So you have these crazy amazing goals to workout more often and start living your healthy life. You realize it’s time to get serious and get this new lifestyle going. You picture your future healthy self and she/he looks like a fun, determined, happy, and lovely person that everyone wants to be around. This person lights up your desires and your goals. You make a plan to wake up early tomorrow and go to the gym before you start your day or maybe you decided that after work exercise sessions are the way to go for you. You mentally commit yourself to start working out 2-3 days a week to get into it, and then maybe after a time you’ll do more.
And now tomorrow arrives and you wake up not motivated and you’re realizing that you rather sleep in before work. You think maybe you’ll do it later and the motivation will finally show up, but then chances are you’ll be tired from work and you have other things to do… “Oh, I’ll just start fresh tomorrow. I do have another 6 more days this week to get in 3 workouts. Totally doable!”.
This should be a pretty familiar thought path for most of us, and it’s definitely a hard cycle to break. Getting motivated to go to the gym can be pretty difficult even to the seasoned gym goer.
They say it takes 60-70 days of constant routine to finally make it a part of your normal life without it feeling like hassle.
This is where I come in with a little exercise. Consider it an experiment where you are the test subject and the researcher. All it takes is just biting the bullet one time to workout when you don’t want to. Come on! Experiments are fun to learn from!
(this doesn’t apply to people who work out everyday and need a bit of a break because you probably do need a break if you notice your motivation is dwindling).
HERE’S THE SIMPLIFIED EXERCISE FOR YOU TO TRY OUT:
1. Just before your scheduled gym visit write down what you’re feeling… why you don’t want to go, what your mood is like, what you would rather be doing, what it would mean if you skip the gym today, etc.
2. Now the tough part… go to the gym even if you have to drag yourself there. You can go kicking and screaming, but go.
3. While you’re working out notice what you’re feeling, are you still dragging your feet throughout each workout or are you ok because you finally made it and you realize it doesn’t take that much time to get in that workout?
4. When you’re finished, in the same journal or on the same piece of paper, notice how you’re feeling now that you’ve completed the workout… are you thrilled because you accomplished something amazing and healthy (I hope so!), are you annoyed because you could have slept in, do you feel that natural high that athletes get after completing training, do you feel like you’re one step closer to your goal, etc. If you’re feeling anything but happy it’s something to explore (and I’d love to help!), but if you’re feeling freaking AWESOME then keep notice of that. See how your mood is for the rest of the day after the gym, and when the next time comes around when you need that extra push go back to this feeling. All you need to do is put one foot in front of the other and start that workout. Once you get going it’s easy as pie and you’re so much closer to that healthy life that you want!
What am I doing talking about happiness?! Where are fitness and health posts!? Well, I think getting happy is ultra important in our wellness & fitness journey, so a good handful of posts each month will be talking about positivity, health, wellness, and anything else that feeds your soul and makes you smile. I believe in achieving a happy life because a happy life leads you to be the best you can be (an unhappy person will find it hard to work on themselves and that means your gym motivation or eating habits will be affected negatively).
When you’re happy you want to live more and experience more. In order to work on the outside you have to work on the inside. There’s nothing more true than that statement. I’m going to create a list of things that make me happy I then want you to follow my instructions below that list to find your own happiness that you can use on a rough day.
the smell of vanilla waking up with perfect hair the feeling when a new idea strikes me when it’s cool and peaceful at night while I’m walking my dog finding forgotten about dollar bills in your pocket or purse eating your favorite meal of the day when I smell the ocean 15 miles inland because it’s smell to the wind seeing palm trees dance against a blue sky my moms nourishing words a cool, refreshing shower to remove the daily sweat when I walk in the door and my dog is happy to see me like he hasn’t seen me for days finishing up my work to do list when a book moves you that you have a happy emotional response having a great gym workout shorts on a hot day puppies having your favorite Instagram or Twitter account respond to your comments the smell of clean laundry snuggling in lots of blankets on a cold day the smell of fresh bread when an item you wanted to buy that day ends up on a mega sale seeing an old favorite movie for the first time in years again the first bite of a perfectly ripe pineapple eating pizza for the first time in months seeing the stars at night when there’s time left on the meter you just pulled up to when the mailman brings you a package of awesome things the sound of a thunderstorm at night while you’re inside in the comfort of your warm home laughing so hard it hurts your sides dancing alone at home randomly remembering something funny and laughing out loud your favorite book being made in to a movie waking up to the smell of coffee (can replace coffee with bacon) summer carnivals with the one(s) you love
This weekend (or whenever you can) I want you to set aside an hour of “me” time and grab a seat in a comfortable spot, have a cup of coffee or tea, find your favorite pen, your journal or a piece of paper (although, I do prefer a cherished notebook because it’s then written in a happy spot that you can’t mistake for trash and not in the midst of budgeting and to do list scribbles) and start writing things down that make you happy in your daily life. It could be personal moments like the way your child waves goodbye before he leaves for school or the smell of fresh cut grass. And when life seems like it’s giving you lemons and nothing is going right I want you to turn to these notes, grab a comfortable seat, and just relax. Ponder over your list and with one item on your list at a time (one that stands out to you) I want you to close your eyes and think about a few questions about that item… Why did you write down that happy moment? What is it about that item that makes you smile? What visuals does this bring up? Is there a smell that’s attached to a wonderful memory? Repeat for as many as you want, but don’t just stop with one. Keep going!
