Finding the motivation to change your life
I believe that motivation is behind all behaviour. We may know that going out for a run each morning, eating our five portions of fruit and veg a day and getting a good night's sleep all contribute to a healthy body and mind.
However do we actually do them all? I know I don't. A block gets in the way between knowing something is good for us and then us actually behaving in a certain way.
That block is motivation. If we are 100% motivated to eat healthily, we will do so. If the thought of all the bad things in bacon overwhelmed our brains and stopped us getting excited about the smell, we would be able to stop eating bacon.
I know this because I've been able to do it. I found that motivation to change my diet last year.
My lovely mum was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012. It was terminal, and her demise was fast. I was with her for the last few months of her life and seeing what her body went through and losing her in August of last year, made me resolve not to eat processed meat again.
I researched colon cancer and my risk of getting it. I discovered that red meat and particularly processed red meat, such as bacon, sausages and ham carry an incredibly high risk factor of developing colon cancer. My risk is not particularly high, but I am very motivated not to get bowel cancer (or any other cancer) having seen what my mum had to go through.
So it was an easy step for me, despite really liking all those foods, to stop eating them. The thought of them now makes me feel ill, so I know that something has changed. If I accidentally eat some in a quiche or on a pizza, I straight away realise and don't get any pleasure from it at all.
It's been a powerful lesson for me in the way that you can manipulate how the brain views something that before was favourable into something that is now viewed as unfavourable.
That motivation piece is the key. I was highly motivated to change my eating behaviour and the way my brain viewed processed meat changed. I used to salivate when I saw someone eating a bacon sandwich on TV, now I feel a bit horrified. If I'd simply thought that bacon was bad for me (which I already knew), that wouldn't have been enough for me to change. I had to see with my own eyes what bacon can do to you before I was motivated enough to change.
Only if you are truly motivated to make a change, will you do it. If something in your mind is holding you back, you won't behave in the way that you desire to make the changes you want to make in your life.
Your motivation comes from your values - what is important to you and why. If you are living by your values, your motivation will flow from that.
If you are thinking of making a life change, it's a big step and you know that you are going to have to be 100% behind it. You may be hesitating about what you want from your future and uncertain what to do next. In order to find that motivation to get behind your decision, it has to be the right plan that fits with your values.