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How to make New Year’s Resolutions Stick

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The New Year is upon us.  Many people see this as a time for a fresh start, as a time to do things differently than the year before.  Whatever happened the year before is done and gone and this is the fresh page of a new chapter.  Some people see resolutions as bad, but why?  Humans are always changing, always evolving.  It’s ok to recognize faults or things we aren’t happy with and try to work on them to improve how we feel about ourselves.

It has also been said that over 80% of people will not stick to their New Year’s plan by February.  FEBRUARY!  That’s one month off to a great start and then nothing. Nada.  These people start out the year well- with the right intentions and probably the right mindset, but old habits die hard.  Life happens.  And the New Year’s resolutions are gone.  I’ve even heard that some people have the same resolution every year, or close to.

You probably know those people- maybe they are you?  Maybe the resolution is to workout more.  A gym membership is bought (usually for a cheap price), swearing to those around you this will be different… there are often a lot of visits in the first week or two, but the visits consist of walking in-maybe doing some cardio-maybe doing some weights, knowing the difference between the “regulars” and those there for their resolutions.  Maybe it’s even a little intimidating.  The results aren’t there that you would have hoped for.  Excuses start to take creep in.  And now there’s this gym membership being paid for, but not being used.

Let’s make 2019 different.  Create a plan now to make 2019 the year that you stick to your New Year’s Plan.  Maybe it’s eating healthier, working out more, more self-care, deeper dive into your spirituality, more time unplugged.  Whatever the resolution, there are definitely steps that can be taken to lead to continual success instead of starting strong, crashing and burning.

Let’s be one of 20%. It’s not hard, but it will require work (if it was easy, there wouldn’t be an 80% failure rate, right?)

  • WRITE OUT THE GOAL.  I know this is nothing new, but seriously- write it out.  If your goal is to be unplugged- then write down how often you are going to allow yourself screen time each day.  If you want to lose weight- write down how much and by when and how are you going to do it.  (it is safe to lose 1-2lbs a week).  Maybe you have a big goal- and if you do, then break it down into small goals (more on that later).  Write them down where you can see them every day (even post its on your bathroom mirror).
  • START SMALL.  Small steps that you can work on regularly integrating into your life will result in higher success rates than starting out doing too much, too fast.  Doing too much, too fast will cause disruption in the life you are used it.  It will shock your body and will result in easier burn out.  Depending upon what your resolution is, it can also result in injury as your body isn’t prepared to withstand the quick changes you are throwing at it and it just can’t keep up.  Start with a couple days a week and after you are successful with that for a couple weeks, then up it to 3 days a week.  Then 4, etc.
  • SMALL GOALS WITH REGULAR CHECKINS.  Let’s say your goal is to run a marathon in 2019.  Or maybe you’re not a runner at all, but your goal is to run a 5K.  If you’ve never ran a 5K or a marathon before, don’t start out the gate expecting that’s going to happen right away.  For the 5K- start with an easy run training program like FIT4MOM’s 5K training.  Make the goal that you are going to run a mile without walking by a certain date.  When that happens- celebrate. Then make it 2 miles.  Celebrate.  For the marathon- find a marathon later in the year.  Sign up for a 5K first, then a 10K, then maybe even a half marathon before you tackle the marathon.  And again- celebrate the success.  Run the 5K and celebrate.
  • CELEBRATIONS.  This needs to be it’s own step.  Most of the population has a higher extrinsic motivation than intrinsic motivation.  That means, we feel more success and accomplishment with external factors than internal.  Rewards vs. the sense of “feeling better” or “feeling accomplished”.   As a workout plan gains success and longevity, that is when intrinsic motivation usually will take over.  Until then, set up small celebrations for success.  Ideas for celebrations include a meal at a favorite restaurant, some new workout gear, a coffee date with a friend (and have that friend help with your accountability…more on that next), time by yourself, taking time to watch your favorite show or movie.  Maybe even make yourself a sticker chart, and after “x” amount of stickers (sticking to your goal) then have a celebration.  Have the sticker chart visible and the act of placing a sticker on the chart is sometimes celebration enough because it gives a sense of accomplishment.  Add your written goal (see above) to your sticker chart.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY.  Find a friend, spouse, coworker, group, or coach that wants you to be successful, maybe even shares your goals, and use them as your accountability partner.  (or a combination of a couple of those) Maybe you need a coach that is being paid to hold you accountable.  Maybe a small group that is going to be expecting you to show up?  Maybe it’s just a friend that shares your goals and you are going to hold each other accountable.  Humans generally want to make other humans happy (not always the case).  But they want to make other humans happy that they respect.  If you respect someone and you know they are watching out for you, chances are you going to do what you need to do to make them happy.  Your success is their happiness.  (Check out the “Accountability” Blog for more).

