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Healthy Holiday Motivation – 5 Tips

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

I'm Dreaming of a White...

This is the time of year when millions thousands a crapload of people you and your best friends Betty and Veronica make resolutions and promises, some of them involving blood, toil, tears and sweat (quick, history buffs, who said this?)! This Season of Determination is quickly followed by the Season of Broken Dreams, as resolutions go out the door faster than old eggnog (an evil holiday beverage).

But do not despair; instead get motivated. There are ways to help yourself get and stay motivated to implement your goals.

Season of Broken Dreams

1. Focus on the Process, not the Outcome–The process is the road there; the outcome is the final destination. You cannot get from here to there without some sort of journey. In practice, this means take it one step at a time. Set yourself up for success by naming and writing down the steps it will take to get you where you want to be. “Get Super Buff” is a fuzzy outcome, because it’s not defined. What would that look like for you, and how will you get there?

Journey, not Destination

2. Make it More Fun–If you hate running, why promise yourself you’ll start a running program? In this situation, “running” is spelled F.A.I.L.U.R.E. As I mention in our Womensradio  radio broadcast on this topic, if you love to dance to Led Zeppelin, that’s what will be fun for you. Who cares if everyone else loves boot camp if your thing is boogie-ing down to disco classics?

Boogie Down with your Fit Self

3. Allow Yourself Opportunities for Mastery–Find activities you can do that allow you to become good at something. For example, if you hate push-ups, why beat yourself up that you cannot do a flying push-up (maybe I’ll post video of this someday)? Instead, try a wall or knee push-up.  Then you can legitimately tell yourself, “I did a push-up.” This is highly motivating and will lead to further successes!

4. Go With a Friend–Whether it’s in person, (a walk or exercise class together), or by check-in (“Hey, did you go to your fitness class today?), being accountable to a friend dramatically increases the chance that you’ll keep to your plan. No-one likes to be the one to let a friend down.

5. Avoid Comparisons–Face it, you will never be the person you were in college or your wedding (unless they were in your very recent past). You are older, and probably have a better ability to pace yourself now anyway! Comparing yourself to your distant past is like asking for a date with disappointment (yes, I know him. He was all hands). And comparing yourself to how you should be in some never-quite-there future doesn’t work either. If you must compare yourself to something, choose yesterday. Then do something that is more than yesterday and you’ll have a good basis for comparison. While you’re at it, don’t compare yourself to others either. They’re all either better-looking (darn your parents for those imperfect genes) or worse-looking (that’s just mean), so stop it right now! (Of course, I have an identical twin, so have a lot of experience with the comparison business – so sad for her!)

Speaking of my imaginary twin, she wrote an excellent piece on this very topic (wow, what a coincidence)!

Photo credits: Photobucket

Dear Motivated Readers: What little “tricks” do you use to help yourself stay motivated? And why is the word “ate” in “motivate?”

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