It is motivation over knowledge that has the most power to enhance our ability to adopt new healthy habits, behaviors and overcome inevitable obstacles.
DEFINE YOUR WHY.
The first stage of setting authentic goals that we will stay motivated to reach, is to define your why. Knowing why you want it will help you define your motivation thought the entire process of change, reduce relapses and help you to overcome any obstacles.
- Keep your Why posted and visible somewhere. I also encourage you to keep favorite quotes and inspirational images around that you will see daily.
- As an example you can read MY WHY here.
BIG CHANGES COME FROM SMALL GOALS!
Goals are great tools, and need to be realistic. Overly general or unrealistic goals can be overwhelming and demotivating. Instead break down your larger aspirations into a series of smaller goals to direct your energy to manageable actions and tasks. Not only will these goals be more manageable, they will afford more opportunities to celebrate and reward your self for your success along the way. This is a key element to maintaining your motivation. Know the difference between your short-term and long-term goals.
- Use the Goal Setting Questionair to Help You Define your Why and Refine your Goals.( If you would like my help refining goals and setting up a Plan of action make sure you send me your completed questionnaire.)
3. BUDDY SYSTEM!
Whether it is through facebook, the blog, a local friend or Family, commit to working out together and Checking in on each other (in-person or virtually). If you are new to working out, partner with someone that has a base already. He/she will be able to provide you words of encouragement AND hold you accountable.
4. GET SWEATY IN THE MORNING.
Let me preface this by saying you have to set your routine up in the most sustainable way for you! I personally find that excuses multiply exponentially the longer the day goes on. There will be laundry to fold, errands to run, children to care for, a job consuming most hours of the waking day leaving you spent at the end. I AM NOT a morning person! But I find that I am more consistent with my workouts and they are far more efficient when I commit to doing it in the morning. Here are a few tips for my fellow night owls.
- Set an alarm on your phone to make sure you head to bed at a reasonable time.
- Set your alarm clock away from your bed where you have to physically get up to turn it off. You will be less likely to hit snooze after you’re already up.
- Lay out your workout clothes the night before. Or If you are really bad at mornings like I am you can go to bed in them. Choose your favorites. They don’t have to be name brand. You can find affordable dri-fit clothing at most stores like Target and Walmart. When you look good, you feel good.
5. IDENTIFY EXERCISES YOU ENJOY.
No one exercise routine will work for everyone. Lots of people love Zumba or Step Classes… I am personally so uncoordinated I was actually once asked to leave a step class in college ( for the safety of those around me, no Joke.)
- Try a new class at your gym. Introduce yourself to the instructor so he/she can answer any questions and make sure you feel confidant and know what to do. Don’t be shy about it, Instructors appreciate meeting new participants so they can provide more in depth explanations and make them feel welcome!
- Work out at Home. Are the roads too treacherous to make it to the gym? Cant afford a gym membership? Young children at home? You can easily create an at-home workout with little more than your body weight and common house hold items.
*Looking for an enhanced at home routine? A few inexpensive fitness tools like a jump rope, yoga mat, a medicine ball and a stability ball in your house can amp up most workouts.
*My FAVORITE tool is my interval timer app because I can select 5-6 exercises and let my timer do the thinking for a fast, intense workout.
For example, set your timer for tabatas which are 8 sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds of rest. Choose something like burpees, leg raises, squat jumps, thrusters, jump roping, and lunges with bicep curls for 24 minutes of intense work.
- Commit to trying one new class or exercise each month. Our body is smart and adapts to exercise quickly, meaning we have to keep confusing it with new movements to reap the same benefits.
Mix up your workouts. When you’re just starting out, you may not yet know what works best for you. Take this opportunity to try out different forms of exercise. You may surprise yourself that you love kickboxing, or that water aerobics is really your thing, or that yoga does it for you. To really find out, stick with a certain form of exercise for at least one week to see if it would be something that could stay interesting and fun for you in the long run. There are so many different ways to keep your body moving; if you find that you really enjoy something, stick with it! But, don’t be afraid to try new exercises, classes or workouts. I personally love Circuit training and Lifting. I hate Running and Cardio in general so for me it is all about the perfect spin instructor who can keep me motivated and make me forget how miserable I am;). Everybody is different!
