People think living healthy is hard and restrictive.
But I assure you it’s not. It’s much harder living an unhealthy lifestyle where you are tired and cranky all the time. I don’t miss my life before fitness over a decade ago when I also lacked confidence, suffered from anxiety, was always bloated, and just had a lot of bad habits! The paradox is that if you don’t know how it feels like to be in optimal health with limitless energy, and constant grateful moods, then isn’t ignorance bliss? Um… not if you have a growth mindset!
Back then, I didn’t know back then what life was like on the other side of optimal health. I never want to go back!
We all had to start somewhere.
My journey has been a long one (13 years to be exact) when I decided I was unhappy with myself and set an intention on making a change. I had started a dream career a couple of years prior, had a supportive boyfriend, and a large group of friends. My life seemed perfect but I had gained so much weight from college, and then all the free food at work, and I felt disgusted about myself. If you’re not happy about yourself, how can you be truly happy?
Once I set my mind to something, I usually find a way to do it because I am naturally intrinsically motivated. I first learned about the science of weight loss because being a nerd, ‘knowledge is motivation.’ Then I acted on my new found wisdom, and created my gameplan along the way.
Driven by results, I just kept on going and going, pushing and pushing, trying to hit new limits. If you are an athlete, you will understand this fascination with the suffer. The power of dopamine at it’s finest.
It wasn’t easy but I had to get it done! I cannot imagine my life without all these lessons and good habits I’ve instilled into my mindset… and it all started when I decided I was going to go to the gym consistently! It made healthy-living truly effortless simply by understanding how your mind works so you can hack it by switching to a growth mindset.
Here is how to make healthy living effortless:
- Focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t do.
- Set an end goal but focus on your daily habits.
- Master discipline and consistency.
- Break your bad habits.
- View energy as currency.
- Start with small stuff.
1. Focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t do.
Energy flow where attention goes. Beliefs are usually self-fulfilling prophecies. When I do an audit of my life, the dots all connect. I noticed that anything I believed to be true back then always manifested itself into reality whether it was good or bad.
For example, during a previous toxic relationship, my body and mind literally repelled my partner but I was too stubborn to listen because I was still a victim of my inexperienced mindset— I fell for somebody for their potential (huge red flag!). I had a very clear vision of how this relationship was going to end years before it ended… and guess what? I happened exactly the way I thought it would.
Another example of a self-fulfilling prophecy is the placebo effect. You can apply these lessons to all aspects of your life, including manifesting positive outcomes for your future.
2. Set an end goal but focus on your daily habits.
People don’t reach their goals because their minds are too focussed on the end of their journey, when they have barely begun, or even have a clear vision of said end goal. Your mind is a wondrous thing. You need to really want it. If you can visualize your end goal, and if you really want it, you will eventually find your steps to get there because your subconscious will make decisions and life choices to get you there. Use this to your advantage!
3. Master discipline and consistency.
The secret is discipline and consistency because it creates momentum and motivation. To develop discipline and consistency, think of it as a skill— something that you work on every day. That will also be a part of your habits.
For example, you may not want to work out everyday, but you have to force yourself to do things even if you don’t want to (discipline), and you have to do it every day (consistency).
4. Break your bad habits.
The secret to getting rid of bad habits is not to quit cold turkey, but to dismantle them, and rewire the neural circuits the bad habits are associated with.
Every time you do something you don’t want to do, you are creating more activity (electric currents) in those neural pathways so the more you do it, the more it will ‘become part of your routine.’ If you find yourself going back to your bad habits such as checking your phone during dinner, don’t beat yourself up— instead, replace it with a good habit. The next time, you may even add another good habit on top of that.
Dr. Andrew Huberman explained this method as “you are changing the nature of the neural circuits that are firing to rewrite the script.” Essentially, you are taking advantage of all those times you catch yourself performing your bad habit, and using it to stack good habits on top. This is a simple brain hack to instill new habits when performed consistently.
5. View energy as currency.
The energy you put into making those habits happen is the currency you need to get there. Your quality of your life depends on the quality of your habits. Good habits lead to results which will bleed into all aspects of your life including your career and financial success.
6. Start with small stuff.
Don’t overwhelm your mind and nervous system and begin with small habits, even if it is just putting on your gym clothes. You may not even walk out of the door in the first few days… but at least you put on your gear– you begin to build momentum. Over time you’re going to start seeing results and those results are going to motivate you to do more and more. Results are motivation. Motivation creates momentum. Momentum creates results.
Continue with those small habits and you will magically find yourself doing more and more every time. I promise you, it will get easier everyday. Just make sure you do it every single damn day!