January is traditionally a time when we resolve to lose weight and get healthy. The holiday season’s over, we’ve enjoyed ourselves a bit too much on the food and drink front and now we’re going to do something about it.
Get back on track
But if getting healthy is a promise you’ve broken time and again, you might want to assess what’s going wrong.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
If you’ve got an unhealthy mind, you could well be sabotaging your attempts to get a healthier body.
Signs of an unhealthy mind
Successful health, including weight loss, is all about mindset. With the right approach, you can lose weight and keep it off for good, just like I did.
Here are nine signs of an unhealthy mind – and simple, stress-free solutions to turn them around.
You’ve got a fixed mindset
According to Stanford University psychologist Dr Carol Dweck, people either have a ‘fixed mindset’ or a ‘growth mindset’.
People with a fixed mindset believe that their intelligence and capabilities are static and can’t be significantly altered.
Those with a growth mindset love a challenge and focus on constantly improving their abilities.
Approach weight loss with a fixed mindset, and you won’t really believe you can change. But with a growth mindset, you’ll keep trying, keep learning and achieve the results you want.
You’re changing too much, too soon
Weight loss and healthy living are long-term aims, but achieving them needs to be done step by step, not overnight. If you try making dramatic shifts to your lifestyle all at once, you won’t be able to keep the momentum going.
Focus on daily process instead. What small, simple changes can you make to your habits each day that will add up to major long-term gains?
You’re not establishing rituals
There’s a lot to be said for creating rituals, particularly when it comes to health and weight loss.
They’ll help you form healthy habits, meaning that you won’t have to think twice about making good choices.
Rituals can be purely practical, like making yourself a healthy work lunch the night before to save time in the morning and temptation when you’re at the office. They can also have a calming effect, like doing a morning yoga class or going for an afternoon jog.
You’re in denial
It can be surprisingly easy to avoid the fact that you’re leading an unhealthy lifestyle.
For example: the weight loss industry’s plans and programs are built on discouraging us from thinking for ourselves and having autonomy over our bodies and minds. Every time you try a diet and fail, you can tell yourself it’s not your fault – so you don’t end up taking responsibility for your health.
Stop denying – accept what needs to change, and start choosing to make those changes yourself.
You’re too focused on failure
Just because you didn’t achieve the outcome you wanted on your first, second or even third attempt doesn’t mean you can’t still achieve your goals.
Failure isn’t a sign of failure – it just means you’re still figuring out how to do something.
Harness that growth mindset – healthy living is a learning process every step of the way, and every time you try, you’re improving your skills and getting closer to the results you want.
How long has ‘lose weight’ or ‘get fit’ been on your to-do list?
I’ll bet it has been sitting there a lot longer than things like ‘buy new shoes’ or ‘mow the lawn’ – tasks that you might consider more practical or more fun. But shouldn’t your health be a pretty important priority? Make weight loss a non-negotiable task – how badly do you want it?
Stop thinking about it and putting it off until tomorrow, and start doing it – today!
You’re fixated on exterior success
Are all those airbrushed bikini bods and rippling six-packs that you keep seeing online and in magazines getting you down?
Forget about them – every body is different, just as everybody is different, and you have to figure out what being healthy means to you. It’s not just about looking good, but feeling good.
Don’t be influenced by someone else’s idea of weight loss success – define your own success and get out there to make it happen.
You’re not being accountable
You’re in charge of your body, and you’re the only one who can make weight loss and healthy living a reality. To do that, you need to be accountable – and the first person you need to be accountable to is yourself.
Keep your own promises, meet your own deadlines and back yourself every step of the way.
Tools like food and exercise diaries can be great ways to monitor your progress and keep yourself accountable on your weight loss journey.
You’re looking at problems, not solutions
People with a growth mindset view problems as opportunities, not stumbling blocks or reasons to give up. Try to adopt this approach for healthy living.
Obstacles don’t spell doom, but a chance for you to work out a suitable solution.
Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things – even if what you try doesn’t always work, you’re still going to end up one step closer to where you want to be, and you’ll have improved your weight loss knowledge and resilience along the way.
If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight and live a healthier life in the past, don’t be discouraged.
With the right mindset, you can figure out the strategies that work for you – practically, physically and psychologically. A healthy mind and body are within your grasp – so get out there and make them happen.