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Don’T Rely On Motivation Alone

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Ethan Quant. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Health coach Ethan Quant, of Elite Wellness Solutions, has succeeded in his weight loss journey and now wants to share his methods with the Bahamas in an effort to foster a culture of wellness and conquer the obesity epidemic.

Whether it’s with my individual clients or during my health education sessions with companies, I am often asked about how I stay motivated on my health, wellness and fitness journey. The honest truth is that my motivation levels fluctuate so much that I can’t depend on motivation alone to keep me on track with my goals.

I had to realise that it was necessary for me treat working on myself as a habit. Motivation is good in the beginning, but because it is connected to our emotions it can’t be trusted if we’re in it for the long haul. When we don’t feel like getting up for a morning session we tend to find excuses to flake on our commitments. Just think about it – you’ve been on your fitness journey for a few weeks and all it takes is skipping one workout to knock you out of rhythm. It can be a slippery slope.

After I learned the benefits of altering my behaviour and treating my journey as a lifestyle, it became easier to be consistent. When you wake up in the morning, you don’t really debate as to whether or not you are going to brush your teeth or take a shower before you go to work. The repetition involved leads to habit-forming behaviour that becomes a part of your daily routine. I shamefully remember a time when I was a child that my mother used to have to remind me to brush my teeth or asked if I had taken a bath before leaving the house. Needless to say, I learned the value of fresh breath and a clean body.

Something else that happens when I wake up in the morning is the constant negotiations that go on between me, myself and I. Talking myself out of excuses about whether or not to go to the gym and what not to eat are a constant part of the journey that I have to navigate. You, too, will have to go through the same deliberations once you’re on this path. However, with a strong sense of accountability to your goals, half of the battle will already be won.

As human beings we tend to find pleasure in unhealthy things. I’ve constantly asked myself a series of questions that being motivated has never helped me with. Will this help or hinder my progress toward achieving my goal? Is this slice of red velvet cake going to help me drop the extra fluff around my mid-section? Is skipping the work out today going to hinder me in my quest to fit into that suit in time for my photo shoot? Another question I ask myself is how am I going to feel when the time comes and I didn’t hit my target. Or how am I going to feel if I hit my target knowing that I could have done so much more? I would like to say that I always choose the option that helps me achieve my goal, but that would simply be untrue. However, I will say that I don’t like feeling as though I failed, and I always feel good after doing the things that help me achieve my health, wellness and fitness goals.

Finally, here are a couple of keys that will hopefully help you on your health, wellness and fitness journey.

  1. Don’t rely on motivation alone to keep you consistent.

  2. Put your health wellness and fitness goals in the context of lifestyle modificationand stop looking for a “quick fix”.

  3. Take the time to develop healthy habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine and be consistent.

  4. Do not try to be perfect! It’s OK if you slip up now and again in the beginning. Don’t beat yourself up. Just shake it off, refocus and get back at it.

Remember, you are in control and you have all the tools you need to be successful in life and on your health, wellness and fitness journey.

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