I’ve written several posts pertaining to motivation in the past. It’s an important topic to me, because throughout the years that I’ve been committed to staying in shape, my sources of motivation have been constantly evolving. My fitness goals are ever-changing, and sometimes it is difficult for me to stay fully devoted to working out (especially at 5am!) when I’m not attached to something as concrete as a weight loss target. Here’s what is currently winding my clock.
1. Dan as a workout partner. With his training for the Tough Mudder, ability to wake up at any hour of day or night and endless amounts of energy, it’s a wonderful spur for me to get it in gear. He pushes me further than I think I can go and turns on the light when I want to go back to sleep. He’s better than any personal trainer.
2. My BodyMedia armband. I plug it in to my computer in the morning, where it usually mocks me by telling me how short of my calorie burn I’ll be. That leaves me determined to prove it wrong, so whether I have a workout planned for that day or not, I do everything I can to fit in extra calorie-burning sessions. I take the stairs multiple times a day, run in place while Penny is peeing, do push-ups before I go to bed … whatever it takes. Seeing the calories burned also makes me want to eat healthier to preserve the benefits. Which leads me to …
3. Writing down everything I eat. It adds up so much more quickly than I ever imagined! Add in an alcoholic beverage or two, and you’ve got a full day of calories on your hands.
4. Making a written promise to myself at the beginning of every week. Dan and I totally geek out over our Google calendars. We put Penny’s Vet appointments, business trips and work schedules on our shared calendar to keep each other in the loop. I also like to clog up the space with my workouts. I don’t provide a ton of detail, but just outline my plan. So last week’s, for instance, looked like this:
Tuesday: Running (in the evening)
Wednesday: Strength Training (in the evening)
Thursday: Running (in the morning)
Friday: Strength Training (morning or evening)
Saturday: Running (outside!)
If I need to tweak or adjust throughout the week, I can do it, but it allows me to see the landscape of my workout week and keeps me attached to the goal for that morning/evening. Plus, like every single article on this topic that I have ever read, it feels like it’s really on my “To Do” list once it hits the calendar.
5. Lots of DVD’s, which can be incorporated at a moment’s notice and personalized to fit my whim. I’m building quite the workout DVD library, and I love collecting different strength training DVD’s (Jillian Michaels and Jackie Warner are two faves!), Yoga, Dance, Kick Boxing, etc. That way, if it’s too cold/rainy/snowy to face the thought of bundling up and heading out to the gym, I don’t have to! Also, I can fit them in on those days where my schedule is so jam-packed that a whole gym session seems overwhelming. I just bought a new DVD for kick boxing that comes with a bunch of ten minute workouts that you can do alone or in conjunction with one another. I’m psyched. The image of the below, however, makes me think I’m missing out on a whole entertaining segment of workout vids…
So those are the biggies right now – and I know they’re pretty basic, but as my boy Plato pointed out:
“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.”
Make it too complicated, and you’ll detach yourself from your goals lickety split. Layers of complication often lead to me making excuses. For example, if my goal is to work out 5 days a week (what a totally random number, by the way!), then I’ll start rationalizing why that’s an arbitrary number, and isn’t four almost five?
What do you do to keep yourself movin’ ?