Good morning, and happy Friday, friends! It is a beautiful day here, and I am looking forward to going outside and working out a little later today. I hope you will do the same. :-)
This week, I have been thinking a lot about what it takes to stay focused and motivated on a goal. So often, we set goals for ourselves, but we don't follow through with them because we don't have anything set in place to help us stay on track. I think that is why I am staying successful on this goal... I have set numerous things around me to keep me focused. I would like to share some of those things with you, and hopefully they will help you reach your goals also, weight loss, fitness, or anything else!
Tell people about your goal
Goals are great. But they don't do us a whole lot of good if we keep them to ourselves and then never complete them. For me, a great source of motivation has been sharing my goal with others and hearing there feedback. Don't be shy! I talk to my friends, family, co-workers, and all over Facebook. I want people to know what I am working towards!
Give people permission to hold you accountable
How many of you have failed to complete a goal before, and no one said anything to you about it? You know why? Most people aren't going to just call you out and say "Hey, what are you doing eating that junk, I thought you were on a plan?" Unless, of course, you give them permission to! That's what I have done this time around. I work with a group of 18-25 year old young men and women. Part of the program they are in is focused on achieving goals, so I am regularly following up with them on their goals. Recently, I turned the tables and I shared my goals with them: weight loss, working out, and working towards the 5k in June. Not only did I share it with them, I gave them full permission to ask me how it's going and to hold me accountable. They have been so encouraging to me!! Someone asks me almost every day how my workouts are going. They tell me regularly that they can see my progress, and some even leave me notes of encouragement on my door. It is AMAZING how motivating it is to have people standing behind you, cheering you on! So, tell someone. Tell a bunch of someones. And give them permission to be a little nosy an hold you to your goals!
Make charts & trackers
This part is fun for me. I love tracking my progress. It gives me something to constantly look at that is real and reflects how far I have come, and how far I have to go. I have multiple ways that I do this. I have 2 trackers on my phone. One is the C25K app that tracks my workouts, mileage, and times. The other is the "Lose It" app which tracks my meals, workouts, and weight loss. I also have a total weight loss chart in my office, that is basically just a picture of a thermometer that I update after each doctor's appointment. I also have a calendar of all my scheduled workouts on the door to my office. Each day that I complete my workout, I put a smiley face over that day. That way, those at my work that are holding my accountable can see how I am doing. So far, that has helped me to not miss a single workout!!
Check your progress regularly and often
It's easy to get distracted with life and not track your goals regularly, but this is really important! You can't know how far you have to go if you don't know where you are! For me, this means I weigh in often... really, almost every day. I know many people say you should only weigh in once a week, but for me, daily works better. It keeps me accountable ever. single. day. I know that if I eat that huge, delicious, gooey, brownie, that it WILL show up on the scale tomorrow. So I think about that, and I decide if it is worth it. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't! The scale is not my enemy, it is just an accurate reflection of what I am doing in my life, and how I am treating my body. I actually get pretty excited when I get on the scale, because I am seeing daily progress, and that is exciting! For your goals, figure out what timeline works best. Daily, weekly, monthly... whatever is best for you and for your goal. But then put it on the calendar, and follow through. Know where you are so that you can get to where you want to be.
Give yourself time
It takes time, and you don't make huge amounts of progress overnight. This goes for ANY goal. For me, I have to remember that I didn't put on all this weight overnight, and I am not going to take it off overnight either. Set reasonable, attainable goals for yourself, and give yourself the necessary time to reach them.
Brag about yourself a bit
Don't be afraid to tell people how you are doing! I love being able to tell my friends and family that I am doing great and sticking to my goals! I love being able to brag a little about how much weight I have lost! (44 pounds today, by the way!) It is an encouragement to me, and I have found that it is often and encouragement to others as well. When you see someone making progress on their goals, doesn't it make you want to work harder on your own?
Reward yourself for progress made
Set mini goals as you work towards your big goal, and reward yourself as you go! With my weight loss goal, my rewards are pretty simple... clothes that fit!! I am not really buying new clothes right now, since I know they won't fit soon either. But, I did splurge on some cute personal items last month... For me, it was so happy to be able to go into Victoria's Secret and find cute things that actually fit me!!! :-) I think my next reward may be a mani/pedi day. I need a little pampering!
Don't be too hard on yourself
We all have bad days... or bad weeks... or months. It happens! Lately, I have been out of town almost every weekend! It is much harder to follow my diet and exercise plan when I am away from home. But, I do the best I can (which sometimes isn't much!) and then when I get home I kick it back into gear. This weekend, I am headed down to Sacramento. Over the next few days, there will be a graduation, much celebration with friends, many meals out, and a BBQ with my Dad and family. Not much time to workout... But I am going to try my best. Lots of food temptations, but I am going to try my best. I know that there is a good chance that the numbers on my scale will be a little higher when I return, but as long as I do my best, and get back on track when I return, I am okay with that. I still have a life to live!! So, don't beat yourself up if you fall off track! Just dust yourself off, and continue on your way. As Dory from Finding Nemo would say: "Just keep swimming!"
That's what is keeping me focused friends. I hope my tips help you out a bit too. Now, it is time for me to get busy... I have a house to clean, a workout to complete, bags to pack, and a friend to visit. Busy day for me!