Why is it, in December, with the holidays and the year’s end upon us do we (myself included) give up on our health and fitness goals? Why do we get off track? Is it will power? Motivation? Not having enough time? Or is it simply, our definition of success? Yep. That's the one. We often view success in such a tightly defined way and it’s often too big, so of course we can’t stay the course. It’s too rigid. In the past my definition of success, for myself and my clients, was in achieving a specific outcome. For example, feeling better, feeling more competent in moving, getting stronger, losing weight. Those are all great, but I’ve come to see success more as being in the process and celebrating the actual work it takes to get where we want to go. They are very different ways of seeing. The frequent sentiment at this time of year is, “To hell with it; I'll pick up where I left off in the New Year.” Believe it or not, in my early 30’s, I experimented with stopping all training from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. What a mistake that was! I felt awful. Everything hurt and that first workout back was brutal. The problem, as I found out the hard way, is that we're not picking up where we left off, but we're actually behind. For me, having always struggled with my weight, I would be 15 to 20 pounds heavier in January. In my 20’s and 30’s it came off a lot faster than now at 56! We tend to acknowledge the result, rather than the daily behaviors that get us there. Letting them go is a big mistake. So, what if instead, we define success by completing those daily tasks and CELEBRATE the small victories along the way...because they add up. Secrets to staying motivated now (or at any point during the year):
1) Get sufficient sleep.
2) Be consistent with your daily ritual: waking up, having a morning self-care routine, anything that helps to set you up to win the day.
3) Move more. Get more steps in, but don't get hung up on a specific number.
4) Eat for your goals.
5) Enjoy all that the holidays have to offer...family, friends, and of course the food, knowing you didn't ruin your ultimate outcome because...you’re still on track.
6) Connect with what inspires you.
If you keep these basics covered, you'll not only achieve your desired outcome, but you may surprise yourself and find even BETTER results than you imagined. So today, I invite you to take a look at your definition of success and see if you can make it more about being in the process by remembering to:
• Congratulate yourself on your daily actions.
• Step back and appreciate all your hard work.
• Acknowledge each small shift you make and all of the small steps forward you aretaking.
Remember it's our daily work that gets us to our ultimate outcome!
Dedicated to Your Health and Longevity, Mike