How I Stay Perpetually Motivated To Live Healthfully
By Mikkel Gisle Johnsen
Health is wealth they say, but how do we stay motivated to keep doing what is best for us? How do we maintain a good diet and an overall healthy lifestyle when there are so many pitfalls along the way?
Sure, we can run off willpower and mental fortitude for quite a while, but in the long run it’s not enough. We need something that will motivate us perpetually. Something that will reinforce itself with or without our efforts.
In today’s article I’m going to let you in on my secret to success. It’s nothing magical, but it works – I can guarantee you that much!
Read on to learn how I stay motivated all day every day!
Avoid What Doesn’t Work The first thing we need to realize is that nothing works except that which does. In other words – you might have to do a fair bit of experimentation before you find that which works. I could try to convince you to try what I believe is the optimal way, but ultimately you have to figure it out for yourself.
I don’t believe that there is more than one way to be optimally healthy. Physiologically speaking, we all function the same way – with only minor variations between individuals. We all need the same nutrients and the same conditions in order to be healthy.
Read our article: “Is it human food?” to learn more about what foods are species specific to humans!
We might be able to get by on something that’s not ideal, but getting by is not what we’re after here. We’re after optimal health!
What is optimal health then? It is possible to measure this to some degree, but ultimately it comes down to how you feel. Not only on a day to day basis but also long term. This is rather subjective, I know – but that’s OK for today, because I want you to tune into how you feel rather than what the numbers and stats might say.
Avoiding what doesn’t work means that if you’re not feeling your best – something is not right. Finding out exactly what isn’t right, is not always going to be easy of course. Over time though, if you are willing to experiment and be honest about the results you’re getting, you’ll usually start to see a pattern emerge. By identifying what doesn’t give you the results you desire, you’ve taken a huge step towards being perpetually motivated to stay healthy. It’s really a game of “connecting the dots”.
Let the Results Guide You Over the course of the last six years of my life, I’ve been following a high carbohydrate, low fat, 100% vegan – mostly raw vegan, fruit based diet and cultivating health on all levels. I’ve learned a thing or two about the difference between feeling OK, feeling GOOD and feeling ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
I’ve certainly done a fair bit of experimenting too. I’ve tried eating more fat (15 – 25 % of calories) and less fat (5 – 10% of calories). I’ve tried late nights and early nights, enough sleep and not enough sleep. I’ve eaten cooked foods and raw foods. Sweet fruits and acid fruits. Unripe fruits and ripe fruits. I’ve lived in the tropics and in Norway. I’ve experimented with eating cooked starchy foods daily and I’ve done long periods of 100% raw fruit only. There have been times when I’ve eaten lots of greens for extended periods, and other times where I’ve gone for years without any at all. I’ve had pizza, tea, salt, pepper, beer and potato chips on several occasions! You get my point – I’m not afraid to do whatever I want, whenever I feel like it!
Here’s the thing though – I invariably find myself coming back to what WORKS! This is not because of any dogma or idea about what I should be doing, but rather a preference for feeling good! If I want to partake in some substance or activity that’s not ideal from a health perspective, I go ahead! Sooner or later though, I grow tired of the negative aspects of it, or I miss that amazing feeling too much to continue!
In other words – results motivate me more than anything else! We could all use a little inspiration and education here and there, whether it be from a YouTube video or a book, but ultimately it comes down to results.
When you start waking up in the morning feeling fresh and ready to attack the day with vigor, you never want to go back to feeling lousy again! When you feel energized and happy throughout the day, able to work on your goals and achieve them too, you’re naturally motivated to continue whatever you’re doing! There’s no need for outside motivation when you are internally motivated because you’re doing something that works!
A Leap of Faith Maybe it takes a leap of faith to begin with, because no matter how much someone tells you about something, you’ll never be fully motivated until you actually experience it yourself.
So whatever it is – whether that be getting as much sleep as your body asks for, eating a fully raw vegan diet based around tropical fruits or a just a minor detail like keeping your fat intake below 10% of total calories – TRY IT! Actually do it! Keep it up for a few days, weeks or months even. You can never expect to truly know whether or not something works if you only do it fifty percent. So go all in! That’s what I do, and it keeps me super motivated all day, every day!
I often tell my health coaching clients about how I don’t look at anything I do as “slip ups” or “failures” – I simply do whatever I want! There’s no guilt involved, because it’s my choice. However, when the results are in, two hours after that pizza, two weeks into that stressful habit or the day after a late night – I’m right back in the saddle and I can’t wait to feel great again. That doesn’t mean I won’t do it again of course, because now I can calculate the “cost” of a bad habit and I might just be OK with it for the time being. Ultimately though, health feels better than anything else and it remains my number one priority over time.
No idea will ever motivate you as strongly and as thoroughly as results will. There’s only one way to get them though – you’ve got to try! Healthy living is the easiest thing there ever was, especially once you’ve tasted it.
Go for it and see for yourself!