5 steps to success.  Be the 20% this year.  Don’t let your goals, your resolutions go to the wayside and have them appear on our 2020 resolution list.  This year can be different.  This year will be different.  This year is the year of YOU- you have your resolution because you want things to be different, whether they are big or small.  And there is nothing wrong with that.

Cheers to 2019- let’s do this.

 

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The “Why” behind the Workout

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If we have no body, we have nothing to serve with…

Those words echoed in my head today sitting in the church.  I was surrounded by rows of people. All the chairs were full.  I looked around.  Were they hearing what he was saying?  It was one of those moments I wanted to leap from my chair- hands raised up with a triumphant “YES!”

Yes!  Our pastor today was seriously telling everyone to take care of the body we have so that we may serve better.  aka: Workout.  Eat to Fuel.  Listen to your soul.  Rest.  It was my world of health and fitness combining with my spiritual life with a sudden BAM! And it was beautiful.  And then he said something else… physical wellness and spiritual wellness should not be two separate entities… but they should support one another and be one in the same.  What? So in working out, eating right, being “well”, my spiritual life can also grow.  Lightbulb.

The crazy thing is, it’s not just my spiritual life, but my whole life that benefits.  Take a second to reflect.  What’s your purpose?  Really- what do you do every day?  What do you wake up to do? What gets you going? Career? School?  Wiping noses and kissing boo-boos?  Teaching and shaping young minds?  Is that your purpose?  How are you living that out?

My purpose right now?  To help moms be the healthiest version of themselves so they can show up every day to this thing called motherhood and rock it.  They can keep up with their kids.  They can play the games.  They can do all the things because they are able to.  They can feel like they aren’t alone and that they have a village that loves and supports them.  My more important purpose is to keep my own family happy, healthy, and safe.  And I can do that because I am able.

Am I tired?  Everyday.  Does my brain ever stop worrying or overthinking everything?  Nope.  Do I usually think I’m royally screwing something up?  Yup.  But can I mentally and physically give what I need to my kids, Jeremy, and those around me? Heck yes.  Because I take time to care for me.  Physically and spiritually.  (and again, please note, no where did I say it was easy.  But I can do it).

So now the question is- are you taking care of yourself in the way that supports you being able to live out your purpose? I was asked that today sitting in my chair about 20 rows back from the stage.  Not asked individually, but asked as a collective whole.  I was able to answer yes.  And I wonder if other people in the room were able to answer the same.  I’m not saying that to be prideful or boastful.  It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am.  And I’m not perfect, yet.  But I’m getting there.