6. SMALL STEPS.
Take it one day at a time. Transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work and commitment – it takes exercise and eating right. It takes the sleep, and rest days and the setbacks. It takes the good AND it takes the bad. It takes the first step. It takes wanting it. You have an entire support system here at FullofGrit I want to know your victories and your frustrations. I know you can do it. I want to encourage you to keep going because you ARE worth it.
- Taking it one day at a time starts with Day 1. You do not have to conquer a 5 mile run or do 3 x 10 sets of every machine in the gym to feel like you accomplished something. Commit to moving for at least 30 minutes per day, 7 days straight. Walk your dog, stretch, do push-ups and sit-ups. Get moving!
7. RECORD YOUR PROGRESS.
Find some way to record your progress. I personally have a progress chart on my Fridge( double duty; Reminds me of my goals when I reach for grub and serves as a daily reminder of the progress I am making).
- Record your triumphs, frustrations, feelings about the workout and track your transformation through your words. Keep Track of how your clothes feel and I strongly encourage you to take measurements at key places like upper arms, waist, and thighs.
- DO NOT BE A SLAVE TO THE SCALE! Seriously. Becoming healthy doesn’t always reflect on the scale the way we want it to. If you want to see results, take body measurements and track how those change. The way your clothes fit and the overall way you feel may be more indication of your successes than the number on the scale can ever tell you. Celebrate ALL of your Non-Scale Victories (NSV), because the scale should never have the last say. I have always struggled with this and I know I have let a stagnant scale number make me feel defeated. But when the inches are coming of and your clothes are looser you will be measured that a number does not define your fitness! Muscle is more dense than fat. 1 lbs of muscle still weighs the same as 1 lbs of fat, right? Because muscle is more dense, you will look leaner because you dropping body fat. Body fat does zero work burning calories and increasing your metabolism. However, muscle not only looks good, it helps you burn more calories.
8. MAKE HEALTHY A HABIT.
This is the hardest part because it takes calculated dedication at the beginning. Some studies indicate that it takes 21 days to turn something into a habit (or to break a habit), however, there are other findings that say it takes longer or shorter – it comes down to the person and what they’re doing. That means if you start today and stick with it, then 3 weeks from now your fitness routine can become simply a habit, or part of your every day.
- Bypass the food hype. There are so many different eating programs and diets out there, it Is hard to follow, understand, and keep up with all of them. There is nothing wrong with trying them out if that is what you want to do (and as long as they really are healthy).
- It really comes down to the basics of making healthy food choices. You know what those are: fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and proteins. Understand portion control. Pre-packing snacks is a great way to avoid overeating between meals.
- I like to stick with an 80/20 Rule. 80% Healthy whole foods, 20% I just felt like having a slice of Pizza and a beer on a friday night. If you’re eating habits aren’t sustainable neither will your weight be.
- Celebrate small victories – acknowledging how your hard work is paying off may be just the thing to keep you going.
- There may be setbacks, which can be discouraging, but keep in mind what you’re working for.
- If progress photos are inspiring for you, take them! Do a before and one every time you hit a small goal.
- Celebrate yourself!
- Remember, If you would like my help to develop a fitness plan complete the Goal Setting Questionnaire and make sure you send me your completed questionnaire. (Here on the Blog or Via the Facebook Page Message.)
Future post on Clean eating tips and Meal plans are in the works as you read this
**Take it one day at a time. Transformation doesn’t happen overnight.
It takes work and commitment – it takes exercise and eating right. It takes the sleep, and the rest days, and the setbacks. It takes the good AND it takes the bad. It takes the first step. It takes wanting it. You have an entire support system here at the Sisterhood – we want to know your victories and your frustrations. We know you can do it. We want to encourage you to keep going because you’re worth it. But we can’t do it for you. Taking it one day at a time starts with Day 1.