..but you can put the odds in your favor.
This is the obligatory New Years post. A little late, I know, but since punctuality wasn’t my resolution, I’m going to let it slide. As such, for anyone out there who has made a resolution be it very specific or very general, I can tell you one thing that you all have in common; in order to do or not do the thing that you resolve to do or not do, you will have to do it, or, not do it.
You are the doer. At this point, I’m going to drop the counter, or the ‘not doer’, so please consider it implied if that is your specific situation; i.e. – not smoking anymore, not eating jelly-filled glazed donuts, not listening to Radiohead, etc.
Anyway, you are the doer and what it is you want done in your life will not happen unless you are the one doing it. You just have to do it. You have to get out of bed when you don’t feel like it, you have to weigh whatever it is that is standing in your way against what you said you were going to do, and do it anyway. Even if the balance is tipped in favor of not doing it, you still have to do it. When some surprise comes up, or life throws you a curve ball, you have to be ready to deal with it so you can get back to the business of doing what you said you were going to do.. what you said you wanted in your life.
It’s perfectly natural to want something big in your life and then want to sabotage it with something small that you want more – in the moment. But despite all your yearnings, excuses, and well thought-out reasonings, despite all of your ‘tomorrow-promises’, you still have to make the right choice.
If it hurts and you feel discomfort or have a feeling of lost pleasure in your life, if you’re hungry and hangry, that’s a sure sign you made the right choice and you’re doing the right thing. I would go even further than that to say that it’s a sign that your body is making gains in the right direction. I’m not going to put a “Don’t starve yourself!” disclaimer here, you’re not going to starve.
So that’s one way to stay motivated. Beyond just discipline, knowing that changing that habit, not reaching for that thing automatically, or pushing yourself out the door for a workout at the gym or on the streets, as uncomfortable as it all is, means that you’re taking new steps you aren’t used to and beginning to form new habits and new life-styles that are scary and strange; foreign. These are all signs that you’re doing the right thing. You’re on the right track – Keep Going!
Beyond that, use the three “P”s to keep you motivated.
- Have a Partner to keep you accountable, who needs you as much as you need them, who can sit as a proxy for the nice things you should be saying about yourself and someone who you would never talk to the way you talk to yourself.
- Have a Plan. Not some wishy-washy thing where I’ll workout tomorrow or three times a week. Nail it down. ex – “I’ll work out M-W-F at 7 am – I’ll do 5 pushups, 20 jumping jacks, I’ll stretch my calves and quads with dynamic stretches I found on YouTube, I’ll jog one mile, slow and easy, and Saturday will be my cheat day!”. Find and stick to something specific to your goals.. and oh yah, speaking of which..
- Have a Purpose! Set a specific goal.
- Sign up for a race a few months in advance.
- Have a body-shape or weight goal. For me, it’s a pant-size goal.
- Be able to do X number of pushups or situps or whatever at the end of a month.
All of these can help you stay motivated but whether you’re motivated or not, you’re going to have to have an attitude that identifies excuses for what they are, overcome them, and do it.
Good luck to all of us!