I think at one time or another, we have all had a hard time finding the motivation to exercise and eat right. With the start of the new year, I saw all kinds of challenges popping up all over social media. There are diet challenges, cleansing challenges, push-up challenges, squat challenges, consistent workout challenges, etc. If you can think of it, you can probably find a challenge for it. These challenges are meant to spark motivation, help with accountability and to improve the focus area of the challenge. I do love a good challenge, so I will admit to having done the squat and push-up challenges in the past. What challenges have you tried? Did it motivate you? Did it bring about a lifestyle change that you could sustain?
This past week, I met with several of my fitness instructor friends to come up with a new fitness challenge for our mothers who are part of Baby Boot Camp. We all agreed that we wanted the challenge to be all encompassing. We wanted it to help with their overall wellness, inspiring a lifestyle change, not just a temporary one. We came up with an 8 week healthy lifestyle challenge that addressing fitness, diet, sleep, me time, family time, accountability and much more. We created a point based system where members could earn points for activities that involved all aspects of living a healthy lifestyle. While the challenge will address the common improvement areas such as eating better and exercise, it also will encourage success in other areas as well. As mothers, we all need time to pamper ourselves, we need time to encourage our families to get healthy, and we need the companionship and motivation of other mothers in our same situation. I LOVE THIS CHALLENGE! These moms will earn points through exercise progressions, pop up challenges, weekly challenges, mini seminars, accountability, attending classes, setting goals, and more. I believe this type of program will not only help in the short term, but in the long term in helping these mothers create and maintain healthy habits for a lifetime.
Would this motivate you? I am so motivated for this program to start. I can’t wait to see the changes taking place over the coming months in these mothers. My mission with this blog is to inspire people to embrace a healthy life. This challenge fits right into this mission. If you are living in the Frisco area, please check it out. It would be beneficial for any fitness level, as it is not just focusing on how many push-ups you can do! It is going to encourage you to make changes in many different aspects of your life. Please check out the link above, or email me at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I came across some interesting stats about goals and accountability from the American Society of Training and Development.
The probability of achieving a goal is:
- 10% when you think of a goal
- 40% when you make the decision to pursue a goal
- 50% when you develop a plan on how to achieve your goal
- 65% when you make a commitment to someone else that you will follow the plan
- 95% when you have an accountability appointment with this person.
I know when it came to training for my half marathons, having running buddies was so important. When its 30 degrees and lightly raining, you may opt to stay in bed and skip your run. However, when you know your training partners are waiting for you, somehow you find away to get yourself up and moving. We all had decided to train together. We had a set training plan and schedule. We met weekly for our long runs. If I had to run 10 miles on my own, I may have found 10 excuses to skip the run that week. Meeting up with my group ensured I kept to the schedule and ultimately allowed me to meet my goal.
Accountability partners would be helpful in any diet or fitness program. I know I am more likely to get to boot camp class if I know my friends will be there. I hadn’t consider this approach for other areas of my life, but I could see the benefits of having someone keep me accountable with any goals I might set.
Do you have an accountability partner? When has it worked or not worked for you? Email me your thoughts and I may use them in a future post.
*I came across these stats while reading Made to Crave, by Lysa Terkeurst.
Happy 2016! Yes, it’s the beginning of another year. Along with that, so many people make new years resolutions. I recently took a poll on my personal Facebook page asking what kinds of resolutions were being made. Not many people admitted to making them. The ones that did, said they were working on organization, less screen time, more service time, etc. No one mentioned health and wellness, yet most everyone I have spoken to, is making some kind of health or fitness resolution. While I always encourage everyone to focus on their health and fitness, I do not encourage people to make weight loss resolutions. While it may work for some, for others it can have the reverse effect.
I no longer make resolutions. My experience is that it generally set me up for a big let down and feeling defeated. I understand why people do it, but to try and implement a huge life change all at once at the beginning of the year is too much pressure. When I had my weight loss success, I started in March and it was a phased approach. I did not make huge changes across the board. There are some things I do want to focus on this year, but I am not calling them resolutions. I am approaching them as simple lifestyle changes and I am certainly not trying to do them all at once. My tendency is to over-commit. I sign up for everything, agree to take on more than I can handle, and then I am running around stressed. After a long conversation with my husband who is generally on the receiving end of my stress, we came up with a plan on how to better manager my commitments. I have prioritized them and then have made decisions on how much time I can devote to each per week, etc. I am not giving anything up, just paring it back. We are into the 2nd week of using this method and so far, I do not feel overwhelmed. My new scheduled allows me some downtime each day. This is critical for me to keep from becoming overwhelmed. The biggest adjustment for me will be learning to say ‘no’ to some things. It is difficult for me to do that, but that is exactly how I get over committed!
So, enough about my changes. Let’s talk about yours. Are you looking to make lifestyle changes with your diet and exercise? If so, here are a few tips:
- Avoid burn out. Don’t make all the changes at once. Suddenly restricting your diet and increasing your exercise all at once, can be overwhelming. Start with one change. Work on it for a week, then add in the other. For example, this week focus on getting up from your desk or couch and walking more. Next week, add in a few dietary changes while you increase your walking.
- Make small goals. Rather than say, ‘I want to lose 10 pounds this month’, commit to making one change that doesn’t involve the scale, like walking 3 days a week. As you successfully hit each goal, you will begin to see changes in yourself and on the scale. Those little successes will keep you going. This is a healthier approach than throwing you hands up and quitting because you were not able to sustain all the HUGE changes you implemented at once. Slow and steady….
- Find a buddy to help you stay motivated and hold you accountable. I like using the My Fitness Pal app with my friends. It help keeps me accountable and I enjoy the positive encouragement I received from my friends.
- Choose an exercise program that suits your fitness level. If you are just starting out, a PiYo class may not be the best choice. Start with biking, walking, or a beginners Yoga or boot camp class. Build from there. As you need more, find new challenging programs that keep it fresh for you.
- Not sure what is best for you? Consult with a trainer for some ideas, but remember to speak to your doctor before starting any new program.
I want to help you be successful. Send me an email with what type of changes you are looking for, and let me help you come up with a reasonable plan to get you going!