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Posted: October 01, 2014 by Nani Waddoups
Why DON’T we do the things we know are GOOD for us?
You know what I’m talking about, right? Here’s a short list of mostly agreed-upon things we know are good for us:
There are also more personal things that we know are good for us. For me, this list includes
When I do all the things above, I feel better physically, psychologically and emotionally. I’ve identified these obvious tasks and have felt the benefits. So why on earth would I NOT do them? Below are the two most common explanations:
In order to be motivated, there has to be an element of hope, faith, or belief.
I will feel better if I exercise today. My neck will stop hurting if I do my stretches. I will be secure in the future if I save some money today.
If I don’t believe that exercise will give me energy, or stretching will reduce my neck pain, or that I will ever be able to retire on my savings, my motivation to take action will be low. Even though there is EVIDENCE, both scientific and anecdotal, that the effort will be rewarded, we don’t believe it. Why? Because there are elements that smother hope. Here are some surefire reasons to feel hopeless and unmotivated:
UNREALISTIC, PERFECTIONISTIC GOALS
CRITICAL INTERNAL VOICES
Another impact on our motivation is fear. It seems counterintuitive: one would think that a fear of being unhealthy would be a motivating factor for exercise, but the fear is often of something else.
FEAR OF FAILURE
FEAR OF CHANGE
So how do we overcome the hopelessness and fear that zap our motivation to do what is best for us? Here is the prescription:
In addition to the above, and perhaps most importantly, be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for not exercising or saving money or practicing yoga! Take care of yourself as you would a beloved child: model self-care and kind self-talk, be encouraging, soothe after a fall. Talk to yourself as you would to a dear friend: instill hope, validate fears. And then take a walk for just five minutes and breathe in the belief that you are doing something good for you!