Believe It or Not . . . Summer is ComingMarch 9, 2019
Staying Motivated at the End of Winter
As we enter the third week of March and what feels like the millionth month of winter, many of us are feeling “defeated” when it comes to being motivated to stay on top of our workouts. In Chicago, our temperatures are barely above freezing temperatures, and that is just today at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a high of 42 degrees. Watch out! Heatwave!
But we must remember that summer is seriously just around the corner. Within the next 30 days, Spring will be in full effect, and that really doesn’t last long. Then BOOM, summer will be here, or as I refer to it, the delayering season. Yep! Time to remove those layers and layers of clothes that were keeping us cozy warm this winter and dual purposeful in concealing the evidence. You know what I mean… that extra glasses of wine; the second helpings of comfort, cozy, high-carbohydrate food; a decadant dessert that was consistency indulged in when you went out to dinner; the additional days of take out because you just didn’t feel like cooking something healthy. I’m not speaking from experience, but a friend has shared with me that this has been quite common with her and her family (wink wink). So as a health care professional, trust me when I say, this can happen to anyone.
There’s no time to beat ourselves up, but there is time to get back on track. So while Spring and Summer are NOT here yet, let’s realize that they are coming, and we will want to feel confident when we do the “BIG reveal” of our arms, legs, and midsection. Here’s a few tips to get motivated at the tail end of winter:
- Start with a Plan. Set aside about 20 minutes to sit down with your schedule and carve out a set time that you can commit to exercise. If you haven’t been consistent with an exercise program, I recommend carving out 3 days a week for 45 minutes. Doable, right? If you have been sporadic, but not necessarily a beginner, try carving out 4 or 5 days with 60-minutes. After you feel like you have been consistent for a couple weeks, you can add 15 minutes to your workouts or add an additional day. Do NOT schedule 7 days a week. You will overwhelm yourself and eventually give up. We need to set ourselves up for success. Focus on workouts that combine strength training exercises with bursts of cardio to make the most of your time. Create your weekly meal plan on Sundays, so you are trying to determine what to eat in the middle of your busy day. Keep it scheduled like your workouts.
- Mindset Trumps Skill Set. Every-Single-Time! Get Yours in Check. This may seem silly and a waste of time, but this can make or break your motivation. Write down your goals and keep them visible (computer, refrigerator, bathroom mirror). Bring out your favorite summer dress, and keep it front and center in your closet. Dedicate 10 minutes a day to meditation. Free your mind of the garbage that is keeping your from achieving your goals. Set positivity in the universe. One activity that you can try and has been known to be effective, declare your goals in the mirror every morning. That’s right, say it out loud in the mirror every single morning. Commit to you and your health.
- Rewards. Awe Yeah! The fun stuff. What are you going to do when you achieve your goals? We need to write this down too or create a vision board. I am going to tell you, I have had a vision board up in my closet since 2013. I just created my fourth new vision board this January. And do you know why I just created my fourth board? (drum Roll Please) Because THEY WORK! I achieved everything on the old vision boards. I choose to hang mine in my closet because I am in there every day, multiple times. Another reward system that I have personally done and loved, a reward for each pound lost. I typically start with accessories and build up to clothes. As we know, jewelry, scarves, shoes, and handbags look good on any size. LOL I like bigger rewards for achieving 5 or 10lbs. Just remember the cardinal fitness rule, do not reward with food. Try rewards like massages, dance lessons, or another activity-related reward.
- Plan to Stay on Track. Realize that it is normal to have off days or moments. Recognize when you are starting to drive off course and get right back on track ASAP. Don’t wait until tomorrow or Monday. Get back on track immediately.
- Invest in YOU. I highly recommend having a personal trainer guide you in the right direction, so you are making the best use of your time and workouts. If you have a budget concern, see what you can substitute for training, like Starbuck runs. Where are you spending money that is maybe stifling your health goals, like ordering out a few days a week or purchasing ice cream (even the lighter options) on your weekly grocery list. I am a personal trainer, and I still like to train with my trainers to have that appointment that I need to commit to. Being a busy mother, wife, and business owner, I can easily put everyone else in front of myself. Stay accountable and invest in you and your health!