The #1 question I get is, “How do you stay motivated for a workout program?” Do you ever just want to NOT do it? Um, yes, I am human!!! However, here are some of my simple tips to “keep you keeping on” when times are tough! They will help you re-adjust and look at where you can make changes to follow through with your program.
1. Surround yourself with like-minded people. This is an ABSOLUTE must. You need to make sure you are around people who are supporting your goals and helping you get to where you want to be. Case in point? Hanging out with the friend who is always offering Dairy Queen Ice Cream and telling you to skip your workouts to go shopping instead. I am not saying you need to “defriend” this person on Facebook, I am just pointing out that it is not going to be easy if you are hanging around people whose habits don’t reflect your lifestyle. Ask them to join you!!! And if they say no? Let them know you are serious and would appreciate the support and help. Let them know that you are making new choices that will be reflecting your new lifestyle and it may not be easy for them to understand but this is something you are serious about! This includes sticking to your workout, eating clean, and having a positive attitude.
2. Eat Clean. If you can’t make it through a workout because of a lack of energy or you don’t have the proper amount of calories to do so, it is going to be tough to stick with a workout. Stay away from “empty calorie foods.” These are foods that offer a poor nutritional value compared to their high calorie intake. These are usually highly processed and packaged foods, fast foods, and foods loaded with saturated and trans fat. Think of it this way; your body is very similar to a car. If you treat it with respect and fill it up with the proper “fuel”, get proper and regular “tune ups”…your car tends to last longer ! On the contrary, if you decide that you are not going to fill it up with the proper “fuel”, treat it as a piece of trash, and don’t get regular “tune ups” or remotely take care of it, it will eventually give up. Your body is like the $100,000 car you have always wanted. If you got a Lamborgini would you repeatedly crash it day after day assuming that it would continue to run half heartedly???? Treat your body with respect, and you will get out tenfold what you put in.
3. Maintain a positive attitude despite setbacks. There are going to be days when you have made “not so good choices” on foods. Maybe you went to a baby shower, went out for the night on a date, hung out with friends, and didn’t watch your clean eating, had a few two many margaritas…whatever it is, you need to realize you are a human and we all fall off the wagon sometimes. Next time when you are in these situations, make a better choice. Remain positive and realize that when you are positive you make better choices. Bottom line when you feel better about yourself you treat yourself better. So start loving yourself enough to do so!
4. Focus on your strengths. Can you bust out a pushup like no other? Can you run miles and miles without feeling tired even though it is a slow pace? Are you willing to get up every morning despite your super busy schedule? Are you a single parent and finding time to workout? Focus on what you are doing right. Look at it this way. No one is perfect we all have things we need to work on. So start focusing on what you do right instead of what you are doing wrong.
5. Create SMART goals. A very easy way to set goals and stick with them is to put them in a simple and easy format that you can follow. Make them Smart, Measurable, Action-Orientated, Realistic, and Timely. Nothing ruins a goal before it starts than being unrealistic. Do you want to lose 50 lbs in two weeks? Um, not going to happen. Do you want to break the world record for the 100m dash even though you have never sprinted before? Nope, not going to happen. You get my point. Set yourself up for success. And always write your goals down and start with “I will.” You don’t want to start your goal with I hope, or I want, or I am willing, because honestly…..you need to start believing and making strong I statements!!! Bottom line is you are telling yourself and reading this everyday that YOU WILL do this. So a good goal would be “I will eat clean by eating a protein-rich breakfast everyday [egg, peanut butter on whole wheat, plain greek yogurt w/blueberries and oats] for a month and eat 4 to 5 small meals a day every 2 hour.” Then set steps on how you are going to reach each goal.
6. Take before pictures/measurements, update every 2 weeks. Nothing is more motivating then putting your pictures side-by-side and seeing a difference in your body. Before any program starts take beginning pictures and measure yourself. You can use the free measuring tools on Teambeachbody account for you. You can track your goals, measure your progress, and the BEST part? I will become your FREE Team Beachbody coach!
