Motivation is rubbish?

So, let me explain why I’ve boldly claimed that motivation is rubbish….

I’m going to use your car to further explain:

Relying on motivation is equivalent to having to connect the battery leads on your car each day, instead of just turning the key in the ignition to start the engine.  Turning the key to start your car is an act you undertake when you want to start your car each day, isn’t it?  It’s logical and automated, and you do it without much thought.   (Psst, this is how habits ‘are’ in a sustainably healthy life)

To be honest, I wouldn’t be sure HOW to connect the battery each day and to be more honest, I couldn’t be bothered? Could you?

Ok, I know some people would choose to do it for awhile, but could you keep doing it every day, knowing you needed to do it everyday to get anywhere??

Motivation usually comes in short bursts too – because change is desired.  Habits, on the other hand are a commitment to who you are growing to be.

You get in your car because you know why and where you are going.  Similarly, if your habits support your values, goals and your ‘why’, you will do them with ease.  What you do everyday matters!

Do you really think you would or could connect the leads before you leave home each day, forever?  As if it isn’t enough of a struggle to get to work on time, without having to think about which leads go on which battery terminal???

Does that make sense?  If we can make sustainably healthy habits something we do automatically without a thought, we have more time to focus on nurturing and choosing our marvellous life!

A little deep I know – but I thought it was an excellent comparison to highlight that what we do everyday matters!

Good health information can guide habits that change lives.

I ask you to try it!

Try starting a new positive habit – do it for a week to start with, if you love it, try committing to it for a month.  Review it after a month and see what’s different? Or if you would go back to not having it in your life.

Plan, do, review and change according to findings – know sustainable good health is a process!  Make the process a habit, and it will go a long way to helping you choose a marvellous life!

Have a great week!

 

Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/546f88″>Visual Hunt</a>

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More on habits.

Since the live session on rituals and habits – I’ve been doing some research in my circle, aka discussing with friends, that the importance of rituals is, indeed true, in their lives too. If you missed it, you can see the live session at https://www.facebook.com/wellnessassist/

Our habits have such a huge effect on the way we perceive things.  From the field, here is another example:

Meet Sharon* – Sharon chooses to go to bed and leave the dishes there from the day – instead of just sucking it up and getting it done…Sharon leaves them until the next day, doesn’t seem like a big deal.  Sharon walks past them until lunchtime, or later when she feels annoyed enough by them, that she finally does them.  If Sharon had done them the previous night, there would have been no energy spent being annoyed by them and no impact on her next day. You see?

Ok, no more examples, just action!  Yes, action is crucial to choosing a marvellous life!!

Also, I cannot believe I did the whole live session about Rituals and Habits and didn’t mention ‘The Slight Edge’.  This is a marvellous book by Jeff Olson, that I think really highlighted to me that making good choices has such cumulative positive effects.  Similarly, consistently making not so wise choices can have the reverse effect.  I did know this, but the book puts it so simply!  I challenge you to read it this month if you can get your hands on a copy!

And obviously, if we are to choose a marvellous life, our next action is to take a look at our own habits and work out if they are helpful or not.  It IS more complex than this, but this will help you make a start!

Ask yourself:

Is this of value to me?

If it is – great, keep doing it.  If it isn’t, look for an alternative positive habit to take its place, and take the necessary actions to replace it!

Be sure to start small, be kind to yourself, celebrate wins and keep going!!

The good news is that it is never to late to change a habit, you just have to make the change and then stick to it…consistently…I feel like ‘consistent’ is going to be the word of this month!

Again, just like the goals, you need to be connected to your new habits – make them yours and make them count!

Image Source:  www.slightedge.org

*name changed so this person was’t identified

Celebrating Rural Women

There a two topics I’d like to briefly touch on this week are Mental Health Week and the International Day of Rural Women.

Firstly and briefly, its Mental Health Week – I talked about this very important topic in last week’s blog and encouraged people to actually ‘do’ something towards improving their mental health – you can read it here https://wordpress.com/post/wellnessassistblog.wordpress.com/3425

You know, actions are what often set people apart – what do your actions say about you – are they actions that actually improve your mental health?

Whilst this blogs chosen topics seem to be miles apart – I think they can be linked in one word – Resilience.

As I have cited before, resilience is about navigating and negotiating available resources in a particular context…. so, then, rural women are the epitomy of resilience.  They might not have access to some of the support and tools that their city counterparts do, but they sure know how to make a such a incredible and valuable contribution to themselves, their families and their rural and regional communities.

Rural women play a vital role in every part of rural communities.  They know adversity, sacrifice and hard work but also comradery, support and leadership.

I’ve consider myself fortunate to have witnessed these qualities firsthand, and believe that the massive contribution that rural women make should absolutely be celebrated!

So, this Saturday (or at least this week), how about you make it your mission to talk to a rural woman?  Ask them about what they do each day and how they have the courage and strength to ‘walk the walk’ of rural life each and every day.

Here’s to our Rural Women!

PS – How good does that green grass look in the image?!  There is just something about green grass that makes my heart sing!!

