Sunday, June 26, 2011

Get Motivated and Get Off Your Butt!

We've all felt at times like we're in a slump or in a rut, and and it seems like  there's simply no way out!  I was in that unmotivated cycle for a very long time and wanted to make a change to my health.  In this blog post I'm going to discuss some of the ways in which I found the motivation to get off my butt and change direction.  I want to be in control of my life.  So hopefully some of the advice I have to pass along will help you too as it has done for me.

This spring I planted a vegetable garden.  It began like every spring where we clear the old vegetation and till the soil to get it prepared for seeding.  The soil needs to have good moisture and be worked a little before seeding.  We went to the greenhouse retailer to purchase the seeds to plant and spent the better part of the day getting them in the ground and watering the beds.  I had the right tools and supplies needed to get the job done.  It's just a few small steps taken.  First a vision or a plan of what I wanted to grow was necessary.  I needed to complete some action steps and put in the effort to make that plan then happen.  But even gardening requires more than simply planting the seeds.  We've continued to water, weed and work the soil to ensure the success of the fruits of our labor.  With regaining health and maintaining it, you need to water, nourish and trim too!  I think it's a pretty good analogy and has many similar comparisons.  If you put in all the initial effort to build a health body and not continue to perform the same healthy actions to maintain it, just like the garden will wither up and die, so too will your body.

Some days I struggle to get motivated to weed the garden and trim things up.  I hate weeding, but I love the veggies!  It's not a whole lot different than my workouts.  I'll put in a P90X DVD and get out my yoga mat, put on my heart rate monitor, and pace....and pace....and pace the floor, struggling to push play!  It's hilarious the mental challenge exercise presents.   "I hate it, but I love it" as P90X creator Tony Horton would say.

Once you've started though, it gets better and easier, and when you're finished it feels so good to accomplish it.

So here are some of the things I've learned to help me get motivated and stay motivated.  I started out at 239.8 pounds on February 1st, 2011.  I knew I wanted to be under 200 pounds within the first 90 days, so I set a goal.  I wanted to lose 40 pounds, which meant I would need to drop 3 pounds per week for 13 weeks.  Sounds like a lot doesn't it.  I knew that if I could burn more than 10 thousand calories a week more than I eat that I could achieve it.  I wasn't going to starve myself, but I wasn't going to eat the same amount of food that I would need to maintain my weight either.  So the goal was set.

One of the things that inspired me greatly was seeing other everyday people succeed with the same plan.  Video after video on youtube and on the P90X website had stories of individuals who achieved what I wanted to achieve too.  Their success stories and reading and seeing the amazing transformations is where I found the inspiration to get motivated.

The more I watched the testimonials, the more I got excited!  Everyday I focused on my goal and got excited about working out and excited about eating healthy.  Talking to other people through facebook and support groups also helped me to get excited about my plan.  When you're excited about something, it's much easier to stay motivated and get it done.

When I first considered the possibility of making a health change in my life, I didn't just jump on the band wagon right away.  In fact, it took me a month before I actually engaged my brain and body to action.  So, I set a dateI set my goal and my start date for February 1st.  I let others know that's what I was going to do.  As embarrassing as it was, I posted my before pictures.  Doing all of this helped me to build up the anticipation of getting started.  Think of your plan like a movie trailer.  Your building up your excitement and anticipation of what is to come.  I was looking forward to it and it helped me to focus on my goal and plan.

By sharing my goals and pictures with others, I was putting my integrity on the line.  I wrote them down and tracked them.  I had access to my goals at home, at work, on the computer all the time and stayed focused on it to keep my excitement going.  By committing myself publicly, I knew I had to go the distance and not quit.  Having so many friends and family there to support me along the way has been a huge moral boost to getting motivated and staying motivated.  I held myself accountable by providing weekly updates through my facebook.  I want to thank everyone who shared their words of encouragement through those progress reports that helped me to keep up my excitement and motivation.

Everyday I thought about my goal.  The weigh scale and measuring tape helped me to stay focused.  I was zeroed in on my goal and charted it and tracked it like a blood hound and I wasn't about to lose the scent!

