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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Motivation
How to Stay Motivated (Especially When It's Cold)

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer has bid us farewell and we’re moving towards the long months of winter. For those of us who live in climates—like Canada’s!—where exercising outdoors gets harder to do with snow and ice on the trails and roads, it can be so easy to lose our motivation for fitness.

It's All About the Mindset

So, what can you do when you don't necessarily have a 5K or another race to train for? How do you stay active?

Change the way you think about exercise!

Fitness is a daily, lifetime pursuit. Even when there’s not another marathon or triathlon on your training schedule, you should be finding ways to stay off the couch and keep healthy.

Planning Makes It Happen

My favorite tool for staying active—one that I’ve used in my own life for more than 20 years—is planning my month in advance. I plan an activity for every day on the calendar, usually five moderate-to-heavy workouts and two lighter activities (e.g. taking a walk) per week, and I check them off as I do what’s on the calendar. Keeping those goals in mind really helps me stay focused—most of the time, I do at least 90% of what I had scheduled (because yes, sometimes life happens and I have to skip a day or two ☺). 
 
(Click here if you’d like a peek at what my calendar looks like—it’s in a video I made about staying motivated.)
 
How will keeping a calendar in this way help you with motivation? First, it gives you accountability, to have specific goals that you want to reach. Better than that, though, you’ll feel good about yourself as you see that you’re checking off your to-do list. There’s a lot of satisfaction in seeing that you are meeting your goals on a daily, weekly, even monthly basis.

Getting Started

So, how should you approach this calendar planning? You’ll want to take an approach that isn’t overwhelming or time-consuming, and I find that the best way is to make a monthly calendar—sitting down just once a month to make a plan, rather than trying to do it on a weekly basis. You don’t have to have a schedule as busy as mine; maybe your goal will be three times a week, gradually building to four or five workouts. 
 
This is a great way to keep yourself on track with daily, weekly, and monthly goals—always reminding yourself of how well you’re doing. It’s really easy to think we’re doing better than we think we are, or to go the other way and not give ourselves enough credit for all that we’ve accomplished.
 
Fitness isn’t about running a race, finishing it, and that’s it. That’s a great goal to have, but what do you aim for when the race is over? Using your monthly calendar can help you have those goals and keep yourself progressing even when you don’t have a specific race in mind.
 
 
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As many of you know, I have been working on my first fitness book for the past 2.5 years (almost 3 now). It’s been a fun challenge, and one that has required more time and effort than I originally thought. I kind of feel like I have been talking about this for a long time!

Initially I figured the “hard” part would be to simply complete the book…all 375 pages of it, but it turns out the most difficult part has been to pass it on to a stranger (an editor) to read it for the first time. Funny how a 5-minute email was more challenging than nearly 3 years of research and writing!

There are only a few things that scare me…. and probably one of the scariest is to put myself out there. This process has definitely made me uncomfortable. It’s one thing to write…it’s another to have someone else read it. It’s personal, and therefore a bit of a sensitive subject. Even writing this blog about it is uncomfortable!  

Once I found the courage to forward the manuscript to the editor I had a sense of fear…but also a sense of relief that I was going to get a professional to help me out and guide me through another learning process. I explained this in my email to Erinne; the editor, and this was part of the email she sent back to me…

“Also don't be terrified :) I work with manuscripts the way I'm sure you work with bodies. It's not about the state they are in when they come to you; it's about where they want to go and how you can help get them there, right? “

This email had me thinking…this is what many of my clients (and future clients) have and will feel about hiring me as their personal trainer. Sometimes it is kind of intimidating or downright scary to ask for some guidance…but in time, the process becomes more natural, and the initial phone call or email is worth it because you will always have growth in moments of discomfort.  

Everyone has a starting place, (whether that is in sports, fitness, book writing, sewing, cooking, gardening, chess…you name it), don’t’ let the fear of judgment get in your way of fulfilling the life you want. Stick your nose out there a little bit and test it out…you will be amazed at how empowering it is to just go for it!

Angela

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