7. Join a support group/find an accountability partner. Nothing feels better than being able to have a place to go to and post about a workout or to ask for support with other people who are doing the SAME workouts as you. You can talk to your mom or best friend about “Insanity” but come on, if they have never done one workout…does it really matter if you texted them and said. ” I just killed Max Plyo!” They might say great job and support you but it is not the same as posting in a group and actually getting like-minded people supporting you who truly understand where you coming from. Who have done Max Plyo and think HELL YA!!! Plus, it makes your bad days easier to have accountability and support. You can find all kinds of support groups online. But if you are looking for one on Facebook, I have multiple groups. I have one for “Insanity Mom’s-Working Out with Shaun T” I also have a team group called “Team Pure Insanity” for those who are working out and want support, motivation, and encouragement. Ask to join either group and post on the wall, “Hey, you are my coach!” which shows me you have opened a FREE team beachbody account with me!
8. Eat breakfast. You have to start your day off on a good note. Your body needs fuel to keep going and if you don’t get your metabolism started you are going to have a tough time burning calories earlier in the day. The term breakfast refers to breaking the “fast”…because you have just woke up from a long block of sleep [usually!]. So get up and fill your body with a nutrient dense breakfast. The more you eat the more you burn!
9. Limit but don’t eliminate; Foods are a balancing act. Please don’t put foods on a forbidden list and while you are doing a workout program tell yourself you can’t eat certain foods. Honestly, it is just going to make you binge and make you feel unhappy in the long run. So allow yourself treats. I follow Tony Horton’s 90%/10% rule. 90% every day I eat clean/10% I eat like a typical American. I allow myself a few small pieces of chocolate if I want it, I eat ice cream…but it is frozen yogurt! I will go to a birthday party and have a cupcake…but I cut it in half and eat a small portion. Make educated and healthIER choices…that is the key. Using apps on your phone will help a ton. I use “My Fitness Pal” to keep track of calories and portion control. Try it! It’s FREE :}
10. Schedule workouts ahead of time and CROSS them off with RED pen when you finish. A goal without a plan is worthless! Every Sunday night, I PLAN my workouts for the week. And when I finish, I draw a huge red line across my workout calendar. Feels freaking fantastic to do so…and I feel proud when I see 5 or 6 red lines in a row!!! Plus, seeing is believing! And believing = results!
11. Turn off the negative self talk. Quit telling yourself you “can’t” do something. If you are physically capable with no injuries and are able to get up and move, you are able to workout and push yourself. Stop allowing your negative self talk to rule your day. Don’t like going to the gym because you are self conscious? Find a workout program that you can do at home. Feeling fat and don’t want to move? At least you are getting up and burning calories. No one has EVER regretted a workout they did and put their heart into! Start loving yourself enough to make yourself #1. Stop listening to the lies in your head and start creating positive thoughts when you feel negative self talk creeping in.
12. Always keep your WHY in mind. Have a wedding to go to in 6 months? Want to look fantastic for your 10 year anniversary? Want to feel good in your own skin? Whatever your “why” is, dig deep and focus on that. Because your why not only keeps you going during the great workouts, it keeps you going doing your “not so good days” and difficult and hard workouts. Believe me we all have them. And if we can dig inside our pockets and pull out our why, it makes it that much easier.
13. List the painful consequences of not achieving your goal. Read the consequences before you go to bed every night and right after you wake up in the morning. Will not reaching your goal be life threatening? Will you continue to have high blood pressure and have to go on medications and spend hundreds of dollars on medications and bills? How will your daughter feel if you can’t promise her to walk her down the aisle for her wedding? Will you look in the mirror and be happy with your reflection? How will it feel not to be able to keep up with your kids because they are running circles around you? LIST the consequences on paper because actually seeing them makes it a little more real. I DARE you to LIST your consequences out then to TRY not to wake up everyday to work out. I DARE you to continue to eat the way you are. You are messing with your life. I Triple Dog Dare You.
14. When you reach a goal, celebrate it. Lost 10 lbs? Go buy a new pair of shoes! Lost inches? Go get your nails done and go get a new book! Dropped 4 sizes, get that little black dress you have always wanted. I encourage you not to celebrate your success with “reward” foods because I don’t believe in rewarding yourself with food.
15. Find inspiration from those on Youtube or other successful stories. With social media these days you should be able to find many encouraging stories of people that will help you along on your journey. I have a YouTube account and a Facebook Fan Page that I post inspirational, supportive, and motivating things everyday. My goal is to inspire and be the catalyst for change in other’s lives. “Like” my page or find someone else you can connect and relate who will help you become a better person within fitness and overall wellness.
Bottom line is no one can want it for you. You have to want it more than your excuses. When you want change as much as you need to breathe, then nothing will stop you. I hope I have helped encourage you along the way to press play! Now get up and get moving…. because YOU ARE SO WORTH IT!