My wife has been such a huge support to me in this journey.  It's much easier to accomplish something with someone else than doing it alone.  I enjoy the workouts at  home, but sometimes it is challenging being alone.  So I would hookup my webcam and share my video feed with some friends online, so I felt like I wasn't alone and that they were there with me.  It's a mental game I played with myself and continue to do.  I've recorded several of my workouts and posted them to Ustream TV as way to feel that others are there with me too.  It helps me to stick with it, to stay focused, keep my excitement up and continue to be motivated.  I don't think I could have done this alone, so find someone to workout with or some means to make it work for you in your head.  Find your support either in the real world or online through social media.  It works!

Now look, I'm not perfect and there is no one who is when it comes to staying motivated all the time.  So don't beat yourself up over it when it comes and when it goes, because it's like a bit of a roller coaster ride.  There are highs and there are lows, but you will find the ride of life is a journey with many steps along the way.  So take the first step and just get started.  If you don't have perfection, that's ok.  Everyday is a new day to decide, to commit and to succeed.  Just stick with it and don't ever give up!  Even if you're not feeling motivated today, or this week, just don't give up.  The motivation will come back.  We all hit little bumps and sometimes big bumps in the road of life, just keep going and don't look back.  Stay with it and you'll realize your dreams can come true.

When I first began the P90X training, it was a killer!  I thought at times like I was going to die!!  IT'S damn hard work to be honest.  I was struggling and I was sore those first few weeks.  But gradually I began to notice small changes from the small steps I was taking to better my health.  There was no way I could possibly workout at the level of Tony Horton or his models in the 12 video exercise DVD's.  It seemed impossible for me to come even close to their level of fitness.  So I took baby steps.  I modified and started out small.  Do what you can that's just a little outside of your comfort zone and add some intensity to it.   Keep pushing yourself and don't give up!  I would focus on each set and not worry about the full 1 hour of exercise ahead.  Just get from one moment to the next.  Small steps, small actions, big results!!

I began building on my success each week.  As the workouts progressed, I began to add more intensity, more repetitions, less modifications to the moves and gradually I got stronger, more flexible, more stamina, more energy and kept on building on that success.  Sometimes I couldn't get all the way through a workout or had to take many breaks.  That's ok.  As Tony Horton would say, just "Do your best and forget the rest."  So I did.  But soon I was building on my success and adding more reps and taking fewer breaks.  You will too and your tiny small steps will start to add up to a lot of success.

There are so many helpful websites and resources available.  Books, the internet, magazines, other people who help me to get motivated and stay motivated.  Other blogs and stories that inspire me and reinvigorate me.  Reading about exercise, health and nutrition daily helped me a lot.  Reading helps to motivate and stay focused.  Get passionate about it!

When you're not feeling motivated, call on a friend.  I had online support groups, forums, websites dedicated to fitness to talk to about my problems and my successes.  Talking about it with others helps.  It's ok to ask others for advice and help.  When you're in that slump, tell someone and you'll see how it can lift you up and get motivated again.

Yes, exercise is hard work.  It can be very hard work and it does not come without difficulties.  One problem is the mental games we play with ourselves.  We can talk ourselves out of something very fast if something sounds too hard.  So stop dwelling on those thoughts.  Instead, I think about how much I'm going to benefit from it.  I love how at the end of a workout I have that glow!  I call it glow, but it's really a lot of sweat!  It's gross, but it's also great!  I focus on how good I'm going to feel when I'm done a workout.  Wow it feels so great!  It's like a drug with a healthy high!  Thinking about the benefits of health are very motivating.

So when you start to have some negative thoughts, start to make excuses why you can't or won't, then stop for a moment and observe your thoughts.  Negative self-talk is very self destructive.  It can cause you to dig yourself deeper into a slump or rut.  Be aware of your negative thoughts and squash them like a bug and replace it with a positive thought.  Sometimes I think, this is just too hard.  SQUASH!!!  Then I think I can do this and I'm going to feel and look great!  If others like myself  can do it, then damn it I can do it too!

So there you have it.  Discover within you a purpose and achieve fulfillment.  These are some of the ways in which I've learned to get motivated and stay motivated.  I hope they'll help you too to get inspired to get off your butt and move your booty!

No comments:

Post a Comment