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?