I firmly believe that every person alive struggles with motivation, fear, and the feeling of defeat when it comes to our goals – whether they are fitness, job, family or work related. I think the main culprit of these feelings lies in the desire for a “Quick Fix,” which has somehow become a major illusion that our society seems to continue to poison our heads with. Trying to get to the finish line before you’ve even learned to walk is not gonna work, folks!!!
I’ve come to crossroads in my life and fitness journey that have left me feeling a little worse for the wear, beaten down, and simply TIRED! I have wrestled with feelings of total defeat, the desire to give up, and the idea that I will never reach my goals. I’m only human, after all. These feelings are GOING to come about, and are totally natural. This is all part of mine and many others’ struggle to find a healthy balance, and stay motivated to continue on the path to righteous healthiness!
The good news is that there are steps we can take to help ease, and rise above the weight of life’s seemingly relentless demands. We have to learn to take a step back, and start with the things we can immediately control. Set healthy habits by breaking your goals up into smaller, more manageable time frames, and the long term success will absolutely just fall right into place.
1. Set smaller goals: Setting a long term goal is great, and I wholeheartedly support them. However, sometimes we make deadlines for ourselves, and set goals that are too vague, setting ourselves up for failure. Start small. Set a weekly goal, and follow through on it. Hold yourself accountable for your goal each day of the week, and don’t fold. Making a schedule for yourself for the entire week can be an incredibly valuable tool to keep you accountable, on track, and can relieve the stress of thinking about your next move on the fly.
2. Get Specific: When looking at your weekly goals, think about what you are trying to achieve in the long term. Are you trying to lose weight? Build muscle? Become faster? Gain endurance? Clean up your diet? Ask yourself what it is that you really want, and apply that to your smaller, more immediate routine. Let’s say your goal is to overall lose some fat, gain a little muscle, and clean up your diet. This week, start by planning a few meals out for the week, along with a few healthy snacks. Grocery shop accordingly and prep your fridge and cabinets to support your diet. Write yourself an exercise schedule that includes some weight training, some intense cardio, and a rest day or two. Post your schedule where it is easily seen and acknowledged, and be prepared to follow through on your meals and workouts.
3. Make Effective Changes: As you are planning your schedule for the week, really look at what you have been doing, and make adjustments accordingly. Ask yourself if you are challenging yourself enough. Are you increasing your weights when lifting? Are you trying to run further or faster than you did last week? Are you incorporating different kinds of workouts? What about HIIT? How about sprints? Are you trying different exercises or doing the same ones every time? Are you trying to push yourself for that extra round of reps? How about incorporating a BONUS workout after your normal routine? These are all changes that will help you get the push you need to progress with each day. The same applies for your diet. Ask yourself what you are currently eating that is not helping your goals. Give up or substitute on of these items starting this week, and stick to it.
4. Keep It Real: Life is busy, demanding, and downright chaotic sometimes. We all have different schedules and responsibilities which require our attention for a good portion of each day. Take these things into account when you are making your schedule. Don’t make unreasonable requirements for yourself, or you set yourself up for failure. Think about your schedule, and plan your workouts accordingly. You can do it! Don’t let yourself fall to the age old rotten statement of “I just don’t have TIME to workout!” This is bologne and we all know it! It can be really simple and easy to follow with a little planning and scheduling. Do it, I dare you.
5. Stay Positive: The power of positivity is REAL and POWERFUL in every way. Life is too short to stress about the small stuff! Change the way you think about your daily routine, and congratulate yourself on every single small success you have. Do not give into lazy or negative thoughts. Stop yourself immediately from putting yourself down in any way, and instead think about how great it is to be taking care of your needs every day, nurturing your body and mind, and remember that you are worth every single second of it. Mind over matter is a very tangible practice, and is extremely effective in not only supporting your goals, but giving you the fresh, happy, strong, and bulletproof mindset that you will carry with you throughout all of life’s endeavors. Smile and press on – you’re a WARRIOR, dammit!!!