It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the year! January starts out fresh and our resolutions feel so exciting and attainable. But as the year progresses, our goals and our focus often fall by the wayside. Do you feel like you’ve fallen into a bit of a slump when it comes to your health goals? It’s OK if you do—and you’re not alone.

By the middle of the year, we can all use a little motivation. The good news is that it’s never too late to get back on track with your health goals and refocus your attention on the future you desire.

Do a reality check

How have you (and how has your life) changed in the past six months? Are the goals you set for yourself at the start of the year still relevant? Do you still have the same desire to pursue them? Be honest with yourself about what is working and what might need to change. We all change and grow over time. So do our circumstances. Who we are when we initially set a goal is often different from who and where we are later in the year when we’re struggling to meet it.

Make tweaks if necessary

Perhaps it’s time to change your target goal to something a little more manageable. Did you start off the year intending to drink 64 ounces of water a day, but now you barely make a dent in your favorite water bottle? Instead of focusing on what you’re not doing right, adjust your goal. Every time you go to refill your coffee cup, drink a mug of water first. It’s often helpful to tie a new habit (drinking water) to one you already do without even thinking about it (making a cup of coffee). Setting compassionate, realistic goals can help set you up for success.

Make it meaningful

You may have lost steam pursuing a goal because, deep down, it just doesn’t resonate with you. Understanding your “why”—the underlying reason you’re choosing to live healthier—can inspire you to stay the course and achieve your desired outcome.1

“I want to lose the extra weight I’ve gained over the past five years” is a resolution some of us may have considered and possibly attempted. But without a direct “Why?” it can seem too far off in the distance—a hazy goal that’s lacking a concrete path to action.

A more meaningful goal might be: “I want strong legs so I can run after my grandchildren and flexible joints so I can sit comfortably on the floor and play with them.” When imagining this goal, exercise may take on new meaning. Taking the stairs might not seem like a chore anymore. Instead, it becomes an opportunity to strengthen your body—an activity that will get you closer to where you want to be.

What’s your why?

Visualize your success

If you’ve hit a rut, try visualization.2 It’s a technique that involves imagining specific scenarios in order to “practice” what it is you want to achieve. It’s sort of like mentally rehearsing for your own success.

Suppose you’d like to eat more fruits and vegetables. Visualize yourself going through your day making healthy food choices:

  • Slicing a plump avocado and juicy strawberries to eat alongside your scrambled eggs for breakfast
  • Reaching for crunchy celery sticks and peanut butter at snack time
  • Walking through the farmers market and admiring the rainbow of fresh produce available

To help you succeed at something, imagine yourself doing it again and again.

But visualize challenges too

Visualizing success is important. But so is visualizing challenges.2 By imagining yourself in a tough situation, you’re able to test out how you might handle the challenge in real life. By practicing in a safe space, you’ll feel more prepared for these challenges when they do arise.

  • Picture yourself at a restaurant with friends. There aren’t many healthy choices on the menu. See yourself bravely asking the server, in front of everyone, if the kitchen can make a side of grilled vegetables instead of fries.
  • You always go to the gym twice a week with your neighbor. Imagine that one morning, she’s not able to meet you. Have you lost your motivation to go? How does that make you feel? Picture yourself walking into the gym by yourself. See yourself working out on your own and imagine what that’s like—you get to choose what you do and how long you stay.

Tap into your community

If there’s something you want to accomplish but need extra help sticking with, reach out to your community to find an accountability partner. Sharing some early successes with a trusted friend can keep your momentum going.1 Your time is valuable, so be intentional with how you spend it and surround yourself with those who inspire you to be your best.

Just show up

Motivation ebbs and flows. This is normal—no one feels 100% motivated every single day. Sometimes, you just have to show up, which can be the hardest part. Maybe you’re tired, and you just can’t envision yourself going for a 20-minute walk. The “just show up” rule encourages you to head out on your walk anyway, even if it’s only for five minutes. And if after those five minutes you still don’t feel like going for a walk, you can at least feel proud for showing up. However, you may discover that you actually want to walk more, and you end up completing your 20-minute walk even though you didn’t feel like it to start with. 

Life gets busy, and as the year progresses, it can be normal to lose focus. It’s important to know that you can get back on track. If you need help redefining your health goals, we’re here to support you in the way that’s right for you.

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