Cancelled. AGAIN. Ugh it’s so annoying when your friend bails on you. You know the one, that makes a habit of it. The one you can’t fully trust or depend on to follow through with what she says. Well consider this an intervention, friend. That person is YOU – when you talk to yourself. Are you constantly giving up on yourself? Are you always bailing on the goals you set for yourself? We’re here to help!! We’re bringing you the best ways to keep yourself accountable, inspired, and following through like. a. BOSS. Because the more you stay inspired, the more your goals will flourish. Here are our top tips to get you motivated, when you work(out) for yourself:
1. Remind Yourself That You’re In Charge: There are loads of reasons we get off track with goals, especially long-term ones. Self-doubt, fear we won’t succeed, and concern that we are not setting realistic goals are just a few of them. So this is really important to remember: You can change your goal if you want. When we are experiencing doubts, it’s easy to feel like we don’t have a choice, or to make excuses. However, you are in the driver’s seat and you are in control. Take action to recognize what’s not working, and react by finding an alternate solution. If you set a goal of working out Monday through Friday and you’re consistently not making it to class daily, try alternating days, or backing 1 or 2 classes off your goal. If you’re frustrated your not seeing ‘immediate gratification’ from our workouts, consider upping your game by adding in a HIIT class; asking your instructor how to add more intensity to an exercise; or consider tracking your diet on My Fitness Pal. These may seem like obvious answers, but how often are you actually adjusting your goals, versus completely giving up on yourself? Put your big girl pants on and remind yourself that Y-O-U are the only boss of you!
2. Share Goals And Plans With Others: Without someone breathing down your neck to make sure you get the job done, or even literally just to show up, it can be easy to slack off. It’s important to have friends or family members that can keep you in check. You are much more likely to stay on track if you have someone holding you accountable. Just think about it. How often do you currently tell your husband or significant other about your plans to work out? It’s usually an internal conversation, or maybe a quick text shared between you and a friend. This week, try committing to one exercise goal and tell your significant other about it. Like, “Hey, I’m going to try to make it to three barre classes this week; or I’m going to set my alarm early for a 6 am class on Monday; or I’m gonna get up and take class before we catch the game this weekend.” The seed of responsibility is planted, and when you engage the power of social expectations, you’re 65% more likely to stick to your commitment.
They’re not there to grade your success, or judge your downfalls, but just having someone who is aware of your goals is really helpful. When they ask about your progress, you can brag about your success, or maybe even admit to some bumps in the road (being vulnerable keeps it real, ya’ll!), but either way you’ll be motivated to continue pushing yourself. And nothing is more rewarding than recognition, so find your cheerleaders! Remember, they don’t need to take classes with you, just help you stay on track. (Mama’s are shoe-ins for cheerleaders, whereas your significant other is a better accountability partner).
2. Sign a commitment contract: There’s a reason lots of gyms and fitness studios have accountability techniques built into their memberships and class cancellation policies. The psychological power of loss aversion and accountability has been proven to drive behavior change. If literal contracts make you nervous, checkout the app stickK. StickK asks users to define their goal (whatever it is!), pick a timeline to accomplish it, and put something at stake (whether it’s money or their reputation). If you don’t fulfill your commitment with stickK, it automatically tells your friends and opens you up to public failure. The likelihood of getting new habits to stick, or reaching your goals, is remarkably higher when you set a time to report back to someone on your progress. Sundays are usually a great day to not only set expectations for the new week ahead, but take the time to reflect on how you measured up the week prior to track your progress. Remember progress isn’t always a number on a scale. Maybe you’re finding you’re in a consistently better mood when you exercise, or have more energy. Maybe you’re sleeping better, or made a new friend in class. Maybe your husband asked you to open a jar of pickles this week since you’ve been flashing those guns around the house. Whatever it is, recognize it and track it!
3. Think Big Picture: We are busier than ever, and we are unfortunately a society that often considers our own health our lowest priority. Most people don’t worry about their health until something is wrong. And when something is seriously wrong, it can be too late. So why does your health honestly matter? Remember your health is both mind and body. Is it really a number on the scale for you? Maybe your workout is your ‘me time’ to mindlessly chatter about Netflix with your neighbor before or after class. (Seriously, there’s a least one other person in the room that’s currently binge watching Stranger Things or The Handmaid’s Tale, promise). In a world where we open our phone 80 times a day on average, (yikes!!), it’s important to connect with people face-to-face, too.
Maybe you have a parent or relative that deals with a chronic health condition and you’re secretly scared you’re genetically pre-dispositioned for it. Take action now by MOVING. A new study, reported on CNN, found that the current Western Civilization sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.
Focusing on the end game is much more motivating than seeing each task as an individual chore. Try the “5 Why’s method” to get to the heart of your answer. Ask yourself why you work out 5 times, like the obnoxious toddler style of repetitive “Why????” asking. And really dig deep to the root reason for this to be effective. Then find a way to visualize your motivation for pursuing your workouts. This way we’re not constantly disappointed by not meeting our individual goals 110% of the time. Whatever your big picture is, write it down and place it front and center on your desk, or keep a picture that reminds you of your goal in your car dashboard to remind yourself what you’re really working toward.
4. Use the 20 second rule: In the book The Happiness Advantage, author Shawn Achor describes a simple strategy for developing better habits and doing things even when we don’t feel motivated. Achor says, “Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt, and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change.” So the next time you decide to commit to an early class? Try laying out your workout gear the night before. Have a babe at home? Restock the diaper bag and place it in the car the night before, so you’re not flustered the next morning to make it on time. This philosophy also works in reverse. If you are likely to sleep through your alarm, place your phone on the other side of the room so you’re forced to get out of bed. If you’re likely to talk yourself out of packing up all the kids to get to class the morning of, put something you need in the mornings in your car, or the diaper bag, so your forced to get in your car to use it. It can be your morning vitamin, your baby’s favorite toy, dry shampoo or a hairbrush, or maybe even your favorite coffee cup or water bottle!
Remember to reward yourself for all the small victories too! Maybe you grab your favorite latte after class, or maybe you give yourself a face mask that night, just remember you don’t get the reward unless you complete the goal 🙂 We rarely take the time to celebrate, or brag, on ourselves. Never be embarrassed to share a personal highlight with your instructor. It seriously give US so much pride, and actually serves as a great motivator for us as well, when we hear your successes! So remember not to simply mark it off and move on, plan for your small celebrations in advance, and take time for yourself!! Hey, when you’re the boss, you’re the assistant, manager, and party committee all in one 🙂