Sep. 15. 2017
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Let’s talk about ways you can stay motivated on your health journey and stick to your goals.

No matter if you’re on a health journey overcoming an illness, managing a disease, or you’re just trying to feel good each day. There are a couple Tools to Help You Stay Accountable On Your Health Journey I’ve learned as a dietitian, coach, and as someone who has to practice what I preach.

I shared a blog post about how to set boundaries and say no as a form of self-care and self-love; you guys LOVED that piece. We had such great feedback flood the inbox, social media, and in DM’s on Instagram and had some questions pop up about how to stay accountable to yourselves if you don’t work with a coach. There’s a lot you can do solo and if I’m being honest, even as a coach I’m just here to guide my clients, the real work happens when they do the work at home and in between our sessions. Here are a couple areas you can explore and tools to help you stay on track:

  1. JOURNAL: we talk about journaling a lot here on NS because it’s one of the most powerful tools. From food diaries (i.e. what you ate, when, how does it make you feel, what was your hunger like, cravings, digestion issues, emotional health around the meal, etc.), to journaling about stress from the day as a way to reflect, to journaling about what you’re grateful for each morning, etc. Physical journaling (i.e. pen to paper people!) has been shown to help increase cognitive function and information retention rather than using a digital one – so try the old fashion way and check in with yourself. Also, use the journal to write out your goals!
  2. MEDITATION: we’re bombarded with media, pictures, and overall content almost every minute of the day – be sure to give yourself the space you need to re-center, get grounded, and come back to who you are. Meditation can and should look different for everyone. For me, sometimes meditation is running on the treadmill going through my mental mantras, or sitting cross legged on a pillow with palo santo and sage being lit, or laying on the ground looking up at the sky taking in every detail of nature and letting my thoughts pass without judgment. Maybe for you, it’s sitting down and focusing on the inhales and exhales of your breath. No matter what it looks like, let it be yours, own it.
  3. LOVE: Love, support, your gal pals, and community are all included in the NS lifestyle and pillars of health for good reason – it’s vital to our well-being! It doesn’t matter if you have the “perfect” plan, you need support, love, joy, fun, and the space to share your struggles or challenges with the people you love most.
  4. MORNING ROUTINES: I’m a firm believer of the power of morning routines and how they set your day for success – from emotional, mental, and productivity. Read here all about how to set up your morning routine and an example of mine.
  5. MANTRAS: Hear negative self-talk in your mind? Have doubt? Fear? Anxiety? Overwhelm about reaching your goals or getting off track? Bring yourself back into focus and into the present moment with mantras. I have a whole list of common mantras I use with my clients and myself, find what works for you and say those mantras to yourself when you’re feeling challenging emotions that want to take you off your course.
  6. CHECK IN: “How are you?” We ask this question daily to others, but how often do you ask yourself this question? Check in with yourself – “How are you being McKel?” is one that I’ll often ask myself. Listen in for the answer, assess your current situation, and move on. Sometimes if I’m stressed I hold the tension on my shoulders and I immediately call myself out, ask the question, and dive a little deeper into what is really bothering me in this moment. Checking in with yourself throughout the day is a great way to be in the present moment and not veer off. Always check in with yourself!
  7. BE REAL WITH GOALS: do you feel off track because you’ve set unrealistic goals or put too much pressure and expectations on yourself? Go back to the start, journal your goals, and ask yourself these questions in the goal setting blog post!

What about you? As I was writing this, I was hoping that I’d get your feedback and hear how you stay accountable to your practices and goals. What works for you and what doesn’t work? I hope that your words (or mine) can help give you a little light – don’t say it for me or share your story for me, share it with our community who might need to hear it right now!

Sending you lots of love!

xx McKel