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Motivation Is A Bonus

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.

I often hear people say that the reason they are unsuccessful in their health, wellness and fitness goals is because they lack motivation. I used to think that motivation was key, however, during my own 110-pound weight loss journey, I learned that motivation is not a determinant of success, but rather, a bonus.

The key to achieving your health, wellness and fitness goals is in the healthy behaviours and habits that you consciously develop and integrate into your daily routine. Think of it like this: you wake up, hop in the shower, and get ready for work every morning. Just as you perform these tasks every day without thinking twice, you should integrate behaviours and habits that are consistent with living a healthy lifestyle. Eventually, those behaviours and habits will occur naturally and will require no thought.

It sounds pretty simple, but yet people often try to incorporate healthy behaviours in their lives and fail miserably. Personally, I failed at this so many times that I almost gave up. I was so close to accepting the idea that I had no control over my body or my life. Nonetheless, in my mind there was this flicker of hope and possibility as I thought of how my life would transform for the better, if I could just stick to being healthy.

On a scale of 1 to 10, relating to motivation, 10 being “highly motivated” and 1 being “not motivated at all”, I was at about a 4. However, after great deliberation, I made up my mind that I would do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes to get where I wanted to be. I admit there was a lot of anxiety involved. I often thought, “What if I gave my all to this process and still failed to achieve my goal?”

This was the point when all of the well-known motivational quotes became relevant. You know, “It’s better to try and fail, than not try at all,” and the infamous line, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” Yes, they are clichés, but we can’t deny their profoundness.

Finally, I decided to just do it. One thing I decided to do was abstain from placing a traditional time frame on my goals. Instead, I committed to consciously making small, but effective adjustments to my life, which would keep me on the right path toward my goals. I celebrated each time I followed through. For instance, if the goal was to go jogging in the morning, I would take out my exercise clothes the night before and put them next to the coffee maker. Then, I would set my alarm clock for an hour ahead of the time I wanted to hit the road. Knowing myself, that wasn’t enough. I would set my cellphone alarm to go off 10 minutes after my alarm clock (just to be sure). I would then strategically place my cellphone on my dresser, all the way across the room. The idea was if I wasn’t up by then, I would then have to force myself to get up to turn off that alarm. And since I would be out of bed, the likelihood that I would go for a jog would be much greater.

I imagined it to go like this: in the morning my alarm clock would go off, I hit snooze. Ten minutes later my cellphone alarm goes off and I can’t take it anymore, so I get up to turn off that irritating noise. Then, I stumble to the bathroom to splash cold water on my face and proceed to make my coffee. Behold, my exercise clothes are next to the coffee maker, and I’m confused for a second, but then my mind quickly catches up and put I them on, drink my coffee, and head out for my morning jog.

For the next several months that is typically how my mornings went. Even today my mornings still contain a lot of those elements.

The key is to take one step at a time. If you are introducing new healthy behaviours into your life, work toward integrating them into your daily routine. Planting triggers are helpful, such as when I placed my cellphone across the room in order to force myself to get up. It was a pain, but it worked.

Always remember, the mind is a powerful thing. If you can imagine yourself successfully going through this process, you’re already halfway there.

• If you need help navigating any part of your health, wellness and fitness process, you can contact Ethan Quant at ethan@elite-wellnesssolutions.com or on Instagram at @ethanquant.

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