Let’s face it, choosing between a donut and a diet is a matter of motivation. Want to live healthy, feel better and enjoy life, or satisfy a short-term desire to chomp on foods that are a waste and end up on your waist. To make lasting progress, you must know what’s motivating you to adjust your lifestyle into a healthy one.

Here are some tips to keep your motivation running high:

  1. Be purpose driven. Stay on track with your goals by writing down a purpose statement. When you see success in your mind, it is more likely to become a reality. Use the five Essentials—Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends as a guideline to write what you want for yourself.
  2. Set smart goals. Smart goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Goals that follow these standards will help you keep your focus on what is most important.
  3. Know your motivation. You have to know why you want to be healthy. Write it down and put it where you can see it every day. Be positive and approach it from two angles—to attain benefits, and to avoid negative consequences. Motivators might include:“I want to live long.”

“I want to have great energy.”
“I want to look great.”
“I want to feel better.”
“I want to have better relationships.”
“I want to be happier and smarter for the long run.” 

For Dr. Daniel Amen, time with his family is his motivating factor:

“For me, I have an amazing wife, four wonderful children, and a grandson, Elias. My grandfather was one of the most important people in my whole life. I was named after him and he was my best friend growing up. I know how important grandparents can be.

“The day Elias was born I thought about my grandfather all day long. I WANT to be healthy to be able to love Elias like my grandfather loved me. When I really think about what’s important to me, no amount of cheeseburgers, sodas, or double fudge chocolate chip brownies is worth the price of damaging my health and stealing the time I have with my family.” – Dr. Daniel Amen

Put your failures to good use. Changing old bad habits into a new healthy lifestyle occurs in steps. Sometimes it’s two steps forward and one step back. Take advantage of your failures and learn from them. The mistakes we make can educate us on how to do something better the next time if we are paying attention. You become a success by learning what doesn’t work and not doing it anymore.

Use the power of vision. Visualizing your goals is a good way to remind yourself of why you want to be healthy. Pictures can help you stay motivated! Put images on your computer desktop, around your home, on your smart phone, or in the visor of your car that remind you of why you want to be healthy. These pictures can be of family members, or of a time in your life when you felt good about yourself, or of a time that represents you living out your purpose.

To stay motivated you must stay focused and intentional with how you approach the goals you have set.