If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they wished they had my motivation, I wouldn’t typing this post from a desk, but probably from my home in the tropics. I hear ya people, motivation to workout is never in a surplus and on surface level, it probably does look like I’m just ready to go bust out some sweat at the drop of a dime. And I’ll be real, 90% of the time…I am. I love to workout. But I do have those days now and again where I’m cutting time short elsewhere, or I don’t have a ton of energy, or real talk…I don’t feel like washing my hair and doing my makeup again after a workout. So what do I do then?
I think the key in this moment is that it isn’t about MOTIVATION at all. Motivation was when you decided you were going to be healthy and workout in the first place. You felt jazzed, excited, maybe even scared & overwhelmed but you thought “I’m friggin’ doing it.” I’m joining the gym, I’m signing up for that 5K, I’m buying Insanity.” That is a moment in time.
This is really about DEDICATION. It is the dedication that will drag your butt out of bed early, dedication that will turn off the TV after only 4 Netflix episodes, dedication that will make you hit the gym right after work instead of happy hour. When your brain hits dedication stride and you start living your best life to be your best self, this whole fitness thing is no longer a struggle. You may actually find you ENJOY it. Because let’s be honest, it feels good to be in love and there’s no better person to be in love with than yourself. You’re not going anywhere. Hang on tight.
So, how do we bridge the gap between motivation and dedication? If after some time, you don’t find yourself naturally hitting a flow where you purposefully make time to exercise or it feels natural to make healthy food choices, you might just need a tool or a helper to get you there. And that’s totally okay…it is human. We didn’t fall into bad habits over night and it will take more than a few days to build new ones. Here are some tools that I’ve either had success with myself, or are just really great ideas that you might want to try.
FOR WEIGHT LOSS DEDICATION:
There are a lot of versions of these really clever weight loss jars online, just cruise Pinterest and you’ll have many to choose from. I love this idea because it turns your goal into something visual that you can track at a glance. When skipping a workout sounds better than getting sweaty, ask the marbles in the “Pounds to Lose” jar what they think & I’ll bet you find yourself working out sooner than later.
No news here, but a digital fitness tracker can be a lifesaver for folks who have a hard time staying dedicated to moving their body. These puppies track everything from steps to heart rate, to sleep patterns, depending on which one use. A few of the most popular ones are FitBit, JawBone & VivoFit among so many others. I don’t personally use one of these, but I know a few folks who really enjoy having the extra statistics handy (literally, get it) in order to keep them on track. If you’re interested in reading an in depth review of the FitBit, there is a really good one here.
If you are into using technology to keep you on track, you will probably find My Fitness Pal to be helpful. A website as well as an app, this is truly an awesome tool for helping with nutrition and fitness tracking. There is a massive database of food options, so your calorie and macro-nutrient counts are going to be pretty spot on. (I work for a food service company that services universities and we send data to My Fitness Pal so students can log their meals…everyone is doing it!) While calories burned for specific workouts are a bit more vague, I personally still think this is a good tool for tracking calories in and out. While we do know that a calorie is not a calorie (ie, you should still be making sure your calories come from whole, nutritious food sources…not sugar and bread), this is a great baseline for building your own personal history and data. Also a plus, there is a whole community surrounding this app, so you can connect with your friends or strangers and keep each other motivated!
FOR BUILDING A DEDICATED HABIT:
This One Day at a Time tracker from EliseJoy is clean, sharp and super easy to use. Set a goal and mark of each day you do it. This is a great tool for ANY habit you wish to develop, from working out, to drinking more water, to going to bed earlier, to making dinner at home…I mean I could go on forever. Having a visual track of your success (and at the same time, failure) is bound to keep you moving in the right direction. Make a goal with your spouse or roommate, hang this puppy in a public space and try to beat each other to checking the boxes. I love this!
You might call this one the poor man’s FitBit, but I think it serves a unique purpose. These rubber bracelets read “FLIP ME” and are intended to be a physical reminder for you to complete a task. They are different colors on each side so you can clearly see if you have yet to flip your reminder or not. Take your vitamin, go to the gym, drink 100 oz of water…this is designed for something you do desire to do each and every day. A fun little game to play with yourself, also a good conversation starter which will bring folks on board and help keep you accountable.
The website for these punch cards has them listed as a way to help your picky children try new foods (which is brilliant) but I think they work for adults to use to eat healthy too! When I am eating on the 21 Day Fix plan and am strictly following portion control, I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I cross off a serving and see my success at the end of the day. Track your servings on these cards and you’ll have an honest view on how your nutrition is going. PS) Noticing you are off track is just as helpful as noticing you are ON track. If you don’t know what to change, you can’t change it!
GENERAL DEDICATION TO KICKING ASS:
Ladies, this probably applies mostly to us, but I find that a cute outfit always helps me feel like working out. I mean, half the reason we do it is to look good…so why not look good WHILE working out. But I also can’t swallow spending a ton of cash on something that I really only wear while sweating buckets. So here’s a few places I turn to for low cost, cute gear:
*Shifty eyes* OK, Yes I’m almost 30 and Yes, I think Forever 21 has some really cute workout stuff. There is a catch 22 here though, because anyone over the actual age of 21 probably couldn’t tolerate a trip to an actual store, and their sizes can be stupid small so ordering online can be difficult. These prices can make braving the mall worth it, just saying.
I swear when someone thought up email marketing they had me in mind. Whenever I get an email from Old Navy that activewear is on sale, you better believe I’m either clicking to fill my cart or headed to the store ASAP. Although they can be a tad overpriced when not on sale, their sales are great and you can stock up on essentials like shorts and capris. (Abs not included, bummer.)
Fabletics is a workout outfit subscription service. Yeahhhh, you heard me. New outfits every month! It sounds dangerous to me, but only because it would threaten the chance of me ever wearing pants with a zipper again. The outfits are super cute and you could definitely run errands in them! Does anyone subscribe?
So with that, get yourself some tools and a new outfit and get to WORKING HARD and being DEDICATED. We make time for the things we want the most…so which do you want…another episode on Netflix or a healthy, awesome body?