Just do it.
It’s time for a change. A health change. If you know me, I go in and out of extreme workouts (P90X, Jillian Michaels, Running) and extreme laziness (no explanation needed) but I’m sick of that feeling of hating my body every day. But how do I get motivated? How do I get going? It’s so hard to get back into a workout routine once you’ve stopped and you’re complacent with laying on the couch (or by the pool) when you get home from work. But that’s not who I want to be and that’s not who I’m going to be.
So first, a few motivational quotes to get going:
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”- Jim Ryun
“Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”- Jim Rohn
“Things work out the best for those who make the best of the way things work out.” -Russell Simmons
(This one is really because I saw it and just love the Simmons family, RUN DMC FOR LIFE!)
“You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 today and we don’t know where the hell she is.” -Ellen Degeneres
(This is probably my new favorite quote of all time.)
But when it boils down to it, I think this is the best piece of advice:
“The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.” -John C. Maxwell
Motivation can only get us so far, and I’m at the point where I need some practical steps.
So I found The 4 Simple Steps from ZenHabits that I think are a great starting point.
1. Set one easy, specific, measurable goal. Write this down. Post it up. If you don’t write it down, it’s not important. Don’t — DO NOT — set a difficult goal. Set one that is super, super easy. Five minutes of exercise a day. You can do that. Work your way to 10 minutes after a month. Then go to 15 after 2 months. You can see what I mean: make it easy to start with, so you can build your habit, then gradually increase.
2. Log it daily. This is the key habit. If you can log your workout, you will start to see your progress, and it will motivate you to keep going. And you have to make it a habit to log it right away. Don’t put it off, and say you’ll do it before you go to bed. As soon as you’re done working out, log it. No exceptions. And don’t make the log complicated — that will only make you resist doing the log. Just the date, time, and what you did.
3. Report to others. I think this is key. You can do it on your blog, on an online forum, with your spouse, or friends or family, or a workout partner, or a coach, or a group, or a class. However you set it up, make it part of the process that you have to report your daily workout to other people. It could be using an online log, or on a forum, or through email, or the phone, or just by telling your co-workers what you did this morning. But be sure that they know your goal, and that you are going to report to them, and be sure that they are expecting it every day.
4. Add motivation as needed. The first three steps might be enough for you to get the habit going. But if not, don’t just give up. If you miss two consecutive workouts, you need to look at why, and add a new motivation. Rewards, more public pressure, inspiration, whatever it takes.
Those are wonderful and I plan to use them, but a few of my other ideas include: hanging pictures in our closet of celebrity bodies that I want (I don’t think my husband would mind that either), cutting out all drinks but water and coffee (mostly diet coke), deciding on a specific amount of sweets I can eat per week, eating only natural foods and nothing processed.
So I turn to you for help. What are some of your favorite healthy living tips and tricks?