So the thing is- I don’t workout or try to “eat right” because I want to be the skinniest or the strongest (though that would be a nice bonus, I won’t lie).  I workout so that I can live a functional and fulfilling life.  I workout so that I can sprint across the house and bound up steps when I hear one of the babies crying for me.  I workout so that I can run across the grass and jump over a bike to keep a kid from running in the street.  I workout so when my 4 year old tells me he wants to ride a bike without training wheels, I can run alongside of him to catch him if he falls.  I workout so I can separate a Royal Rumble happening in my living room when there’s just one of me and two … or five of them.  I workout so I can have quiet alone time.  (yeah, you read that right- I run without music or noise so that my brain can rest and my body can work- it makes for some great clarity on many issues and decisions.  and it’s quiet).  Some people workout to be with other people- I workout to be by myself.  I workout to be happy.  (working out creates endorphins- endorphins make you happy- yada yada.  But it’s true).  I workout so that I’m not out of breath doing day to day tasks.  I workout so that when I’m a grandparent- I still will be able to do all these things.  Do I still take naps?  Sometimes.  I call it self-care.  Some days I need a 20 (or 60) min power nap to get through the day with the crazy trio.  Some days I can keep going.  It’s all about listening and knowing when to stop and when to go.  Working out doesn’t have to be because you want to look great.  Who cares?  Working out should happen so that you can show up to whatever life throws at you being the best version of you.

So now I ask you.  How are you taking care of what you were given?

A friend posted tonight that she challenges everyone to live out the last 90 days of 2018 with the same motivation and determination as the first 90 days of 2018.  I love that.  What were your goals?  Have they changed?  Are they the same?  Do you still have that motivation.  I would love to challenge all of you do to the same- make the last 90 days just as good as the first 90.

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My Teenager

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It hit me today…  I’m almost the mom of an adult.

By the time the twins are in kindergarten, I will be the mom of an adult.

Want to know how I figured that one out?  When I was sitting in the passenger seat of MY CAR while he drove us to his school.  Did you read that?  He DROVE me.

Sh**

And now that I’m a little more into my day, and the coffee has kicked in, I realized that my sleepless nights ahead will no longer come from the babies, but from my oldest.  I love that I have kids at all stages of life.  It allows me to relate to so many more moms and stories they tell, but it also allows me to be a little humble and gracious to the stages my kids are each going through because they are all so uniquely different.  Life lessons as a teenager are HARD.  They are beyond potty training accidents and sleep training and positive discipline (or not so positive in my case some days).  And they are not going to get easier.

These are legit life lessons.  I can’t grab his hand and pull him back out of the path of a car or hold him in the deep end.  I can’t kiss an owie to make it better or find his favorite blanket to cuddle.  (Well, I could, but… I’d lose the cool-mom points that I have still remaining).

My child is driving a huge metal object that weighs a ton (especially Betty… yeah, he drove Betty… that should be extra credit).  Mistakes mean potentially a lot of damage.  He did great- he’s so cautious.  My dad always told me to be on the defense, don’t assume anyone around you is a great driver.  I get it.  Aiden will be a great driver and he won’t be the kid that does a lot of stupid stuff (he probably will, but I’m going to play naive for now)- but it’s everyone else around him that worries me.  (Like the lady who was tailgating us through our neighborhood this morning as he was following the speed limit… man, did I want to get out of the car.  I didn’t.  I also only went to grab the wheel once… which I think is pretty good for a 5 minute drive!)

It’s not just physical mistakes.  The heart and brain life-lessons are hard, too.  He had a coach yesterday tell him some not great things (when I thought he played a freaking fantastic game and had two tricky corner kicks get past him… and all the other members on the team).  That hurts.  That stings.  And it’s hard to teach them that sometimes ADULTS forget they are dealing teenagers and that they shouldn’t take their frustrations of a tied game out on them.  On the flip side, he’s old enough to handle that now and we’re beyond everyone getting a trophy or medal for participation, or making a team because they will cash your check you write them (yeah, I said it- if you haven’t entered the world of club sports yet, just have your check book ready.)

And love… We’re not into dating yet (at least I don’t think he is).  And maybe the first broken heart will be his sister’s, and not his, but I’m not looking forward to that day.  What if he’s the one doing the heart breaking?  Lesson too, right?

