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Focus on Motivation Not Deprivation in 2018

Posted on Thu, Jan 11, 2018

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So many of us get excited with the start of a new year and jump on the resolutions bandwagon. The heyday of January 1st is behind us now – how are your New Year’s resolutions going? If you’re like the AHCC Research team, the reality is that these resolutions are long forgotten.

This is okay. This is actually a good thing. In fact, congratulate yourself for learning one of the most important lessons of the year: do what feels good and makes sense for you. Most of us make resolutions that follow along with what others are doing: lose 10 pounds, eat better, go to the gym, do more, be more, be a better person…

Yeah, these are all kind of vague. They are also highly negative. When we create resolutions or goals that are framed in negativity, it’s very easy to feel badly about ourselves and to despair when the change doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, we want you to focus on resolutions that excite and motivate you. Yes, we’re putting a twist on the entire idea of New Year’s resolutions.

Getting Started with Your Motivation Goals

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Are there trips or places you’d like to visit? What gets you out of bed in the morning and makes you excited about living?

Now think about what you could do to make 2018 even better. Does this mean, starting a walking program so you can enjoy a family vacation to the Grand Canyon? Does it mean focusing on creating a peaceful bedtime routine so you can get better sleep? Does it mean taking cooking classes so you can explore new cuisines? Does it mean looking for new volunteer opportunities that involve you and your entire family? Does it mean taking advantage of the museums, art galleries, and theaters in your community?

See what we’re doing here? We’re looking for ways to get you thinking about what you really want to do with your 2018 and see how you can make this happen. There is no “stop eating cake," “get up at 5 a.m. and go to the gym everyday," or “fit into a size 4 in three months."

No, these goals are all about supporting you in living your best life possible.

How to Stay Motivated

We admit it, it can be hard to be motivated and focused on a goal that is months away. Let’s take the family vacation to the Grand Canyon as an example. You know this will involve hiking, days out on your feet, and maybe a river rafting trip or two. This can seem very intimidating.

Don’t despair. Instead think of what you can do today to really enjoy the trip. Today, it might mean, going out for a 15-minute walk. Maybe next month, you’ll sign up for some swimming lessons. Maybe you’ll attend a talk at your local outdoor adventure store about the Grand Canyon. And don’t forget reading about the Grand Canyon online and starting the early planning stages of your trip.

Now the motivation doesn’t seem so hard. You’ve got small targets to focus on. Instead of telling yourself “in 2018 I’ll be fit enough to enjoy five days of hiking, rafting, and exploring the Grand Canyon," you should tell yourself “I want to enjoy my trip to the Grand Canyon. To do this, I’ll figure out what I want to do on the trip and how I can best enjoy these activities."

Along the way, with whatever motivation you have, you’ll likely find yourself making small changes in your day-to-day that have you feeling better about yourself. The cooking classes may have inspired you to learn how to cook meals that support immune system health. Or maybe the swimming lessons have inspired you to join a swim club. All of a sudden, your 2018 is looking pretty good.

You’ve made positive changes almost effortlessly. Instead of beating yourself up over your old rigid New Year resolutions, you’re feeling great. You’re walking, you’re meeting new people, you’re involved in your community, you’re happy, and feeling better.

Change Can Be a Struggle

Now, we’re not going to sugarcoat it – even the smallest changes can be a struggle. This is okay. Just make sure that the new things you’re doing or the changes you’ve made are right for you. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed about maintaining motivation – then it’s time to reassess. Ask yourself if you’re on the path you imagined when you first thought about what makes you excited about 2018.

It’s perfectly okay, in fact, we want you to go back to the drawing board and reassess. You’re changing and growing – this means your motivation and focus is also changing. We’re excited for 2018 – tell us about your 2018 motivations. Visit the AHCC Research Facebook community page and tell us how you’re embracing motivation in 2018.