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motivation | pg.3
As we move deeper into fall, the days are shorter. While I hate to see my evening light end, it will make it easier to get the boys in bed! What I dread most is the morning darkness. It makes it so hard to get out of bed, particularly when I try to fit in “me” time before the kids wake up. In my house, that means getting up pretty early, unfortunately!
From time to time we all need a little motivation. Whenever I need to refocus my efforts, which can happen quite easily after the initial buzz of a new year wears off, I take a look at my top ten list. It changes a little from time to time, but for the most part, these are the principles that keep me on the right track. They are in no particular order, because they are all equally important.
The new year is just around the corner! January evokes resolutions. Many folks will commit to things like weight loss, more exercise or fiscal responsibility. Yet sadly, only a small percentage will follow through. I’m not saying that resolutions aren’t worth it. I love any opportunity to commit to a healthier and more thoughtful lifestyle. But how about this year, creating a New Year’s mission statement for yourself or a themed phrase or “mantra” to use all year long.
Propel Fitness Water used to run ads with the slogan, “FIT HAS A FEELING!” That slogan has really stuck with me because I believe it’s true: There is a feeling that comes with exercise. While you may not be able to put your finger on it, it’s there. When my alarm clock starts buzzing at 4:30 am, there is a feeling that makes me get up. It’s deep inside, but as tired as I may feel, I love getting out of bed to work out!
I am an addicted multitasker. Sometimes I feel really good about that — and sometimes not so much. Many of us can survive on very little sleep to pull off an important project at work, prepare a holiday dinner for 20 relatives, coordinate the entire family’s events while still doing laundry, paying the bills, helping with homework … Yet often we feel it isn’t good enough; we should have been able to do more … like fit in a workout. Ironically, guilt, failure and regret leave us feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed. So when you find yourself in “not good enough” mode, take a deep breath and take action.
“I didn’t even know I was unhappy until people started commenting on my new bubbly lease on life,” says a client of mine who lost 80 pounds over the course of a year. Yet one of the most exasperating things about losing weight safely and healthfully is that a loss of two pounds a week isn’t always noticed right away by friends and family.
Are you having fun yet? I think of fun in two ways. First there’s the possibility of actually enjoying a new behavior. That’s especially easy when we’ve chosen something potentially fulfilling — learning the two-step, getting to know your new neighborhood, getting the pile of papers off your desk, following your dream of getting a pilot’s license. The more you can find ways to make your new habit fun, the more likely you’ll stick to it. Do it with friends, create a contest with your kids to see who’s better at it, make it into a silly game.
Whatever you are working on, you will not do it perfectly. The trick is not to never goof up, but not to turn goof-ups into give-ups. In order to keep motivated and not give up when you blow it, it’s important that you use what you learn from your tracking — I said I would exercise 30 minutes every day and I haven’t done it once — as information, not as the chance for self-punishment. The more you criticize, blame, shame or guilt-trip yourself, the less well you’ll do.
I realized early in life that my health is a privilege I am willing to invest in every single day. I’ve taught my body to train in an almost meditative manner, where my focus is complete. It is not always like that, and I don’t work out when I’m sick. But when I’m healthy, I follow my plan — because I know that in the big picture, every drop of sweat and effort I spend toward my health and well-being is worth it. That is the reality.