Not that long ago I was on Facebook killing some time (literally killing it because it could have been used on something a lot more rewarding & useful) and I saw a friend of mine write a simple status update saying something like “I will be temporarily removing myself from Facebook as it eats into my life and I much rather focus on my [awesome] job!“. Strangely enough, when I read that, my mind quickly went to the episode of The Simpsons when the Itchy & Scratchy show was cancelled and all the children of Springfield woke up from their TV show watching haze and enjoyed life outside. His simple line got my mind thinking and a few days later after seeing my own procrastination and seeing how somethings affected me, I was ready to take the leap myself. I didn’t do anything drastic like cancel my account, I just left it knowing that this was just a break. A day later I took another step as I saw my procrastination transfer from Facebook to Instagram and decided to move away from that too. I’ve been missing the “ease” of my childhood lately, and it wasn’t even because I was a kid and didn’t need to work and pay bills, but because in the 90′s things like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter didn’t exist. It was all about catching up with friends on the phone or in person.
Since my absence (and it wasn’t that easy to break away from my mindless habits) I’ve felt a lot more present in life, much more creative, getting things done and *KAPOW* plowing through my to do lists in record time. It was like a light switch turning on for mindfulness. I’ve been much more aware and thus meeting some great people and having some fun mood-boosting conversations. Even with people I know I’ll never see again. Who knew that a simple “social-cation” would do so much in such a short amount of time.
I still update Fit + Fab’s Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest [with Pinterest I schedule ‘out time’ to go on because I love the inspiration that I get sucked into — Sure, it can kill more time than planned, but I don’t walk away from it feeling like I lost time and in fact I walk away feeling more creative].
Unsure if you need a break from social media programs & apps? Then ask yourself…
- Do you walk away from Facebook & Instagram feeling guilty for wasting time?
- Do you feel anxious, annoyed, jealous, or portray another negative self-image when you see other people’s lives and what they seem to have or are doing?
- Do you mindlessly check your feeds just to have something to do?
- Do you have a major project to do or a huge to do list that just never seems to get done?
Some little tips on how to take your social-cation:
Make a post about how you’re taking some personal time away, but make sure you contact people you do love to keep up with and let them know how to keep tabs on you (email, phone number, etc), or just drop your email address where people can contact you
Sign out of the platforms
Delete them from your favorites list or iPhone. Your profile will still be there (don’t delete your account) when you’re ready to step back into the world
Make a list of things you could be doing instead of spending the time online
…Do those things
Read books at night when the temptation is calling you or start a new creative project
I’m going to get unbelievably real here and show a part of my vulnerability. It’s no different from most people who start a journey and strive to get skinnier, thinner, more toned, to lose weight “here and there”, gain muscle, etc., but it’s fully admitted and said out loud (which is what MOST don’t talk about, and you sure as heck don’t get a personal trainer and tell him that these are the reasons you’re paying for his service).
As I’ve mentioned before, for as long as I can remember I’ve always been on some sort of fad diet lifestyle. Whether it was a new way of eating, a new workout technique, or just trying all of the above at once. I bought into the paid advertisements, the drinks that will help you lose 20 lbs by doing nothing, and I never improved. Sometimes I even added weight. FUN! The major problem that I see now is what I was buying into was a very clever marketing ploy. Everyone who took those products and danced away the weight were all happy. The people in the back of the workout videos were smiling and laughing, the people eating hamburgers by the poolside because they had their shakes were all happy and loving life… and skinny. I wasn’t motivated in the thought of skinny as much as the thought of happiness and fun associated with skinny. That’s where they get you. What I wanted was to be smaller and fit into smaller jeans because only then would I get to hangout by a pool with random people and have fun. Only then I would love myself. Its all marketed towards external happiness & approval. A few months ago when I had lost a lot of weight, fit into awesome short shorts, and gained awesome defined muscles, I realized I wasn’t much happier within. What I thought would bring me happiness… didn’t. Sure it felt great and I strutted around for a few minutes extra in the day, but it was a fleeting feeling. I wasn’t fulfilled in the happiness meter.
I realize you could be at this point saying “Must be nice to lose all that weight, but why are you complaining about something so trivial? You have no idea how hard it is for me and how lucky you are to get where you are. I wish I was where you are because I’d know I’d be happy!”. It was hard for me too, and I’m not complaining whatsoever… No way! But what kept me going was the spot checking of my feelings and what I was lacking and then fixing the issue. I knew I could have fallen off this plan so many times because I just didn’t see the poolside & hamburger lifestyle that I was led to believe would happen. So all that I’m really saying is if you want to lose weight, that’s wonderful! You should if you want, but I want YOU to be truly happy with your inner self as well (which takes time in building, but luckily you can do it at the same time as your fitness journey). It might sound like a contradiction because if you’re happy within and love yourself 100% you shouldn’t want to lose weight, but it’s just a terrible way to phrase it. Change “lose weight” (negative wording) to “getting unbelievably healthy and jam packed FULL of beautiful energy” (positive wording).
