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Kayla is excited about her new health goals, but is discouraged by the fact that she can never find motivation in the evening time. You see, Kayla is working full time at a mentally exhausting job and by the time she gets home, the only thing she just wants to do is get into comfortable clothes, grab some snacks, order food, and get curled up on the couch to vege on her favorite TV show. She typically gets into a nice run of episodes and stays up later than planned, wakes up exhausted every morning, only to dive into another full day and come home to the same exhaustion and lack of motivation. She understands that something needs to change, but she has come to crave that mental break at the end of the day and can’t seem to find the motivation to break the cycle she is in.
Kayla represents quite a large population of hard-working professionals around the world. There is a good chance that you relate to this exhausting cycle, or you know someone who is in that cycle.
You might be interested in becoming healthier, you might fully understand that health directly affects your work, you might know that the cycle your in is far from healthy, but this doesn’t change the fact that you crave the mental break that media, relaxation, and comfort can bring. You give yourself permission, because after all, our mental health is extremely important.
I will say, mental health is crucial. Physical and mental health go hand in hand quite often, and I am 100% for self care and making sure your mind is healthy.
I would like to propose an alternative to this exhaustive cycle. Although to veg on food/ media at the end of the day might take your mind off the stress temporarily, it turns into a cycle of very mentally and physically unhealthy actions.
Let’s start small.
My challenge to you: Make the most motivation stimulating environment in your own home
Grab a pen and paper and start taking a tour of your home.
Start with the route that you take from when you get home to when you go bed
Mentally categorize the rooms you go through into 3 categories – motivating, neutral, or draining.
Motivating: you walk into this room and you are inspired to be healthy, happy, and calm
Neutral: There no emotional change- it doesn’t motivate and inspire, but it also doesn’t drain or make unhealthy decisions interesting
Draining: These are rooms/ items that lead to your most unhealthy habits. It doesn’t mean they are ‘bad’ all the time or draining to all people, but YOU feel drained just by looking at the room. Maybe it’s the living room with the big screen TV, maybe it’s the candy bowl in the entrance way, maybe it’s the clutter in the hallway, or maybe it’s the freezer full of TV dinner and fried foods that are so easy to grab and go.
Take note of what each room/item in your home does for you. Now here is how you follow up with your discoveries:
For rooms/ items that are motivating, decide if you pass it enough during the day. Perhaps you have a motivating poster in the bedroom, but you hardly ever see it. You could put the poster on your door to the garage so you see it as you come into the house every day.
For rooms/ items that are neutral, no action really needed, unless you can think of a way to turn it from neutral to motivating. Maybe your neutral item was a bookshelf. But you turn it into motivation by putting motivating books on the shelves, or you decorate it so that it is calming and makes you smile.
For rooms/items that are draining, you should spend most of your focus on this. Figure out what needs to be removed or rearranged to motivate and inspire healthy decisions. One example of this could be to put the TV in a back room or guest room that you don’t look at too often. The living room could turn into a room of socializing or physical movement with games, yoga mat, stationary bike, etc. Or maybe you move the couch and add a treadmill/stationary bike/eliptical that you use anytime you watch TV. Perhaps its putting a fruit bowl on the counter. Maybe it is having a healthy eating challenge hanging on the wall to remind you of your goals. I love to have my clients do this activity for so many reasons. Your home should be sacred. There are a lot of influences and challenges and stimuli when you walk out the door, but if you can make your home a safe and inspiring place, the world will be easier to take on. So take a tour and see what you discover. What can you do to your home that would make your evening time healthy and inspiring.
Let’s go back to Kayla.
Kayla decides to add a fruit bowl on her kitchen counter and set up a yoga mat in the living room. She starts preparing healthy freezer meals on the weekends. Her evening routine now looks like this. She gets home, puts the freezer meal in the oven, and grabs a fruit. After putting her stuff away, she changes into comfortable exercise clothes and turns on her favorite yoga video. After yoga, she grabs some dinner, cleans up, and starts getting ready for bed. She is in bed by her preferred time so she can get up early and feel refreshed and motivated throughout the day. Kayla made her home work for her, and now she is taking on the world. She is on a journey to her healthy beginning.