We all KNOW we *should* live active, and eat healthy, after all we’re constantly being guilted about that everywhere we turn. Healthy workplace campaigns, magazines, ads, and even blogs and articles such as this one constantly remind us that perhaps we’re not being active enough, or that the delicious bagel or muffin we picked up on our way to work probably wasn’t the best choice to make. As women it seems we’re guilted even more ” we’re role models to our kids, and they *gasp* copy everything we do. Our kids learn through the examples we set.
KNOWING WHAT WE SHOULD DO IS PART OF THE BATTLE
The other part of the battle is being motivated, and keeping that motivation, not just for today, this week, this month or this year, but for the rest of our lives is tough. I’ve been running and active for pretty much my whole life, and I ‘m asked quite often how I keep my motivation. Well guess what? I’ve got a confession for you ” my motivation fluctuates just like everyone else’s! Life events happen that throw me for a loop ” good things like birthdays, Christmas, celebrations and even bad things like the loss of a job, the death of a family member, etc. These events impact my motivation too.
Fortunately we don’t have to be perfectly motivated every.single.day. The sky will not fall if we occasionally miss a workout or eat a GMO. That said, the Ã…”good Ã‚Â days should out number the Ã…”bad Ã‚Â days, so here’s my 5 tips for staying motivated in a busy world:
- Establish a goal.
Your goal should be measurable ” it’s not enough to say you want to eat healthier. You’ll need to define what healthier is, and find a way to measure it. Perhaps it means consuming fewer calories every day, or eating 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables. You can track this and measure this by using a food journaling web site or app ” there’s a ton of them! Or perhaps your goal is to move more. Again, you’ll need to define that. Perhaps it means to walk for a minimum of minutes at a brisk pace 3x/week. For me, my live active goal is to complete a sprint triathlon and a half marathon, which means I need to swim twice a week, run twice a week, cycle twice a week and to lift weights once a week.
- Create a plan.
So now that you’ve established what you want to accomplish, it’s time to create a plan to do that. Grab a calendar, or print a sheet from this calendar website, and write down exactly when you plan to be active. BE REALISTIC. Figure out exactly when and where and how you can fit in activity within your family’s busy schedule, then pen it in. I usually work out on my lunch hours because we have flex time at work. In terms of healthy eating, meal planning is a great way to start reaching those goals. Here’s a printable meal planner that I use. Be realistic about your food too ” if you don’t like cabbage, then don’t plan on starting a cabbage soup diet.
- Share with your friends.
Tell people what your goals are, and share your plan with them. Create some accountability by telling people, you may find someone with similar goals who will support you, and you can support them. I recently found a triathlon training partner, and another friend is lending me her awesome bike to train on just because I told everyone that would listen that this year my goal is to do a sprint triathlon.
- Put your plan into action.
Start doing everything you said you would. Want to complete a 5k, a half marathon, or enter a strength competition? Then register for those events early while you’re still gung-ho about them. Often times the earlier your register, the cheaper the event is. Want to eat healthier? Clean out the cupboards and fridge (and no, this does not mean go eat all the junk), then head to the grocery store with your meal plan in hand to buy the necessary ingredients for your meals.
- Visualize success.
Picture in your mind who you want to be and where you want to be in 10, 20 and even 30 years from now. My ultimate goal is to run a half marathon with my daughters. In order to do that I need to be active now. Another dream of mine is to coach my grandchildren’s sports ” imagine being sprite enough to run around a soccer field with a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds?
Last but not least, don’t give up!
Like I said earlier, we all reach rocky spots in our journeys. Think of them as temporary set backs and use them to re-evaluate your goals and plans. Chances are, if you’re failing all you need is a few minor tweaks to your goals and plans to get your motivation back.
What are your goals?