Thursday, August 25, 2011

Motivation and Accountability

To continue on the exercise topic from yesterday, I wanted to talk about motivation and accountability.

A lot of people ask me how I stay motivated to exercise. As of late I turn to exercise as a healthy form of stress relief. Being in sales, juggling the schedules of 4 kids, upcoming soccer coaching and whatever else life brings really can make things seem overwhelming. Exercise is the one thing that I know I have control of, and will help me to be able to tackle the rest of my day.

I recently took a sales training on being more productive. The instructor said that people fall into two categories either a starter or a finisher. I can tell you without hesitation that I'm definintely a starter and I have gotten into the habit of starting the day with a clear head by getting those exercise endorphins first thing. I even go to sleep most nights in my gym clothes for the next day so that Im not trying to find stuff in the morning and procrastinate. I also will make sure things are ready for the next day like the coffee set up , lunches made, and most of the time clothes laid out for the kids. This helps me to make sure that I am not cutting into my exercise time and that i get a good workout.

I especially love the days that I run. When the air is still cool and there are not a ton of people awake and moving about. The peace is something that really has helped me. Of course now that its not getting light until darker I am forced to head back to the gym more frequemtly. While I dont get the fresh air there are definitely benefits here too. Being comptetitve in nature when i see other people working out hard it definitely helps me to push myself a little bit more than if i was working out alone.

Not everyone is a starter of course, if you ask my husband I think he would definitely consider himself a finisher. He goes to the gym after the kids are in bed, is up late and generally is a lot more productive in the evening hours than I . Guess the point I'm trying to make is that you need to see what works best for you and get into a routine.

So once you have this routine how do you stick with it? For those who are facebook friends with me you will see me post most mornings with what I have done. A lot of my friends joke saying im crazy for running 8 miles before 8 am on a Saturday or signing up for all these races. Most of the feedback I received however has been positive. I have had quite a few people say I have inspired them to start exercising again. I am very happy to hear that as I always feel that I might be bordering on obnoxious. Posting on a site like facebook does a couple things for me. First it helps me to feel a sense of accomplishment as typically someone will give me a thumbs up or way to go and while small those little motivators make a huge difference. Secondly it holds me accountable as a lot of my friends are runners and are training for a race like I am. By logging our activity its almost like checking a box saying mission accomplished. Again different things motivate different people but this is what I found has worked for me.

So if there are people other than my family reading this while I start out here, what have you found to help you stay motivated and accountable?


Amy P said...

Ok....I'm family but I'll still post about what motivates me because I think you and I took our journey down the road to getting healthy around the same time and I know it's changed both our lives. My main motivation is staying healthy and feeling confident about myself. No matter what people say...if you are comfortable with the way you look you'll feel better about yourself over all. Like you, I also feel like working out is something I have control over as well as eating healthy...its all about the choices you make. Another big motivation is being able to be there for my daughters as they grow up...I'm able to keep up with them and hopefully set an example of the lifestyle that will keep them healthy and fit as they grow. You motivate me with your posts and hopefully I've done the same for you in the past. Can't wait to do races together again! Xoxo

Tracy said...

Ok well family is ok too thanks for being my first commenter and yes it will be nice to run together again soon.