So I have these toddlers learning life lessons through “yes”, “no”, “that hurts”, “that doesn’t hurt”, etc.  The “lessons” seem so small compared to what I’m dealing with in regards to the big kids.  (even though in that moment with the littles, I totally admit I often overreact and make them really a big deal).  And now I have this teenager, and another almost teenager, that are learning some really big stuff.  And unlike the littles, most of the bigs’ lessons, I just have to sit back and offer support.  I can’t take the lead.  I shouldn’t take the lead … if I did … they wouldn’t learn the lesson, right?  I have no control.  (There it is- my control issues).  I can’t be there to “fix” it like I do with the littles.  The bigs have ground they have to uncover themselves.  I can only hope I did lay their foundation right, and that I did everything I could during those small life lessons to create success (whatever that definition is) in the big life lessons that are about to come.  It also made me realize how important the littles’ life lessons really are.  They lay the foundation.

However, if Aiden and Lucy come to me one day looking for their blanket for comfort, or to kiss an owie, or pull them out of oncoming traffic.  You best believe I will be right there, cool mom points or not.

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Why Accountability Matters.

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You know this couldn’t be my blog without me talking about working out/healthy living in some form or another.

Here we go…

Moms need to workout.  They do.  I’m not saying to lose weight or look great in that bikini, because really, no one is looking.  (at least I’m not, I’m just trying to make sure my 3 littles have decided to not try to be sting rays at the bottom of the pool… not lying, it happened).  Moms need to workout the same reasons everyone else does.  It makes you feel better (endorphins?  I heard working out creates endorphins, endorphins make people happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands… lol), it creates time for yourself, it helps you feel a sense of accomplishment, on top of all the other health benefits I’ll go into another time.

So how does a mom do it? I mean, we’re busy right?  We have to schlep kids around, attend all the meetings, go to work, cook the dinner, clean the house, meet the people… you get it. Working out needs to be a priority.  It’s never going to get easier than right now.

I’ve been in this profession for awhile now.  Teaching PE for 13 years, owning my own business for almost 3… I’ve seen a lot.  I’ve helped a ton of different clients, from students to busy moms, and they all share one common factor in their success in reaching their goals.  You guessed it, ACCOUNTABILITY.  It changes the game when you know someone else is watching out for your success.

People that know that other people are looking out for them to do their workouts are more likely to do them.  I wish I knew why.  Some people mean well, but their intrinsic motivation just isn’t there.  “Most” people are people-pleasers, and they, themselves, want to feel cared about… like they matter.  They don’t want to let someone down; especially someone that they respect or care about.  And creating accountability creates the sense that someone is looking out for you to do this- it will make them happy for you, which will make you happy for you!  Crazy how impactful human relationships can be!

I’m leading this online based run training right now.  We don’t meet up during the week.  We met in the beginning and we are all running a 5K together at the end.  We have this Facebook group though that we all check in after we complete our training runs, and guess what!  It’s working!!  These moms are teachers, work from home, work out of the home, stay at home and are all training at different levels, but they are all finding success.  Why?  Because they know the group is waiting for them to check in every day.  Every run.  So many of them have said they would have given up by now, but they know the group is there watching for them.  Accountability matters.

How do you find accountability?

  • Run Groups- you can find free and paid run groups all around.  Run Junkies, DNA, and FIT4MOM all offer great run programs for all levels of runners.
  • Find a partner- Regardless of how you want to workout (Zumba, HIIT, Boot Camp, running, pilates, etc). find a partner that the two of you will commit to go together and stick with it.  Text each other to check in and stay motivated together.
  • Find a Small Group Fitness place- If you are the person that can’t work out at home (it’s hard for me to!), find a gym or studio that is going to know you by name every time you walk in the door.  They will notice if you miss a few days or a week or two and should reach out to you.  Plus, you’ll end up seeing the same people in class and that, in and of itself, is a great form of accountability.  Find your tribe.  They will build you up.

It’s easy for moms these days to find workout plans online and try to set up a plan to follow them.  Some moms find great success in this.  Others (like me), have great intentions that don’t always last.  However, being part of a group- having a partner- having accountability is the key to making sustainable changes in your workout plan.

Who can you ask to be your accountability partner?  I’m sure they are looking for you, too.

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