How to Re-focus and Stay Motivated!

Regarding my journey to bikini readiness: I haven’t checked in for a while.  The reason?  I’m not getting there.  At all.  I’ve had a hard time staying motivated.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with a busy schedule, a lack of willpower and sometimes, just plain laziness.  Sometimes I’m tired and I just want to sit on the couch and be a blob, plain and simple.

This weekend was one of re-focus.   I haven’t been as faithful to my workouts as I should be.  I haven’t been as faithful to the right eating plan as I should be.  I took a little inventory of my shortfalls this weekend and made a few decisions.  Most importantly, I wasn’t going to beat myself up for my previous subpar performance.  It’s not at all productive and certainly doesn’t foster feelings of self-love.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Self-criticism seems pretty silly considering my reasons for doing this in the first place were to be healthier, look better, and prove to myself and others it can be done at the fabulous age of 56 (almost 57).  If your friend told you she didn’t do her workout yesterday, would you tell her she was a loser?  Hopefully not.  🙂  So why do we feel it’s appropriate to tell ourselves that?  Doesn’t it make more sense to give ourselves encouragement?

I’m one of those people who responds better to praise rather than criticism.  I can get pretty annoyed or even angry with criticism, and any improvements I make often occur with an amazingly huge chip on my shoulder.  Wow, there’s some raw honesty. Let’s get back to some positve thoughts. . . I’m praising myself when I do what I’m supposed to do, no criticising myslef when I blow it.  It feels so much better and it’s easier to stay motivated.

Since I don’t always do what I’m supposed to do, I’ve decided to take it one day at a time.  I have my goal for the day – a reasonable, doable goal.  Setting myself up for success rather than failure.  If I reach the goal, “Yay! Go Helen!”  If not, that’s okay.  I work a little harder the next day.  No self-loathing.  No dwelling on failure.  Encapsulate the bad day, toss it and move forward.

Workouts need to be fun so they’ll get done.  Bottom line: if I’m not excited about the workout I plan to do on a given day, I’ll find any excuse to skip it.  Of course I’ll call it a “reason” but we all know what it really is.  So again, I need to set myself up for success.  Not feeling the Max Trainer on cardio day?  No problem.  Maybe I’ll go for a power walk.  Maybe I’ll turn on some great music and dance like no one’s watching.  I really, really hope no one’s watching!  The point is, when a you’re dreading a particular workout, choose a great alternative.  Make sure it’s hitting the right target (i.e., don’t substitute arms for leg day), but build in some fun and flexibility.

Goals without timelines are just wishes.  So here’s my timeline:  I’m posting a progress picture by April 22.  I don’t expect to be fully ready, but it gives me a reason to stay serious about the journey.  Weekends are our photography days, and I suspect there won’t be much time on the weekend of April 15.  Something about a tax deadline and being a CPA.  April 22 gives me a month to make some visible progress.  I’ll do the actual bikini shots by my 57th birthday on June 6.  That gives me time to get out of tax mode and get things done.

Those are a few of the ways I’m re-focusing my efforts and staying motivated so I finish strong.  If you have any great tips I’d love to hear them!