My word for 2017 is INTENTIONAL. Anyone else with me on that?
New beginnings can be so powerful, and I’m embracing this one with everything I’ve got.
That one word covers so much — I want to be intentional about being present with the people I love, about not just getting a workout done but pushing as hard as I can, about not just eating healthy but actually using nutrition as a tool to help me and my family. I don’t want to play defense against Lupus for me and Lyme disease for my daughter and life being so busy and time flying by. I want to live on the offense and choose how life goes in 2017 to every extent that I possibly can. Energy flows where the intention goes!
I realized I was going way too easy on myself towards the end of last year because of my medical challenges, and that just wasn’t working for me. I may be turning 40 next month, but that doesn’t mean I should stop trying my best. Yes, trying feels harder than it should, but this is my new normal and I’m embracing it. Bye-bye, low impact workouts, and hello, challenging myself once again!
Here are some tips for how I’m keeping myself motivated – both with my health and fitness journey and in life in general:
1. Change your goals from lofty to bite size.
– I love vision boards with big goals like hitting a certain work goal, having a vacation home, or earning a certain amount of money, but that doesn’t help me be as productive as I can be when I am exhausted and not feeling well with a limited amount of time to work or get things done. What does help me are specific activities that I know I must complete each day.
– Before my focus was on big picture, but now my focus is task oriented.
Here’s the key for this one: You have to change your mindset to feeling successful for completing the action items you commit to REGARDLESS OF RESULTS. You have to find fulfillment in the PROCESS rather than the RESULTS.
2. Track your activity.
– Because I was having a hard time handling the big picture approach last year with my scattered Lupus mind, I wanted to track what I could so that my actual activity could stand in as a big picture for me.
– Each day in my planner, I record my completed tasks for the day that help me reach a set goal.
3. Find support.
– Prior to becoming an online health and fitness coach, I would definitely describe myself as someone who likes to work alone. It seemed more efficient that way. Now, I wouldn’t be able to keep my business up without help. I have a success partner that keeps me sane and I depend on others a lot more. Instead of trying to control everything I can, I delegate, ask for helpers with everything possible, and share the workload with other coaches that I trust.
– Increase accountability with whatever matters to you.
Don’t try to go this alone. Take help whenever you can. Remember, done is always better than perfect!
4. Share your struggles with others.
– This is hard and scary and makes me very uncomfortable, but I’m doing it. And because of that, I feel more supported, I feel like I’m holding myself more accountable (because saying things publicly always does that), and I’m connecting with people who have similar challenges which I never would have known about unless I had taken the first step to be open.
– Yes, you might not want to share things like you’re having marriage troubles, or that you’re sick, or that your family is struggling to get by financially, and you don’t have to. You control your own story. How you share these things is by looking for the themes in the experience: do these things make you feel overextended? Alone? Not yourself? Afraid? Take those themes and share how they impact you – AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, how you are taking baby steps to get through them.
5. Read/listen to personal development that actually works for YOU.
– Personal development comes in many forms – podcasts, videos, books, audiobooks, online trainings. Don’t read a book just to say you did it. If it’s not helping you through whatever you are going through, then ask people for recommendations and keep looking for something that actually speaks to YOU.
6. Go back to basics big time.
– Un-complicate everything.
– Do a program of some sort that makes you feel proud of yourself for getting it done. Follow a set schedule which is the simplest way to stay on track.
– Take care of yourself. You can’t be a good mom/friend/boss/sister/daughter/person without first filling your own cup so you can then fill the cups of others.
7. Keep a Gratitude List.
– One thing that helps me get through difficult times is keeping a Gratitude List. I have a Google Doc where I copy and paste any message I get – whether in the challenge groups I run, in a private message, in a Facebook post comment, etc., where someone compliments me, feels thankful for my work, or says I’ve helped them or inspired them in any way. When things are hard, I skim through that list, and it helps me focus on what’s important and why I want to keep going.
8. Choose ONE WORD for the year.
– Have it be your theme. Commit to making it through this entire year and having this one word as your theme through everything – through your interactions with others, the way you spend your time, the way you do your workouts, etc. My word for this year is INTENTIONAL. Keeping it this simple and reflecting on whether I’m doing tasks just to do them or because they will help me or others keeps me on track instead of complicating things.
Although I’ve used many systems, what works best for me is making lists. When I’m tired or not feeling well, looking at lists is the easiest way for me to take in information and actually use it proactively. Maybe you are a person who needs a spreadsheet or a brainstorming map, but find what works for you.
10. Remember to ENJOY your journey.
– For a while, I really felt like I lost the joy in some of the things that are important in my life, but getting back to truly connecting with people, remembering how lucky I am, really seeing how I can make a difference in the lives of others – these things are more motivating than anything. People are what make our lives and experiences. Don’t be afraid to connect and feel joy.
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