Do you find you get super excited to start a new health routine only to lose steam around day six? Your muscles hurt, a pimple decides to pay you a visit, and you’re already tired of the healthy meals you dreamed would change everything. What happened to that promise of extra energy and glowing skin?
Don’t worry, you’re not doing it wrong- and likely not immune to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. You’re just still in the tough part that’s not talked about as much. Here are a few tips to help you get over those beginner hurdles:
Anticipate that the first few weeks will need more of your energy. Changing routines, making food decisions, and problem solving challenges can be hard until you have them on autopilot. Allow extra time in your schedule and don’t tackle too much at once. Over time things will get easier. Don’t worry- it’s not always this much work!
Friends, coaches, and family can help or hinder, so find people who truly feel supportive and resist the urge to tell unsupportive people about your efforts. To help your support system guide you, give them feedback on the balance of kindness and motivation that feels right to you.
Ever notice you can be more self critical when starting a health routine than when you’re mindlessly eating junk food on the couch? While you may think beating yourself up is a motivator, try not to use shame as fuel. If self affirming thoughts feel too foreign, start fighting critical voices by pushing them off (“Not today Negative Nancy- I’ll check in with you next Saturday!”) Allowing yourself to postpone the judgment rather than get rid of it may work better than you think.
I hope these suggestions help you stay your path. There is huge payoff for finding your way in a healthy lifestyle, and a little rough road is usually how it starts!
Clinical Psychologist & Coach All rights reserved
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