Staying Motivated, Creating Habits

We’ve all been there…the starting point of a lifestyle change. Whether motivated by an upcoming event, or by watching a riveting episode of The Biggest Loser, getting into better shape is one of the number one goals of women (and men) around the world.

Maybe it’s for overall health, or maybe it’s for the “Holy Smokes, you got hot!” Something motivates us, and we take off running toward a goal like someone is chasing us. The first few days, or even weeks, we are unstoppable (cue song “Eye of the Tiger”)! The alarm goes off in the morning, and we are up and ready to take on the world, one elliptical at a time!

Then, the inevitable happens…motivation starts to fade. Thoughts start crossing your mind like, “I’m a mom, I really shouldn’t be wearing a two piece anyway”, or “Those fit women really just have too much time on their hands. They must not have children.”

Here is the truth. If there is something that you really want…you will find a way to do it. If not, you will find an excuse not to. It is not some magical willpower that gets people through when motivation dies, it is habit.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going” – Jim Rohn

It’s easy enough for me to say, “Just keep doing it, it will become a habit eventually”. While there is some truth to that, I know that’s much easier said than done. So here a couple of “Fit Mom Tips” to help keep you motivated while creating your healthy habit:

  1. Look good, feel good
    No woman likes to feel unattractive. For me, one bad outfit or hair malfunction can set me off track for an entire day. The same thing applies to our time spent working out. If you feel sloppy, uncomfortable, or just plain yucky in your workout gear…it’s time to go shopping! You will be surprised at how motivating it can be to feel confident in what you look like while at the gym (or at home with your beach body DVDs). Like your shoulders? Make sure you get a cute tank top to show them off! Don’t like your stomach? Get a looser bright t-shirt to match your neon running shoes! Whatever it may, dress to impress yourself during your workout. A confident woman is a strong woman! You don’t have to break the bank either to look good. I love clearance sections and thrift stores!

  2. Break Bad Habits
    Bad habits can sabotage even the best effort to create a healthy one. Don’t let all of your hard work be brought down by making poor choices outside of the gym! Here are the top three bad habits for Moms:
    • Nutrition. The biggest culprit is a poor diet. You CAN NOT out exercise a poor diet! I’ll elaborate on proper eating in another post, as nutrition is just as important as physical fitness. Until then, eat clean! Do not take two steps forward in the gym and three steps back in the kitchen.

    • Sleep. What’s that, right? As a mom of four, I know that it can be near impossible to get a solid, good night’s rest. My four-year-old still enjoys waking me up a few times a night, just so I can tuck him back in to bed after his blanket falls off of him. That being said, set yourself up to win by hitting the sack early. An extra hour of sleep is way more rewarding then who the guest is on The Tonight Show. If your body is tired, the motivation to hit the gym drops significantly…and if you do make it, you aren’t able to push yourself as hard as you would if you are rested.

    • Booze. Yes, I have to be the bearer of bad news here. As much as we Moms deserve a rewarding glass of wine at the end of a long, exhausting day…moderation is key. Alcohol is a source of empty calories, but it also can lead to making other poor nutrition choices. What goes better with a nice cold beer than a slice of pizza? Nothing is better after pizza than a few Oreos…and it spirals. This is the woman’s version of “If you give a mouse a cookie...” Limit yourself to a couple of adult beverages a week, and stick to it. I saw tremendous results when I converted my evening wine to a weekly one. You’d be surprised at how little changes can make big differences!

  3. Eyes on the Prize

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence…is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

    If we are what we repeatedly to, then we should train our brains to think consistently about what it is we want to be doing. Reading fitness magazine, blogs, and articles are great sources for getting information and tips, but it also is a great form of motivation. There are multiple great fitness motivation Facebook pages to “like” so you can even get motivated while seeing what your cousin Jenny made for dinner last night. Pinterest, Tumbler, and Instagram are also great resources for visual motivation. While it’s great to look at women online that have they type of body you are striving for, don’t get hung up on trying to look exactly like her. Your goal is to be a better version of who you were yesterday. Do not compare someone else’s journey to your own, because we are all on our own unique path. That doesn’t mean that seeing Heidi Klum in a bikini doesn’t make me want to drop and do 20 sit ups on the spot!

All in all, not even body builders or fitness models feel like working out all of the time. With time, and persistency, it becomes something you just do, like taking a shower. Trust me, once you start seeing results…it will become something that you crave.

Until next time,

The Fit Mom.

About the Author...
Rachel Smith
I have a passion for life, and a big part of that is my passion for fitness.
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