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Motivation: keeping your purpose alive banner
Motivation: keeping your purpose alive banner

Motivation: keeping your purpose alive

Motivation is more than merely inspiration. Set yourself up to succeed by understanding what motivates you and how to keep motivated even in the face of challenges.
 

What’s my motivation?

When we talk about ikigai, the Japanese concept of purposeful living, passion alone doesn’t equate to purpose. If passion is the key, motivation is the engine that keeps you moving forward.

Motivation is important. Actors know this - when they’re asked to play the role of a particular character, their first step is to learn more about that character - “What’s my motivation in this scene?”. They want to understand what reasons they have for the way that character is behaving, by knowing what they value most, and what’s driving them.

As we go about our daily lives, it’s rare for us to put ourselves under the same degree of scrutiny. When we aren’t in tune with our own emotions, we often act without understanding why.

If you know what matters to you, then you also know what motivates you.
 

Staying motivated

Achieving something is not always going to be easy - no matter how passionate you are. Motivation is what keeps you pressing on towards your goal.

It’s natural for your level of motivation to change over the course of time. This can be influenced by many things - internal factors like your mood or energy levels, or external factors like relationships, or even the weather!

The beauty of motivation is that it tends to build its own positive momentum. The more motivated you are, the more motivated you become.
 

Practicing resilience

If you’ve ever watched a baby learn how to walk, you know what resilience looks like. First they crawl. Then they pull themselves up and take their first tentative steps. During those early weeks, they topple over a lot. But they get back up and they keep trying - and they get better and better as they persist.

There will be moments when you take a tumble or when things don’t go your way. When things go wrong, often the person we blame is ourselves. Ask yourself, “Would I talk to a friend with the same tone and words I’m talking to myself with right now?” Chances are, you’d be a lot more understanding and show more compassion when listening to a friend’s problem than you may extend to your own situation. Show kindness to yourself and encourage yourself to try again.
 

Reflect

Share your goals with a mentor, a close friend or a loved one, and keep them updated on your progress. Getting advice from someone with a similar experience can give new perspective and help you remain motivated even when times are tough.
 

Challenge

When you encounter a situation that decreases your motivation, it doesn’t mean you have to stop - you may just need a little extra encouragement or incentive to keep you on track during these times.
 

Try these 5 ways to keep you motivated:

  1. Write a list of your achievements to remind yourself of all you’ve accomplished. Read over it whenever you feel discouraged. Put goals on there too, so you can tick them off as you achieve them!
  2. Pay attention to what factors affect your motivation levels – by knowing yourself, you can predict when you might need a little extra encouragement to stay on track.
  3. If you get off track, don’t let yourself get caught in the trap of beating yourself up and giving up entirely. It’s okay to be disappointed, but rather than focusing on failure look at what you can learn and what you can do differently in future.
  4. Celebrate the little victories along the way – every step you take towards your goal matters. As you invest time and effort in the pursuit of your goal, these smaller successes will motivate you to continue to succeed!
  5. Think of one practical thing you can do today to move in the direction of your goal – and then do it! Even if it’s small, the most important thing is to make a start.
Weight loss: plant based diets are best banner
Weight loss: plant based diets are best banner

Weight loss: plant based diets are best

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 1 in 10 of the world’s people was classified as obese. Even more sobering was that 30 per cent, or about 1 in every 3 people, was believed to be overweight or obese. It seems that while we’re becoming more and more aware of the global obesity epidemic, it continues to grow and affect the health of billions.

But research is also helping to shine a light on the tools we can use to combat this epidemic and they’re changes we’re all capable of making. Another study published recently, this one in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, followed the lives of people with type 2 diabetes on either a conventional or a vegetarian diet for 6 months. Both diets were designed to be equally kilojoule restrictive to promote weight loss, but at the end of the study those in the vegetarian group had lost significantly more weight and a greater percentage of fat. A larger number of participants also had what was defined as high compliance to the vegetarian diet than the conventional diet, suggesting the dietary change is a simple one to make and maintain.

So could the solution to the world’s obesity problem be as simple as eating more plants?

There are many different factors that impact our health and have led to the global health issues we see today. Health is usually not gained by changing one thing – it comes from a lot of small but significant changes made consistently over time. And research keeps telling us that one of the simplest and most powerful changes we can make is to start adopting a plant-based diet.

To get started on making your diet more plant based today, check out Sanitarium’s great range of plant-based recipes.

 

Top tips to support a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight

Get active

This doesn’t have to mean going to the gym - just building more activity into daily life:
  • Walk to the shops instead of driving
  • Stand up at your desk when taking phone calls to reduce sitting
  • Park at the far end of the carpark for a longer walk to the shops
It all adds up. Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity or 10,000 steps a day.

Sleep on it

Research shows that those who sleep too little or sleep too much tend to have higher body mass indexes.

The sweet spot when it comes to maintaining a lower BMI seems to be between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep a night. It’s also worth noting that the negative effect is much more pronounced for those who chronically undersleep than those who oversleep, so it’s especially important to prioritise getting at least 7 hours rest a night.


First published in The Record