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Micromotivators: The guardrails for healthy behavior

163crop8x10_preview.jpegBy Louis Bezich, Health Care Executive and Author of “Crack the Code”

Guest blogger

What exactly are micro-motivators and how do they help people sustain healthy behavior?

Micro-motivators are those tiny strategies, feelings, and approaches that keep you on track every day, the guardrails of healthy behavior.

How can micro-motivators help us baby boomers get and stay healthy at this stage of our lives?

Many of us are coming to the end of our careers and so our goals tend to slant more towards our personal goals. I’ve done the research for my book through a nationwide survey of 1,000 healthy men and in-depth interviews of men who have mastered the trick of staying healthy. My book is called “Crack the Code: 10 Proven Secrets that Motivate Healthy Behavior and Inspire Fulfillment in Men Over 50.

While staying healthy can be a challenge at this age, the key elements I found in my research that keep men on the right track are the social relationships they have with the key people in their lives – wives, partners, kids, and grandkids.

Where do the micro-motivators fit in? They represent the daily habits, routines, and rituals that add purpose.

For me, I like to get up at 4 a.m. and have my quiet time with a good cup of coffee and the newspaper before I hit the gym and go to work. That’s one. Throughout my day, I use other small rituals such as eating nuts after dinner. Nuts keep me from wanting dessert and they taste great. This helps me keep my weight where I want it to be. That isn’t my only dietary consideration. I eat healthy foods, but keeping cravings for unhealthy snacks down is very helpful.

How do you begin to establish your own micro-motivators? Here are some ideas from the men I interviewed:

  1. Make a list of what you want to accomplish each day and mark off the items as you complete them. The sense of completion will make you feel good about your day.
  2. Spend some quality time with your spouse walking together after dinner each night. You digest your food, use up some of those calories, and share your day, and you can use the time to make plans for the future together. Joining your social agenda with a healthy practice is a winning combo.
  3. Take 15 minutes out of your day and do some yoga. You don’t have to go to a class, just YouTube a video, take some deep breaths, and stretch along with the video. It will get your blood moving and loosen up some of those tight muscles. This can help you sleep better at night and keep your blood pressure down.

Yes, it’s the small, subtle inspiration that ties your day-to-day life to your macro goals, creating the sustainability that we all seek. Micromotivators can help us along our way to getting and staying healthy so that we can enjoy the big things in life.

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