2019: 5 Tips for Maintaining Motivation
A new year means a fresh start for a lot of people. I always get excited about the idea of turning a new leaf, and feeling like it’s the beginning of a new adventure. The start of a new calendar year offers people the excuse for no excuses, and gives a lot of people the motivation or momentum to start a new hobby, start working out, start eating healthier, etc. However, a new year doesn’t always offer people the ability to maintain that perspective and newfound motivation.
In September of 2018, I started back at work after my year long maternity leave. I had a lot of personal plans while I was off work taking care of my baby. I had visions of blogging at least once a week, and upping my engagement on Instagram to push more traffic over to my website. I wanted to make YouTube videos from all of the footage we took during our home renovation, and more than anything I wanted to focus on writing, in particular, a book that I’ve had dreamed up in my head for a very long time. I can honestly say 99% of those big plans didn’t happen, and although I was disappointed in myself for not following through with my intentions of achieving those bigger goals it is never too late to start! At the end of the day, I have no regrets on how I spent my year leave, as I really embraced being a new mom, and spent a lot of quality time getting to know my sweet little girl. That being said, any new goal only means starting with one small step. I knew that in order to eventually tackle my big dreams that first step in the right direction would have to start now. Once I got settled into my job again I vowed that it was time to get crackin’.
One of the areas in my life that has definitely “suffered” since I stopped dancing in university was my health and fitness. I have always loved being active, but have always really struggled with maintaining a good routine where leading a physically active life is fully integrated into my everyday. When I finally decided to put my dreams into fruition, I knew that fitness and physical health was where I needed to start. After all, the benefits of physical health push well beyond the exterior. Being physically active truly supports and inspires good mental health, and a proper balance of both is what I am reaching for.
In mid October I started Kayla Itsines’ BBG 1.0 workout. It is a 12 week program, and I am officially on week 12! If that’s not a great accomplishment going into a new year, I don’t know what is! I have started this program a few times before, and have never made it past week 5 or so. This time was different for me, and every lunch hour I promised myself that I would just get dressed into my workout clothes, and go from there. The routine of getting dressed gave me that push to run over to the gym on my lunch hour, push really hard for the 28 minute workout, and run back to my office to finish off the work day. It has been challenging in more ways than one, but I am still here, working out, and PUMPED about completing the full program this week. I am now confident that physical activity is ingrained into my day-to-day life, and I will continue to push myself with exercising from here on in.
One of my hopes for the new year ahead is to share more tips on the blog, and in the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions I’ll get right on that! Here are 5 tips I use to stay motivated and achieve my goals:
- Just Get Dressed! – This statement is more than just physically changing your clothes. When it comes to exercise, for me, the physical act of putting on workout gear is the initial step out the door, and from that point I am ready to give it a go. That being said, this concept applies in other areas as well. Most people are hesitant to pursue their dreams or even to motivate themselves to achieve little goals because they don’t have all the answers first. The unknown is intimidating enough to deter you from pushing onward. Well, in reality, most people have NO CLUE what they’re doing until they dive in. Most often, people do their best work or conquer their biggest obstacles completely blindfolded, and they iron out all the wrinkles along the way. Just getting dressed, or in other words, just starting whatever it is you want to do each and every day is the key to continuously reaching for the stars and staying driven.
- Accountability – This step was KEY in keeping on track for me. Finding a good friend or like-minded individual that you can update with your progress or share words of encouragement with helps immeasurably. Every day my close friend and I text back and forth (we live in different cities) sharing “post-workout selfies” and updates on our workout that day. We constantly keep each other motivated, encouraged, and most of all we hold each other accountable for reaching our fitness goals. I can honestly say that I never would have been able to get to where I am in the BBG program if it weren’t for her – Thank you, Steph! I love you! XO … Again, this doesn’t only apply to physical fitness goals. If you have a friend you can confide in with your dreams who is either a like-minded individual, looking to achieve the same goals, or is just purely supportive and will give you that little push of encouragement you might need, don’t be shy to lean on them. After all, once you voice your goals and put them out into the universe, those who are cheering you on, and standing in your corner will be waiting to see you cross that finish line, as well as sign up for the next big race! By stating my goals at the start of this post, I am asking you all to hold me accountable, and push me one step closer to achieving success.
- Documentation – It seems a little narcissistic, but the truth is, seeing physical results helps people stay encouraged to keep going. This concept works well with fitness because you can physically see muscles building throughout your progress shots, however, this method can also work extremely well with various other goals. For example, if your hope for the new year is to pay off a loan documenting your progression will help to keep your eye on the prize, and your end goal in plain site. Writing down the new total on a whiteboard or on a Post-It Note somewhere visible to you daily (closet door, bathroom mirror, kitchen fridge, etc) you will see the number decreasing and your efforts clearly paying off. Another good example would be setting healthier eating habits. Creating a separate photo album on your phone or using an app like Instagram to document your meals and snacks. By taking a picture and posting it, you can see if you’re maintaining an overall healthy habit with your eating or if you slip up from time to time. You can also post things like the improvements you feel, ie. improved skin, more energy, etc. The beauty about using Instagram is that if you want to keep yourself in check, but prefer not to share with the public, just make a private account and it’s all just for you!
- Consumption – This is another good one that I recently made some big changes to, and my goodness, it was a game changer. Now, if you’re confused, I don’t mean food or drink consumption…I mean social media, TV, music, etc. If you’re big into Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc and all you see day-in, day-out are unhappy rants, unhealthy habits, or even people who seem to have it all and that makes you feel inferior…cut it out! The BEST feature with regards to social media is that you can very simply unfollow or totally avoid seeing what you don’t want to or what doesn’t serve you well. I am often very affected by sad world news and negative comments, so recently I unfollowed many people on Instagram/Facebook, and filled my feed with positive people that brighten my days when I choose to scroll. This is the same for things like Netflix or Music. I watch shows that make me laugh or are feel good programs, and I try not to only listen to sad country songs (even though I am a total sucker for a good ‘ol country ballad lol).
- Affirmations – Lastly, daily affirmations can really help lift your spirits and stay on track. If you’re not comfortable verbally talking to yourself (let’s be honest – most people really aren’t lol) you can write down 1-3 things on a Post-It note each day and stick it to your washroom mirror or closet door. Better yet, if you do it the night before it will be the first thing you see in the morning. This is a wonderful way to start off each day on the right side of the bed, and be in the right mindset to get out there and achieve great things for your own personal life.
Hopefully these 5 quick tips to maintaining your motivation will help you continue to fight for what you want most throughout the year! Also, if you need a little push or just a friend for some added encouragement, comment below and I’ve got your back! Creating a Cozy Community where we can all feel comfortable enough to lean on each other for support in any capacity is my hope for this new year, so welcome to the group – I am so glad you’re here!
Until next time!