At some point, clients will shift from just being unmotivated to being really discouraged. They might say things like, “This is so hard” or “I don’t think I will be successful” or “I feel like I’m failing.”
Once a week, you get to check in with a coach and we get to give you a pep talk, or give you strategies on how to be successful, or just share an encouragement with you that lifts you up. But we are not with you every day, and discouragement pops up all the time! So these are some strategies that you can use on your own to stay encouraged. These are vital life skills that will help you move forward even when life is hard. This is going to be geared towards nutrition, but can be applied in any area of your life…because don’t we all know that if we are discouraged in one area of life, chances it has seeped into other areas too.
1. Practice gratitude. I don’t say this to be trite. This is a very hard thing to do when you are feeling discouraged. But rehearsing what you are thankful for shifts your mind and focus from what you don’t have (or what isn’t happening) to what you do have and what is working. So when you feel that swirl of negative emotion start to rise, just start to say what you are thankful for. Celebrate progress…celebrate how far you have come…it can look something like this, “I’m thankful that I have been in SFM for 10 weeks and have not given up.” “I’m thankful for getting a 4/7 this week (because it could have been a 0/7).” The point is to interrupt the negative swirl.
2. Practice affirmations. This might feel foreign, awkward and even, dare I say, a little hokey, but what we tell ourselves is ultimately what we end up believing. And since the brain is plastic and malleable, we get to direct our thoughts. So the key is to take the tape that plays on a loop in your mind and brings discouragement and rephrase so that it is encouraging to you. Only you know exactly what those thoughts are, but let me give you some examples of what practicing affirmations might look like based on what I’ve read in check ins.
- Tape: My worth and identity rise and fall based on the scale.
- Truth: My worth and value are not determined by my weight or the fluctuations on the scale.
- Tape: I am spinning my wheels and nothing is happening.
- Truth: The work I do today is investing in my tomorrow and making a positive change.
- Tape: I will never be successful and have a pattern of failure.
- Truth: I am worthy of being successful on my journey and I am changing past patterns with the choices I make today.
- Tape: This is too hard.
- Truth: I am a woman who does hard things. I move forward in life with great tenacity and fortitude to accomplish big goals.
3. Believe that what you are doing is significant. When we are discouraged, we tend to discount what we are doing or just write it off. But, really lock in to the reality that your efforts matter. Your meal planning, meal prep, logging your food and all of the little habits you do to hit your macro goals are significant and they matter greatly, not just to you, but to your family and your future.
4. Share Encouragement with others. There is something catalytic that happens when we encourage others. Like gratitude, it shifts our focus from the internal to the external. It helps us go beyond our own circumstances and causes you to see how you can serve others with your words or acts of kindness. So, if you are feeling that negative swirl start to rise, encourage those around you or head over to the SFM Ninja FB and see who you can encourage there!
5. Take Action! Coalesce all these strategies and take action. Discouragement has a way of shutting us down and making us feel incredibly stuck and unempowered but sometimes the key to moving forward is just to do what is in front of you! Remember that you are a woman who does hard things and even if you don’t feel like you have the margin, what you do matters! Start meal planning/prepping for the week and utilize all the strategies that you and your coach talk about to start creating momentum. You will feel yourself shift from feeling stuck to moving forward!