So spot check your feelings!
- Write down your top 3 desired feelings
- Ask yourself what are you doing, not doing, or can do that will help you achieve those feelings? Is your current goal making you think you’ll have those desired feelings when you get to the goals finish line or can you work on the feelings now and feel them before you finish your goal?
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 1/2 tsp honey
- 6 tsp brown sugar, packed & heaping
- couple drops of orange extract/oil/flavoring (optional)
- In a small prep bowl, mix coconut oil and honey. The two won’t want to combine that easily so do your best to break up the honey (mix for 5mins by hand with a spatula)
- Add in sugar and continue to mix until everything is combined.
- Add a few drops of orange extract and mix. You could use another flavor, but I personally love the tropical smell that the combination of coconut oil, sweet sugar and orange create.
- Transfer everything to an empty sealable container. I used a Crate & Barrel air-tight glass spice jar.
- Store in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to use it, grab a little bit on the tip of your finger and rub it over your lips for a few minutes to exfoliate. Wash off with water. If any scrub gets on your skin, you can use a cotton ball and some toner to remove the excess oil.
- Once your lips have been washed off, apply some vitamin e based lip balm!
Stop skipping breakfast! Skipping any clean meal is a massive mistake when it comes to a fitness & health journey, but breakfast is one of the worst ones to skip.While you sleep your body processes the food you ate the day before (well, more so the last few meals of the day) to continue to nourish your body while you head into an 8-10 hour hibernation. When you wake up, your body has officially run out of nutritional stock and is now running on empty, so the first meal of the day needs to happen within an hour of your wake up time otherwise your body decides you’re stranded on an island with no food and goes into survival mode. What that means is when you DO finally eat, your body has no idea if that meal will be the last meal for a long time and instead of using most of it as energy, it decides to store whatever it can (as fat) so that it can feed you nutrition over long extended periods of time. Your system has no eyes or no control over outside forces so it has no idea if you plan to eat again.
Skipping breakfast actually HURTS your efforts in becoming healthier and fitter
You end up screwing with your metabolism and making it slower (if skipped)
A proper breakfast fuels your body with the right kind of nutrition
You provide your body with healthy natural energy
It improves your focus and performance
Breakfast should contain protein, fat, and carbs (not just fat and carbs — most quick meals in the mornings just contain those… muffins, danishs, croissants, toast and jam, some cereals)
It’s been known to help prevent diabetes and heart disease
When you eat breakfast it boosts your metabolism
It lowers cholesterol
And best reason to never skip breakfast:
It tastes AMAZING and it’s my favorite meal of the day (I eat egg whites and oatmeal from myoatmeal.com)
Sometimes we don’t always hit our goals, sometimes we miss hitting the mark so much that we fail miserably, and sometimes we continue the pattern (ie. always on a diet and never getting anywhere). If you’re missing your mark there is one major reason that has stopped you on your path towards your desire and that simple answer is You. We make excuses or we blame others, when in fact it’s really our own problem that we can’t accept or even see, so we start again and continue the pattern. How do you get over this and head towards hitting a bullseye with your goals? Hopefully some of my steps will help you!
Pinpoint & evaluate what went wrong (i.e. you stopped going to the gym, you went out every Friday night drinking, you didn’t portion control your food, or on another level — business or fitness… you didn’t work hard enough/you switched on autopilot).
Accept the issue and realize where you can make your changes for the next go around. Write it down… Write it ALL down (like the issues in the above point and the changes to fix each issue).
Don’t dwell on it and MOST importantly, forgive yourself. Don’t waste energy being upset at yourself for what went wrong and use the same energy to move ahead. You are your own worst enemy and also your best emotional healer
For a stronger support at the end of every day, write. State what happened, failures, what went wrong and anything that could stop you from your goal and then write ways to fix each item:
“I woke up late” = “I’ll start setting my alarm”
“I had a crummy day; everyone was rude” = “I forgive them because I’m sure they were having a terrible day and I am my own person and will not have my awesome day ruined by outside forces”
“I was too tired to care about working out” = “I will not overthink the gym, I’ll do what I can and put in as much energy I can. I’ll be happy with still hitting the gym and I’ll just go in with more force tomorrow!”
Writing out the issues and then the quick fix will help you reason out the issues like math problems. You’ll see what went wrong and you’ll create a recipe to fix it. That way, it’ll always be fresh in your mind and you can start adapting this way of thinking more naturally.
Hi, I'm Kirsten! I’m a spirited, adventurous, and a dedicated life + weight loss coach. I'm passionate about health & wellness and living a life worth celebrating!
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