Good morning Summer Glow Boot Campers! Can you believe it is already Week 3 of the SGBC? As you may have seen on the calendar, this week’s topic is all about ‘Getting Over The Hump’…aka motivation issues and how we can triumph over them!
This morning, we have a post on motivation put together by the fitness diva herself- Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point. When I emailed Caitlin, I knew that she was my go-to girl whenever I think about motivation to keep on top of my fitness. Whether she is running a 15-mile trail race or biking 60-miles, she never fails to inspire and renew my love for an active lifestyle!
Take it away, Caitlin! :)
Staying Motivated When The Going Gets Tough
You decide to eat healthier or exercise more, and although you tackle your goal head on for the first few weeks, soon you’re ready to throw in the towel. And even though you really, really want to stay on track, you find yourself sabotaging your goals – sleeping in needlessly on the weekends when you could be outside or ordering a large ice cream instead of a small. You wish you could bottle up some will power and take a small dose everyday! Sound familiar?
De-motivation is a normal part of the New Habit Journey.
The New Habit Journey is not a linear path – in fact, it has twists and turns, sudden halts, and sometimes it even goes backwards. Achieving any lifestyle change includes five components:
- Inspiration Moment: The inspiration moment can be one watershed instance, or it can be a slow build. But suddenly, for whatever reason, you want to CHANGE! Maybe you stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office and saw a scary high number. Maybe you’re trying to get pregnant. Or maybe you’re motivated to finally run a 5K race. When you experience an Inspiration Moment, it is important to SIEZE on this positive energy! Don’t wait until the next week to “start” running, eating better, quitting smoking… do it right now! Yes, right now. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk.
- The Gun-Ho Period: Most people will experience a gun-ho period that lasts approximately two weeks to a month when trying to make a lifestyle change. At first, your change is exciting and interesting. You’re still riding high on your Inspiration Moment. As you did for your Inspiration Moment, appreciate and embrace this zest for your New Habit! But, you want to be careful not to get overly enthusiastic. It’s easier to adopt a habit for the long-term if you slow integrate it into your life, figuring out how to make the change work for you and not against you. Make your initial goals small and manageable. By vowing to work out three times a week instead of six, you’re building in room for error as you adopt to a lifestyle change. Many people feel discouraged if they cannot be “perfect,” so don’t ask yourself to be!
- De-motivation: Despite your best intentions, most people will be hit by de-motivation several weeks into their New Habit Journey. Let’s face it – making lifestyle changes are hard, and temptations to slack of are everywhere. De-motivation can just occur over time, or it can be caused by a break from your normal schedule. Holidays, special events, and vacations force you to deviate from your new routine. Anticipate these De-Motivation hotspots by coming up with a "healthy game plan" ahead of time. If you fall “off the wagon,” don’t throw in the towel! Remember that something is always better than nothing. If you don’t want to go to the gym, try going for a walk, doing sit-ups in front of the TV, or dancing around your living room. If you’re on vacation and want to enjoy the local food, splurge at dinner and maintain your diet for breakfast and lunch. The worst thing you can do is give up just because you can’t be at the top of your game.
- Re-coop: Not everyone reaches the point of Re-Coop. Many people enter De-Motivation and never come out. But, if you want to make a lifestyle change, you must emerge from de-motivation stronger and more intent on your goal. Re-coop involves bouncing back from minor setbacks and reminding yourself that it’s your OVERALL progress that matters. If you’re in De-Motivation and want to get back on the wagon, write down a list of why you want to change. Tape the list to your bathroom mirror and read it whenever you need some motivation. Also, talk to a close friend or your significant other about your De-Motivation and ask for support. It’s easier to stick to new habits if you’re not the only one in the boat.
- Healthy Tipping Point: The most glorious part of the New Habit Journey is the Healthy Tipping Point. A Tipping Point refers to a sociological event during which a previously rare phenomenon becomes rapidly and dramatically more common. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called The Tipping Point, and he describes the Tipping Point as "the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable."
Thank you Caitlin!
Even though I didn’t realize it for many years, I now know that consistency is key to long-term change. It can be frustrating when we don’t see change as quickly as we would hope. The most important thing I have learned is that if I am consistent with my exercise, I will eventually see pay-offs, even if they do not come as fast as I want them to.
For example, I used to be able to run for only 1 minute before stopping and walking. One minute. I hated running for this reason. I hated it with a passion. It wasn’t fun or enjoyable when I was gasping for breath all the time. In the past, I didn’t treat my body right and I didn’t treat my overall health properly. In fact, I ignored it. It seems funny to me now that I ever expected my body to give back to me when I didn’t give it what it needed to succeed- proper fuel, nutrition, rest, and love!
But eventually, I started to treat myself better. I became more patient and kind to my body and in return my body responded better than I could ever have dreamed it would. Before I knew it, I was running 5 minutes at a time, and then 1 mile at a time, and now I can run for over 1 hour without stopping to walk. Because of our busy lives, sometimes we forget to pay attention to small changes that are occurring! It didn’t even click with me until recently how little endurance I had when I used to run and how much I have changed. I was so busy focusing on improving my pace or my goals, that I forgot to appreciate the journey.
I think if we all stopped to write down a couple things that we appreciate about our own progress we wouldn’t feel that twinge of de-motivation as severely. We could simply consult the things we have accomplished and recognize that change is happening, even if it is small. Because when you think of it, a handful of small changes lead to one BIG change and before we know it we have reached our goal.
The wonderful Amazing Grass is at it again! Today marks the first of three Amazing Grass giveaways for Summer Glow Boot Camp. You can read about the other two giveaways here…you won’t believe what the 2nd and grand prize draws are for- nothing short of AMAZING!!!
Up for grabs today:
- Sample of the Amazing Grass packets,
- Amazing Grass T-shirt, and
- A shaker (my all time favourite Green Monster container!)
How to enter: You must leave a comment on this post telling us two positive changes you have made to your health and/or fitness in the past month or two. We need to start appreciating the journey and stop being so hard on ourselves all the time! If you hit a hump or ‘De-motivation’ refer back to your changes to renew your faith in your goals. Contest open to US and Canadian residents only. Contest closes Tuesday July 14, 2009 at 11pm EST. One entry per person.
Want a second entry? Simply link back to this giveaway on your blog or email someone about the Amazing Grass contest making sure to copy me on the email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Even though I can’t participate, I will still answer the question:
1) I have drastically improved my side planks! I can now do advanced side planks without so much as the blink of an eye, whereas before I couldn’t even hold myself up at all! It is fun to feel strong.
Goodluck to all participants! :) See you this afternoon for some exciting news!