There are always a million excuses you can make about why you’re not looking after your body or paying more attention to your health.

There’s a lack of time, a lack of motivation, and a general unwillingness to change to a healthier, more wholesome lifestyle. After all, broccoli is not as tasty as cake, a glass of wine is more fun than a glass of water, and if you’ve just finished a long day of work you may be too pooped to pop down the gym.

If you’re finding it hard to motivate yourself, or to make wise choices when it comes to health, consider whether your focus may, in fact, be all wrong.

People often choose the wrong things to motivate them when they’re trying to get fit and healthy. They focus on the fitness focusbikini bodies of celebrities (which are almost certainly airbrushed) or the rippling muscles of Hugh Jackman (which probably cost a lot of money and time to maintain). Or they have a set ‘size’ or weight they want to be, some clothing they want to fit into, or want to look like their friends.

Focusing on subjective goals will fail most people in the end. It’s really hard to keep up that kind of motivation when there are distractions and temptations everywhere. Why not focus, instead, on what you need from your body? And then start aiming towards that for your fitness goals.

Your body is basically a vehicle – in many ways, it doesn’t matter what it looks like; it matters what it is able to do. Modern ideas of what we should look like are all false, and drawn purely from subjective opinions and tastes. Therefore, they are irrelevant. What isn’t irrelevant is what your level of fitness enables you to do, enjoy, or become.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What do I need my body for?

What do I need my body to be able to do?

How will being unhealthy limit my enjoyment of life?

Can my body support the life I want?

If you’re a parent for example, you may need your body to be fast enough to run around after your kids without tiring. You may want to ensure you live a long life so you can enjoy playing with your grandchildren further down the line.

If you’re in a demanding job, you may need a body that can cope well with stress – which means a body with healthy blood pressure. You need a head that will wake up clear and unclouded and ready to make decisions.

Your health and fitness goals should always be focused on what you want to do in life, with a mindful eye on the future, too. So a bit of extra ‘wine wobble’ may not worry you now, but what about five years down the line? Smoking may be acceptable to you when you’re younger, but what about if you want to have kids later?

Keeping your goals appropriate, and based in reality, will help you to feel more motivated to achieve them. What’s the point in wanting to look like someone in an Oscars outfit if you’re never going to be on the red carpet?

Your health and fitness plans should reflect what you really want out of life. Noticing how your current health inhibits or enhances the quality of your life and your plans and goals is the only measure of true importance.

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