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Today’s frantic lifestyle can drain our resolve and motivation

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When we think about healthy lifestyle and making good choices, as well as the associated long-term benefits, we often gloss over one little word, motivation, meaning the real-life motivation to make those choices.  It is often easy to say something and easy to cognitively know something is true, but putting into action and motivating ourselves to make the best and healthiest choices is often easier said than done. There are so many factors and situations which make good choices difficult ones. Motivation is often hard, and circumstances often factor into our choices as well. But let’s recognize these issues and commit to better outcomes. If you are already on a good path then, keep up the hard work and congratulations!

We all have so many responsibilities during the day. It could be work meetings, errands, home chores, or chauffeuring children from one place to another,  just to name a few. Some of us too often feel or find that we don’t have enough time in our day to do everything we need to do. This can impact our healthy choices, especially relating to food and often to exercise as well.

Sometimes, because we simply get pulled in too many directions we forget about lunch until we are famished and then, reach for the easy and not the healthy. Whether it is fast food or some snack or soda that is not a good choice, we grab it because it was available and did not require or take up more of the precious time we don’t have. Another common situation that impacts choice is fatigue. At the end of a long day, it is so easy and understandable to choose relaxation rather than exercise. Trying to convince yourself that taking a walk, a jog or a bike ride is more appealing than unwinding on a chair is hard!

Make one better choice at a time. Congratulate yourself each time you do.

So often our healthy thoughts and intentions to do what is best are pushed aside by the need to take five. It is not all or nothing. I myself experience these same tough choices every day and don’t always choose to do what I know is most beneficial for me. Don’t be hard on yourself, rather, become cognizant of your cycles and try to plan for them. Allow yourself days off and days on. If you know that the long-term benefits of good choices are worthwhile then it becomes easier to be motivated.

Making even one or two better choices a day will reap significant future benefits.

For example, if you don’t exercise at all, try doing something once or twice a week. If your weakness is grab and go processed or fast food, then stock up on healthy snacks each week and keep an assortment with you. Choose things you enjoy eating like fruit. Healthy choices don’t have to be boring or flavorless. And if you lack motivation because you feel you are alone and everyone else is naturally motivated; I am here to tell you, speaking from personal experience, that you have company. Take one day at a time and make one better choice at a time. Congratulate yourself each time you do and little by little the good choices will be easier.

Healthy living has countless long-term benefits and offers protection against many chronic diseases. Make choices over time that make a difference. As we purposefully think about healthier living, I just want to remind each of us that it is “never too early, never too late” to reassess and perhaps realign our daily choices for a happier and healthier life.

For more information on this topic, please visit my websites: www.pratico-lab.com; https://www.newswise.com/users/expert/Domenico-Pratico-10051658

 

Dr. Domenico Pratico

Dr. Domenico Pratico is the director of the Alzheimer’s Center at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia.

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