Thursday, January 26, 2012

Don't Procrastinate! Motivate!

Everything in moderation. (Including moderation!!!)

The holidays are over. No more lasagna, cheese platters, spiked egg nog, cream cheese dips or pie. It's time to undo some of the damage done these past couple of months. I'm not talking about weight loss, I'm talking about health. Rebooting your body and kicking out those nasty artery clogging toxins. Lots of folks start off the new year with the best of intentions, plans, and hopes. But for some, right around now reality kicks in and we start to procrastinate.

Maybe you started a new exercise routine this month, maybe you modified the one you already had, or maybe you are just trying to keep up with the constant juggling of finances, family, friends and fitness. I always seem to be in a cycle of hitting it really hard and then fizzling out after a few months. So how can we stay motivated and dedicated to caring for our bodies and minds when life seems like it might swallow us whole? Here are 3 tips that work for me when it comes to staying committed to my fitness goals when what I really want is to couch it with some pizza and beer.

And you need to breathe.
1. Breathe.
I know I've worked myself into a mental frenzy when my shoulders have crept up by my ears, my teeth are being ground down to dust, and dizziness creeps in. ANOTHER bill? HOW many family events? WHAT is wrong with the car? To hell with exercise today! (And I don't even have kids. Moms and Dads, I have no idea how you do it. KUDOS) When I find myself slipping into this mindset I immediately sit down, close my eyes, and breathe. Stress is an oxygen killer and nothing helps pull those mental bearings in check like a few minutes (or maybe just 1 minute for you) of slow, deep, mindful breathing. It is something which yields amazing results from very little effort.

Just one day! The best day!
2. Just Pick One Day
Now that you are thinking clearly again, start small when it comes to exercise. Pick one day each week to spend time on an activity. Maybe for you that day changes each week, maybe it's the same day every week. The important part is to start small, and stay committed. You can work your way back into 3-5 times a week next month. This week, just focus on one day. Chances are you will be back at it quicker than you think. After your workout/walk/mediation/Zumba/whathaveyou, take a mindful moment to asses how you feel. Aren't you glad you went? Do you mentally and physically feel good? When I need motivation I often tell myself, I never regret exercising, but I always regret not exercising. Who needs regrets? Not me! And not you!

Do or do not. There is no "try".
3. Don't think. Just do.
Not everyone can get up early and get a workout done first thing. But if you can you certainly should! Keep your sneakers by your bedside. Sleep in your sports bra. Pre-fill your water bottle. Pack your gym bag the night before. Even if you don't workout first thing you'll have everything you need ready for when you need it. Don't think. Just strap those sneakers on or roll that yoga mat out and do it before your brain has a chance to give you an excuse not to. You will find a million excuses to not take care of yourself if you want to. Don't be that excuse person. Do 30 Jumping Jacks, rock out 10 Sun Salutations, crush 20 Squats. Whatever it is you do, do it and do it for yourself. Afterwards, be proud of your accomplishments and gear up for next time!

How do you stay motivated?

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