If you’ve recently decided it’s time to make some healthy changes, you may be in the midst of an epic high level of motivation. You know, the feeling of determination to “do this thing right this time!” And I want you to do this thing right, not only for a few months, but for life; and you CAN. Still, we’re all grown-ups here and we know all too well the reality of life and obstacles it presents, like it doesn’t give a @#$% about our awesome efforts to be healthier. So here are a few tips to keep it real, and make your new habits stick around for the long haul.
1. Find your “why”
This is so crucial. Why is your “why” so important? Because there will be days you simply don’t feel like working out, or lack the motivation. There will be days you’d rather eat fast food or a microwaveable dinner instead of cooking a real meal. If you’re beginning new healthy habits, remember what you’re feeling right now. Remember what led you to want to make changes. Remember how emotionally vested you are today, and how badly you want to see changes, growth and improvement. Is it purely aesthetic? Perhaps a health concern? Wanting to be able to keep up with your growing kids? Maybe you want to be around when they have kids of their own? Find your reason, write it down, put it in places you’ll remember in moments of weakness; whatever it takes. Just never forget your “why.”
2. Realize Progress may not Always Be Consistent
I hate to break this to you, ladies, but I’d rather be upfront with you. Some weeks you’ll see amazing progress, and others, you may not see as much. In the seemingly unsuccessful days or weeks, remain faithful to your new healthy habits and do not give up. You’ve probably heard the mantra “be good to your body, and it will be good to you.” It’s quite true. Resist the temptation to throw your new habits out the window, and scream,
“What’s the point anyway?!”
Remember…there is a point. Refer to #1 for that answer.
Rest days are part of an exercise plan for a reason, people! Use them. Enjoy them. Don’t over-work your body. Heaven knows you’re doing so much already, taking care of your littles. The last thing you need amongst all the excitement of starting a new exercise routine is injury, illness, or burning out too quickly. I personally recommend doing leisurely, fun activities on rest days: biking or skating, taking walks or hikes with the family, or playing in the pool. This is also a great opportunity to get your kids involved in doing something active that’s also fun!
4. Have fun
Speaking of fun, tthis one makes a monumental difference. Make your workouts and new eating habits fun, and be creative! Let your kids help you pick produce when you’re at the store. Have them help you dump chopped food into the pan or bowl. Save a playlist of your favorites just for your workout times. Have dance party warm-ups with your kids. Get them involved in counting your reps, and give them permission to keep you in line if you don’t do a rep correctly! Make it a game. Maybe place a cut-out of your favorite celebrity hottie in your living room when you’re working out, because you know you’d want to impress him if he were really there. 😉
Yes, you read that right: I said, compare. Not how you’d think, though. Compare who you are today — physically, emotionally, mentally — to who you were last week, last month, or last year. If you have been setting goals for yourself and reevaluating from time to time, you’re allowing for measurable growth and progress without all the frustration of wondering if you’re lacking accomplishment just because you haven’t yet reached your goal weight or pants size. That said, never compare yourself to others. I repeat: Never compare yourself to others. You are your own person, with a unique set of opportunities and challenges, and there is no one like YOU. Only compete with the woman you were yesterday.
Show her who’s boss today.