Whether your just getting back in the gym or you're a consistent athlete, I'm sure you hear this magic word all the time...
It's one of the most overused words in the industry. It's bolded on advertisements and I hear all about it from my clients.
I'm here to tell you that motivation will not get you anywhere if you don't take action.
Well, because you can be motivated on the couch.
Motivation only "counts" if it gets you OFF the couch... and it can go a long way.
But Sarah Ann, how do I "Get" motivated?
I hear this all the time, and I'm sure you've heard (and probably said) phrases like "I need to get motivated" or, "I'm not motivated right now".
When I hear this, I know you're stuck rut and need a little push.
Our thoughts create actions. So in order to create a really strong action, we need equally strong thinking.
How do you do this?
Create a goal.
A big, sexy, exciting, scary goal. Here's how:
I'm going to break it down for you into 3 simple parts. I call this "The MOM Goal".
What's a MOM goal?
It's Meaningful, Obtainable, and Measurable. Let's break it down.
It's Meaningful - Why does it matter to you?
I find that many of my new clients tend to circle "lose 5lbs" when I ask them what they're looking to achieve, but they can't really tell me why that's important. If it's going to drive you through some challenging times, it has to mean something!
Your goal must be powerful enough to get you out of bed when you've had less than 5 hours of sleep and help you push through the last round of burpees. Maybe you don't actually want to "lose 5lbs", you'd rather fit into all of your pre-pregnancy clothes or set an example for your children.
It's Obtainable - You can do this in 3 months, and break it down into 10 minute spurts
This is the hardest part, in my opinion. Take a long hard look at where you are now... is this goal realistic? Are you willing to make the changes that must occur in order for this goal to happen? Can you realistically achieve this goal while pregnant, nursing, or raising young children? What's your support system look like? What resources can you put into play to achieve it?
Maybe there is a less-demanding goal that would really work for your life in the next 3 months. I encourage you to start there, especially if it ties into with what you really want to accomplish with more time and more resources. Many times a smaller goal can create a "domino" effect. If you don't have the time to train for a marathon, training for a 10k will certainly get you there!
Part B of finding your Obtainable goal is looking at it in 10 minute chunks of time. If you're looking to run a 10k, what will you do in 10 minutes (or less) that will ensure you get your butt running? Sitting down with your partner to discuss childcare, setting out your gear before going to bed for early runs, prepping healthy snacks to sustain your energy for evening runs, are all great examples. Once you've mastered each 10 minute chunk into a habit, then try adding a new one. (And if your 10-minute goal doesn't work for you, toss it and pick another one!)
It's Measurable. What's the smartest way for you to keep track that will make sense?
I will admit, the fitness industry is obsessed with numbers.
The reason is, they don't lie. We can track inches on a measuring stick, pounds on a scale, minutes in a mile. From simple calculations we can tell what's working, and what isn't.
You have to be willing and able to take regular measurements in order to determine whether you are making progress. Think about what numbers make the most sense to you and what you're willing to measure. Going back to our 10k example, we can break it down into how many miles you're logging per week, your average time per mile, and how long it takes you to recover from each training session. I also recommend tracking your "10 minute goal" as well. If you notice that's not working to get you to the big one, toss it.
Congrats! You now have a goal that means a great deal to you. (and it has to, or it won’t happen).
I promise you, this WORKS. I see it all the time in my clients. They regain their commitment, set their intentions, and go on to achieve some truly amazing things. Without going through this simple process of reflection and planning, I never would have accomplished some of my greatest personal records, either. So let's get going!
Time for homework.
Let’s open your calendar and get creative. You may find that the goal you've been telling yourself means something isn't actually so, and that's pretty common. Make it meaningful. You might find that the next 3 months is flooded with houseguests and travel, so consistent exercise is going to be a challenge. What else can you commit to that will get you to where you want to go? How can you measure your progress in a way that makes sense to you?
Jot down your plan on pen and paper and keep it somewhere you'll see it. This is a really exciting moment and you'll want to remind yourself of your new commitment!
Next week I'll share how to actually STICK WITH your goal. Subscribe below so you don't miss out, and let me know if you need help in the comments below!