• Jan Clementson

Creating your health mindset


Thankfully, we've now left 2016 behind us and are into the new energy of 2017. One theme seemed to pervade last year and that was the theme of 'CHANGE'. So, following that theme, it's time for you to make 2017 the year when you change your approach to health. No longer is it just about what goes into your mouth or how much you exercise.............but it's becoming very clear that the way you THINK can determine your health (just as it can affect other aspects of your life).

So, where do you start? Well, there are a number of simple strategies that you can start to introduce to get you started about thinking about your health in a different way:

Change the stories that you tell yourself

Whether you think you can or you think you can't.............you are right! Start paying attention to what you are telling yourself about your health goals. Catch yourself if you start to think in these terms: "Losing weight is going to be really hard work", "I'm not going to enjoy going on a diet", "I hate exercise but I have to do it to lose weight" or "I'll only put the weight back on when I stop, so why am I bothering?". We all talk to ourselves in such negative terms from time to time. But those words are holding you back from achieving your goals. Instead, if you tell yourself you will do some exercise that you really love, then guess what?.........that's exactly what you will do.

Developing a growth mindset

Rather than putting self-imposed limits on any health potential, be open to the possibility that the goal you want to achieve is within your reach. Believe that you are far more capable than you think you are and that you can always adapt and grow. Remember that the best athletes in the world were not necessarily the most talented in their youth.........but they believed that they could overcome their challenges, grow and develop, and reach their goals. If your goal is to lose a stone in weight then you have to believe that you are capable of it, even if it has been a struggle in the past. When you change how you think, you do not have to repeat past failures.

Focus on accomplishments

Focus on the positives of any actions and your accomplishments, rather than dwelling on the negatives. So when you start your new health plan, start to recognise and acknowledge the small steps. Let's say that you've been out for your very first run in a long time and it was really hard work and you felt exhausted afterwards. Don't focus on the hard work or the exhaustion, focus on the fact that you actually achieved your goal of going for a run.......even if you had to walk part or most of the way. The fact that you got out there and did it is a positive achievement. You could just as easily have sat on the sofa and berated yourself for not going. Take time to recognise these small achievements and then start to build in a reward system to celebrate your successes.

Don't compare yourself to others

We are all on different journeys in life with different backgrounds and different challenges. Measure your success ONLY by the goals that you set yourself and which are important to you. It really doesn't matter what others think or feel about you (although this can be hard for the people-pleasers of the world, like me!). When it comes down to it, all that counts is what you think and feel and what you want. The grass always seems greener on the other side......but the reality is that we only see in others the areas where we are most challenged and we don't see in ourselves the areas in our life that come easy to us.......and yet that is what others see in us as their 'grass is greener'!

Figure out your big WHY

If you really want to motivate yourself, then figure out WHY you have set yourself your particular health goal. Maybe it is to lose weight so that you can fit into an amazing dress that has been hanging in the back of your wardrobe for what seems like forever; or maybe it is to actually become physically fit. Whatever your goal, get clear on why you really want to achieve it. Then, when you have figured that out, start visualising the YOU that you want to be in the future as if it is already in the present. To boost your motivation, try cutting out some pictures of what your goal represents to you and place the pictures somewhere you will see them every day. Every time you look at the pictures, you will re-inforce your goals, which will in turn help to motivate you.

Broadcast your health goals

Don't keep your health goals secret in case you don't achieve them. Tell everyone who will listen what you want to achieve. The more you repeat your goals, the greater your commitment to them and the more likely it is that they will happen. So, if you are really serious about making some positive changes in your life this year, shout them for the rooftops and watch your new life unfold before you!

Wishing you all the best with your New Year Health Goals!

Jan Clementson

Nutritional Therapist

Boundless Energy