Motivation energizes, empowers and sustains us to get through short- and long-term challenges in our daily life. Staying motivated can be key to keeping healthy, namely when it comes to diabetes, a condition that relies on constant motivation to regularly take steps to self-manage it successfully. If you are feeling low on motivation, it can be helpful to add more tools to your repertoire for a refreshing jump start. Here are a variety of options to mix things up and to help keep you inspired:
A vision board is a creative way to clarify and visualize your goals and making one can actually be a fun and relaxing activity too! If you are not familiar with the concept, a vision board is a collection of images and words that represent your goals; a motivating collage of sorts. It can be centered around one concept, such as your health, or that can be just one of many areas you include in addition to other parts of your life such as work, family, hobbies etc. Once you figure out what your main goals are, you can begin to clip photos and words, from magazines, the internet and/or your own photo collection and add them to a poster board, a wall or paper. For example, if increasing your exercise is one of your goals, find pictures of yourself being active in the past or images of new activities you would like to try to put on your board. You can also do the same with nutritious eating and other health goals. Place your board where you will see it regularly to inspire and motivate you. A picture really can be worth a thousand words!!
Journaling can be a powerful tool for motivation and self-awareness. Keeping track of your successes and setbacks and the circumstances/feelings surrounding them, can be very eye opening and informative, not to mention very useful for improving your health in the future. Documenting things can also prove to be beneficial as a resource to look back on when you are going to doctor’s appointments or having health difficulties and need to remember key facts. The potential for journaling is endless- you can include your food intake, medications, activity levels, feelings, stress level, accomplishments, and mistakes. Journaling on a regular basis can also help keep you accountable and in turn motivated!
Podcasts have become extremely popular in the past decade. A podcast is a digital file that can be accessed on the internet via downloading to your computer or mobile device. Podcasts are created and delivered by a host(s) such as individuals, health experts, companies, storytellers or tv networks, which discuss various topics. There are a variety of podcasts centered on health, specifically diabetes, including lifestyle topics like diet, exercise and stress management. There are even some that solely address increasing motivation and happiness. A podcast can be a fun and informative way to offer you a new perspective and they are convenient to listen to while on a walk, driving/taking public transportation or doing household chores. Try one as you start your morning, as a midday break, or for winding down from a long day. As with anything on the internet, you always want to check out the host and their credentials, as well as reviews on the podcast, to prevent dealing with any misinformation. A reputable and well delivered podcast can be a great tool to enhance your motivation.
If you have your goals clearly set, you are working away and just want a simple tool to stay on track, healthy rewards can be a fun way to keep you focused. Rewards can inspire you to keep on moving along and help you meet your goals. Just try to make sure the way you reward yourself does not work against your attempts to change your lifestyle (like using unhealthy foods or skipping a workout for example). If you commonly celebrate successes in life by using food or lounging around as a reward, then you could keep the spirit of celebrating your accomplishment, yet replace the reward with a non-food treat like a new book or going out shopping with a friend. If you use TV time on the couch to indulge yourself after a long busy day, trying a walk with a friend or a new yoga class to relax and recharge is another example of re-framing and replacing the way you acknowledge yourself, but in a healthier way. Using rewards in a healthy way can be a terrific means of keeping your motivation ongoing.
Another way to stay motivated is cracking open a good old-fashioned book. Increasing your knowledge and gaining new perspectives can help increase ? your ambition. Books can be helpful for lifestyle areas such as diet, exercise, stress reduction, along with learning about the process of setting goals, staying organized and overall management of health conditions like diabetes. If you feel stuck in a certain area, like meal planning or increasing your diet variety for instance, checking out a healthy cookbook from your local library or buying one at your local bookstore to keep handy can provide you with additional ideas if you are in a rut. Books can inform and inspire you to help recharge your motivation.
Reaching out for support
If you struggle with staying motivated in managing your diabetes and in other areas of your life, realizing that you are not alone and leaning on your support network can be a fail-safe tool to help get you back on track. Try to take time out to understand what is holding you back. For example if there is confusion or concern about your medication regimen or treatment plan, be proactive and schedule a talk with your healthcare team to review and reassess. If it is a mental health issue, meeting with a therapist or support group may offer encouragement to keep you going to successfully self-manage. Depending on what you may be grappling with, sometimes a good talk with a family or friend can be a much-needed remedy to help with your motivation and deal with the ups and downs of daily life.