Not a single person out there goes from unhealthy to perfectly fit, with all positive habits, overnight. It’s not possible. A fundamental step of behavioural change however is celebrating each small win, so that your brain associates it with positive feelings. These positive feelings give encouragement, motivation and build confidence that leads to repetition. And with repetition, all those small victories to graduate into larger ones.
The decision to commit to a healthy lifestyle is a huge undertaking. First off, you should start your new journey off with a celebration. Get excited about taking the first big step toward a better and
Next, make sure you are realistic with yourself and know that there will be times that you will have to really push yourself to get up, to eat healthy, and sometimes it can be a real struggle. It won’t last forever. With time and commitment, your goals will come closer into focus. If you need help getting started consider finding a coach.
The best way to keep yourself motivated is to celebrate every small victory along the way. No matter how small something is, you should always take time to congratulate yourself for working so hard! One thing I do each day to help me celebrate is add a note to my to-do list. I note my "one thing" for that day. The one thing that I want to accomplish AND I also write how I’ll celebrate.
Consider how success works below:
Option 1) Action –> Result –> Celebrate Feeling good –> More action –> More result
Option 2)Action –> Result –> No celebration, no good feeling –> Less action –> Less result
The first and the most important thing you need to do to celebrate your progress is to acknowledge it. Here are a few ways that I like to honour my successes as I work toward a larger goal:
Hit a power pose: In sports, it's common to see professional athletes show their power moves during the game or when they successfully score. Being Canadian most notably I think of hockey players after they score a goal. Power moves can also be used as an anchor to put you in your peak state so that you can perform at your best in the future. Every time I make progress, I fire off my power pose.
I do something I love: Do I need to explain this more? Celebrate by doing something that you love and enjoy. It’s simple. It can be playing games, reading a book, having a glass of fine wine, watching a movie, etc. Whatever you do, just make sure that the reward is something that you look forward to.
I Write it down: It helps to stop and remember to be proud, and also to be able to replicate in the future that same state of flow or focus, motivation, and purpose that allowed me to achieve that goal in the first place.
I say a little celebratory mantra: Every time I complete a task on my to do list, I repeat the phrase, ‘You’ve accomplished more than you had ten minutes ago!’ It's a great reminder to take a breath too.
I take a recovery day: Since working to get more nutrition and movement into my life the past couple years, I released some old ways and revamped my goals into just a few simple habits each day. And when I have hit my benchmark of 5 days in a row, I give myself a recovery day and change the pace. Maybe focus on more mindfulness and taking it slow.
I pause for a gratitude moment: Being grateful for my small successes brings a deeper connection to the work I am doing each and every day. By celebrating these wins with gratitude I'm happier and reminded of my purpose.
Creating a healthier lifestyle? Here are a few of milestones you should be celebrating:
Getting Enough Water: While everyone knows that it’s important to stay hydrated, actually doing so can be difficult at times. Water plays many roles in your body, including maintaining electrolyte balance and blood pressure, lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, and promoting cell health. Just the simple act of setting a goal can be motivating, making you more likely to make positive changes that last. So set a daily water intake goal. For example, your goal might be to drink 6 glasses of water per day. It can also help to keep track and record your progress, which can help keep you motivated to achieve your goal — and make it a habit and celebrate each day you reach your goal.
Getting your body moving: If you’re going from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one, then you’re in for a major change, and possible shock. It’s not easy giving up those nights on the couch, scrolling through your phone while binge-watching your favourite shows. But when you make the sacrifice and choose to take some of that time for yourself to work out, and reach the goal you set out, then you should celebrate your achievements. Celebrate with a happy dance each day that you work out!
Losing Just One Pound: If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, it can seem like an uphill battle. But guess what? It absolutely can be won! Remember that when you step on the scale and it only goes down by one number, because it’s bound to happen eventually. The truth is, even one pound is an accomplishment. To compare it to something you can visualize, one pound of fat is the same volume as a pound of butter. Not too shabby!
Losing An Inch: Even better than stepping on the scale is measuring using a measuring tape. This is by far a better way to watch how your body composition naturally changes as your health increases. Many times you may not lose pounds on the scale but instead you will see a few inches lost overall on your body. And I think I can safely say that if you are wanting to trim down, losing inches is the real win not always the pounds on the scale.
So it's time to acknowledge change and stepping toward the right direction. Maybe it's that you are eating more vegetables than you were just a few weeks ago or you have removed refined sugars from your diet for a whole week. Maybe it's that you can lift more weight than just one month ago. Maybe you are breathing better and keep up your pace longer. For example it’s common for those of us who aren't as fit as we'd like to be to become out of breath easily doing every day simple activities. Walking, climbing the stairs, even talking too quickly can turn into a case of heavy breathing. With daily exercise and more nutritional foods, your cardiovascular system will begin to heal and improve, and if you’re paying attention, you'll notice one day that you've finished a 10-minute workout without stopping, and your heartrate and breathing has been elevated, but you're not only NOT out of breath, you could maybe even keep going!!!!! It’s time to celebrate that win. Look at how far you've come baby!!!! Really acknowledge the improvement and your effort and CELEBRATE.
How will you reward yourself for each step in the right direction?