What Drives You? How To Get Motivated To Live A Balanced & Healthy Lifestyle

Photo: getty
How To Get Motivated To Live A Balanced & Healthy Lifestyle
Self

Growing up, my dad would always say, “We may not have much money, but we have our health.” As a young child, this meant very little to me, but now more than ever, more of us can connect with this statement.

There are a lot of ways to get motivated, but it's easy for this to get drowned out as you try and tackle every new problem that comes along.

So, how can you find motivation to take on a healthier lifestyle? It all starts with what I call your "e-motion."

RELATED: 5 Tips For Finding Your Motivation When You're Feeling Depressed

Connect with your deeper feelings. 

In order to bring about any long-lasting behavior change, you need to connect with the desire on a deeper level and find enough energy to not only start it, but to keep it going.

For some, it may be a desire to fit into a certain dress or earn a particular income. For others, it may be a desire to see their kids grow up and have children of their own.

Whatever it is, once you find it and connect with it, it can truly take you on a journey of desired change more powerful than any diet or self-help book you read.

Get out of your comfort zones. 

It's your natural human nature to learn and grow most from the pains you experience, but when those pains are short-lived and become long forgotten, it's all too easy to return back to your previous life — your comfort zone. Or not so comfortable, as the case may be.

For me, I was working so hard I couldn’t hear myself think! I’d wake up in the morning and immediately be bombarded with everything that needed attention.

I was trying to get my kids up and ready for school, and myself dressed and ready at the same time. Once I got to work, there wasn't a minute of peace with endless emails and messages piling up, demanding to be answered.

On my non-existent lunch break, I just plowed through it and survived on tea — my then tenth cup to keep the caffeine levels topped up. 

Then, I had to rush home to deal with the kids, their homework, and more phone pinging. Plus, the WhatsApp groups of all the school mums reminding me of what our kids needed to bring in the next day.

I had so many missed calls from friends I didn’t have time to speak to.  I longed to be able to just luxuriate in a bath, but instead had to return to the laptop for a few more hours of work to catch up.

Cooking dinner was too much of a chore, so unhealthy snacking — or nibbling on the leftovers from my children's meals — became the norm. ​I had poor-quality sleep with a the need for a nighttime blend to compensate for all the preceding caffeine.

Then, the next day started all over again the same way!

I prided myself on have a successful business, being organized, and being a good, loving mother, but where was the balance?

Where was the time for me? Where was the fun? Where was the being in the moment long enough to actually celebrate a win rather than say, "Great!” and swiftly move onto the next challenge?

Unsurprisingly, I eventually fell ill. Chronic fatigue set in.

Where I had been incredibly fit, I found myself puffed out and needing to lie down on the floor to get my heartrate down after just climbing up one flight of stairs!

My brain felt foggy; I couldn’t focus well, and certainly couldn’t cope with the amount of daily stress I'd been able to cope with before.

My threshold was lowered. I felt exhausted, became intolerant, impatient, frustrated, sorry for myself, and truly desperate for change.

I couldn’t turn to my friends for fear they would simply say, “I told you so!” So many of those friends I hadn’t spoken to because work had taken over.

I continued to push through through work because my team relied on me, or so I assumed, and I needed to maintain the income as I was now fending for myself and my kids since my marriage had been sacrificed in the process.

What I truly realized was that my time with my kids was so important, and my ability to participate in it was now severely compromised.

RELATED: 25 Funny Inspirational Quotes To Start Your Day Off With Positive Thoughts

What was my "e-motion?" What was it that led me to change my life?

It wasn’t the pain. Yes, that led me to recognize I needed to change, but pains are soon forgotten when they ease. I needed a driving factor to keep me motivated, and not only make the initial changes, but ensure I changed myself once and for all.

Reading self-help books and considering about how they may apply to me helped me to some extent, but it wasn’t personalized enough for me to identify where I was going wrong.

Dangling a carrot or two may have helped to instigate the change, but it didn’t keep me going. There were only so many virtual pats on the back I could give myself. 

So, I had to find what my e-motion was — my "energetic motion" — to change and keep me going in that direction.

So how can you find your e-motion to make necessary changes permanent in your life?

The simple answer is to dig deep. When you first ask yourself why you choose to do something, your head will often provide the answer.

It’s not surprising that thoughts generated from your ego are there to protect you, and so you use reason and logic to convince yourself to do or not do something.

By going deeper, you take yourself out of your head and into your heart. If you can truly engage in a deep heart-centered motivating factor, then there is no room for logic to talk you out of it.

Think of your e-motion as being the motivating factor that:

  • Is going to get you out of bed on a cold rainy day and go outside to walk the dog
  • Is going to push you to end of a workout when your body is screaming in pain and you absolutely detest press-ups
  • Is going to make you overcome your fear and actually voice your opinion of something
  • Is going to inspire you to stand on a stage and present beautifully, despite having what you thought was a phobia of public speaking or performing
  • An attentive and supportive friend
  • An understanding and understood partner
  • A participator of healthy living
  • An engaged and fun mother
  • An adventurer
  • A legacy leaver
  • A finder of time for everything you want

So, back to the wonderful wisdom of my father: Your health is the source of your wealth.

Your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health allows you to do and be anything you want. True, you may abuse it at times, but it needn’t be irreversible damage.

RELATED: 9 Ways To Get Yourself Out Of That Slump

Sign Up for the YourTango Newsletter

Let's make this a regular thing!

Dr. Rana Al-Falaki is a life and business coach helping women take steps to feel successful and create balance in a fun, practical way. She's the author of "Women Who Want More: How To Create a Balanced & Fulfilled Life." You can contact her directly via her website.

This article was originally published at Thrive Global. Reprinted with permission from the author.

Author
Expert