Do you have an "all-or-nothing" mentality? If you're going to do something you're going to give it your all. But, if you can't give it an intense effort and do everything perfectly you're not going to do it at all.
This all-or-nothing mentality can get you some great results in life but it can also hold you back from getting things you want. For example, if your goal is to organize your closets but you're procrastinating because you don't have the storage containers you want to use and you know you need a few consecutive days to get it all done so you may never even start. However, if you started with one closet and worked in phases you would be done in a few months!
Same can apply to healthy living. Maybe you don't want to start trying to lose weight because you don't have the time or energy to workout, drink water and change your diet. But what if you started with just one thing? Start by exercising a couple times a week. Then add drinking more water and changing your diet. Little by little you can make progress towards your big goal.
You can be closer to your goal in a few months or you can be where you are now. Your choice. Time will pass regardless of what you do with it.
To get past your all-or-nothing mentality you should tell yourself things like:
-Small steps are significant.
-I am doing my best.
-I am making progress towards my goal.
-Every change is important.
-I can do hard things.
Changing your mind is probably the hardest part of changing your body. Don't underestimate its power.
Your mindset makes all the difference when you're making lifestyle changes. If you're not in the correct mindset you will experience more frustration and failures than someone who's locked in a strong mindset.
How do you have a strong mindset? I'm certainly not perfect but I'll share what I do to make sure my mind is ready for challenges of life- this includes making healthy choices.
1. Affirmations- Telling yourself positive things has a big impact. Turn your negative thoughts about yourself and your capabilities into positive statements. At first you won't believe what you're saying to yourself but be persistent with this practice and you'll soon find yourself successfully changing the way your mind perceives yourself.
2. Gratitude- Just this simple practice of listing five things you're grateful for when you're in a bad mood can completely change your outlook on life. Note: this is not denying your emotions. Sometimes your "negative" (uncomfortable) emotions need to be felt and dealt with. This is instead reminding yourself of the good when you have something bad to deal with.
3. Goals- People with strong mindset are moving towards a goal. They've focused in on something and they're on their way to reach it. If you don't have a goal you're kind of like a boat without a rudder. A mind that is strong is a mind with goals.
4. Movement- A strong body creates a strong mind. Your body knows how you treat it and how much you've been exercising (or avoiding exercise). Talk to a person who never challenges their muscles about how confident they are and then go talk to someone who's been resistance training for a few months and they are notably more confident.
5. Resilience- A strong mind is resilient. It can manage to fall seven times and get up eight. Just like walking takes practice, the more you get up from a fall the better you'll be at it. The most obvious example to this mom of a toddler- A toddler learning to walk will fall a lot. Not only are they improving their walking when they try again, they're improving their ability to get up from a fall. Be resilient. Get up and you'll get stronger every time you do.
Life is stressful, scary and downright horrible sometimes. Even just every day life without any extraordinary events or circumstances can be hard to handle. It's good to have as many tools in your toolbox to improve your mental health. One of these tools you can try is mindfulness. Mindfulness, put simply, means taking time to be in the present and to notice things around you. There are plenty of apps to help you be mindful but to get started try these things-
1. Take 10 breaths and think only about your breathing.
2. Go for a walk outside and notice 10 things that are around you.
3. Notice what you're sensing- taste, touch, feel, smell.
4. Name 5 things you're grateful for.
5. Focus on one activity. Instead of multitasking, purposefully focus on one task.