Featured Image:  Photo credit: Yours Truly

Easy to do and easy not to do!

I have recently bought a new vacuum cleaner, the cordless type – partly because I sold the other one on gumtree and needed to replace it, but also partly because I am super keen to apply the slight edge principles to my household cleaning!!  FYI – cleaning most certainly isn’t one of my past times – funnily enough I have a few close friends who would say its theirs – but that’s a story for another day!

Back on track – The Slight Edge is a book written by Jeff Olson – the overview of the book is that is about success habits and applying them to your everyday life.

What habits do you have?  Are they helpful or not helpful?  Interestingly, successful people always seem to have habits – I think there is much we can learn from even just that finding, let alone what the habits actually are!

Motivation is great, but it doesn’t stay constant or last forever!  Habits are what you need if you are going to make sustainable lifestyle changes – in any area of your life!  I said it.  And I will say it again, successful people have habits.

Back to the book, this picture below is pretty much the overview of the whole book.  Seems simple, but I can definitely recommend reading the whole book to make complete sense of it and be able to apply it to your own life.

Here are a few messages from the book:

  • In a way, it is environmental restructuring – setting up a framework that helps you to succeed.  Sounds like a good plan, yes?!
  • The book compares the slight edge concept to crops and time – about how we need to need to plant and cultivate before we can harvest.  We also know this to be true with healthy lifestyles – its an ongoing commitment to yourself.
  • The book challenges your personal views.  Are you ready to confront the values and beliefs that shape your world?
  • The people we choose to spend our time with matters!  Have you heard the saying that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.  People either inspire you or they drain you – choose them wisely!
  • Sometimes we need to get uncomfortable or outside of their comfort zone so we can grow and learn and change.

Have I got your attention?  If you want more, you will have to read the book for yourself!

I look forward to hearing if anyone is intrigued enough to have actually read or listen to the book.  And no, I am not receiving any commissions, but this is one place you can get a taste of it, with an introduction actually spoken by Jeff Olson himself, on YouTube, of course – just cut and paste this address https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSBaZJ1y6MU   It is also available on Amazon and various other book retailers.

I think it also very well describes that changing is a process, and through consistent actions we can see powerful results in many areas of our lives.  That is all.

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NB: for anyone who is interested, I have indeed, been using the vacuum cleaner daily.  Admittedly, it has only been a few weeks.  Evidently, and perhaps on the upside, my children seem to be quite taken with it too – happy days!

Sleepy?

This morning when I was so rudely woken by my alarm, I seriously felt like I’d been asleep for like 10 minutes!  I hadn’t, I had almost 9 hours sleep, but it set me to thinking about how amazing sleep is!  I have always felt empathy for people who have trouble sleeping, however, never truly understood it!!!

Sleep is a human necessity and the benefits of sleep are truly astonishing!!  Who doesn’t love a good sleep??

Here is some facts I found for you in the ABC’s National Sleep Research Project (in bold)(These are from 2000 – its a little old now, but these facts are ones which won’t change with time.)

  • Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.  Being a nurse who has done some shiftwork in her time – I believe this to be true!)
  • Teenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hrs) while those over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal.  If you have had the pleasure of spending time with an adolescent, you will know sleep is very high on their priority list, and here it is, backed by research!)
  • Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet. And further to this, backlit screens actually decrease a person’s melatonin secretion – which is the hormone that helps us sleep.
  • A new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year (wow, I’ve not seen it laid out like that, any new parents out there, you are doing awesome, don’t stop reading, I promise to be the bearer of some tips too!)

And this is what I know about sleep:

Good quality sleep is good for weight loss! – Poor sleep has a slowing effect on metabolism, and we know our metabolism needs to be working well if we want to lose weight.

Lack of sleep has been used as a form of torture – prolonged periods of sleep deprivation mess with the entire body’s biological functions and therefore effect mental and physical health.

A sleep routine can actually help you sleep better.  Psst, sleep routines aren’t just for babies!!  Its not about timing how long you sleep for and sleeping for intervals and waking up, its about getting in the ‘sleep zone’ before you even go to bed.  Again, its about creating habits!

icon-sleep

Here are just a couple of things to try:

Try getting up at the same time each day – for people who are particularly fond of their sleep, this might be difficult to start with, but it helps regulate your body’s circadian rhythm.  And when you wake up, get out of bed, so for you serial snoozers, its time to ‘disable’ the snooze function.

Avoiding caffeine after about lunchtime – for obvious reasons, being zinged up on stimulants before bed clearly has detrimental effects on your sleep pattern.

Exercise, especially in the afternoon – physically tiring, but also there is a link to body temperature and it being back to normal by the time bedtime comes around.

I’ve saved the best until last, though perhaps it will be the least popular of all…

Turn off your backlit screens at least one hour before you want to go to sleep.  As mentioned above, the melatonin secretion is affected by that light.  The ‘one last look’ at your social media for bed has got to be a thing of the past if you want to sleep better!

There you have it, Wellness Assist’s sleep tips in a nutshell, have a great, sleep-filled week!