude, could be just your ticket towards easier lifestyle change. Here are 3 ways your attitude may be holding you back from a healthier you.
Avoid futile comments such as "I will never look like her" because truth be told, you never will look like her. And why should you? You should strive to look and feel like the best, healthiest version of yourself instead. Longing to be more acceptable, setting unattainable expectations or living according to someone else's standards will only keep you in limbo and nowhere closer to your goal. So rather than compare yourself to others, shift your focus on which actionable steps you can take right now to optimize your health.
Self-criticism, especially when it bears harsh emotional tags, keeps you more caught-up on what you hate, rather than what you are doing to get better. Criticizing your "chubby" body, deeming yourself "lazy" for not making it to the gym or "stupid" for overindulging, are all examples of the nonconstructive criticism that needs be stopped dead in its tracks. This also applies to others. Refrain from making any negative remarks about others, especially if out of resentment that this person is further along in their goal than you are. Compliment their success and while you're at it, throw one your way too.
We all do our fair share of complaining, myself included. But when it comes to health or the food on your plate, we need to snap out of it. The trick is in devising an alternate response to the complaint. Instead of saying, "I didn't have time to workout today" or, "I'm way too busy to cook" ask yourself whether that's because you didn't make the time to workout or because you didn't plan ahead to facilitate your cooking. When you start viewing health as a non-negociable, snapping out of a complaint and spotting a solution will become second nature.
The common thread with all of these attitude-fixes is awareness. Picture this: you are in the driver's seat on the road to a healthier you. Awareness is like coming to a fork in the road and noticing the choices ahead. You can choose to compare, criticize or complain and drive away from change or take the high road and keep on trucking towards change. As with all things, lifestyle change requires practice, and soon you will have cleared the road towards optimal health.