Self-Motivation vs. Self-Accountability
Raise your hand if you’ve set your alarm to get in a workout before work, only to lay there in the morning when it goes off thinking of an excuse to validate hitting snooze. We’ve all been there. You are not alone. I mean it’s hardly even fair given how comfy our beds and pillows are!
When it comes to health and fitness, the number one thing that people struggle with is accountability. Often, we are the only ones holding ourselves accountable, which makes us more likely to be lax when it comes to creating and sticking with good habits!
Sure, the world has created mechanisms for helping with accountability. There are apps, trackers, challenges, contests, programs, goal setting, etc. But guess what! Each of those things still require self-accountability. That’s right! A tracker only works if you input your information consistently and accurately. An app only holds you accountable if you actually open it up each day.
Believe me I am a huge fan of accountability helpers. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to YOU and your commitment to the goal that you set for yourself. No buddy system or month-long challenge is going to be a cure all if you haven’t found an effective way to stay motivated!
As a personal trainer, I know a thing or two about motivating others, but it’s a whole different game when it comes to motivating yourself. Often times we can be our own worst critics, and our own worst enablers. So how do we break the cycle and find a way to truly motivate ourselves? I’m sharing my four favorite tricks for sticking to your health and fitness goals that will make you a self-motivating machine!
Self-motivation is all about being your biggest fan
It’s not easy, but it’s the best gift you can give yourself. If you need a place to get started, or just want to change up your fitness routine, sign up for my virtual personal training program Body In Motion and take my Four Week Tone-up Challenge. This challenge gives you what you need to follow the four tricks we just talked about.
Spring is here!!!! So, let’s get out there and motivate ourselves to live the healthiest and happiest lifestyles we can! Sign up for the Body in Motion virtual personal trainer membership today and be sure to check out the 4 week tone-up challenge to kick-start your progress!
It is so easy to create excuses to keep us from starting habits for a healthy and active lifestyle, even if we know that starting it can greatly benefit us. We all want a quick fix, a magic pill to do exactly what we want done, a snap of the finger and BAM you look good and are healthy as a horse. But if I’m being honest, it doesn’t happen that way.
Sure there are trendy crash diets and workout challenges that help people achieve a goal in a short period of time, but that doesn’t last long. Those results don’t last, and usually lead to unhealthy habits that continue and repeat. To really get on track, it is okay to start small and to start slow. You want to get into a healthy habit and create routines. The goal is to create a lifestyle that you can keep up with, so you can enjoy life and love who you are.
It may be a new year, but every day is a new one, so why not get started now? The best way, that I have found, to keep me on track with my goals is to write down everything. So do it, write it all down - everything you want to accomplish, how you are going to accomplish your goals, the things that make you feel good - write it all down.
Create a list each week of what needs to get done. Set your priorities, so the most important tasks can be finished first. Create small goals each day/week that are easy and realistic for you to complete.
How do you make health a priority? Focus on movement, on drinking more water, on eating your fruits and veggies, on getting more rest and sleep. Think about why you are doing this, is it for yourself?
Some examples of these health and fitness goals can be:’
In order to see the results, you have to start somewhere, you have to progress, you have to build, and you have to be CONSISTENT. Create a healthy habit, and make a lifestyle for yourself.
Get organized - Set your priorities - Get started - Hit those goals
Jenna Webster CSCS
“It’s a lifestyle.” You may hear a lot of gym goers and health enthusiasts say this all the time. And it’s true. It IS a lifestyle. It becomes something that is just a part of the way we do things on a day to day basis. It’s not a hassle to us, it makes us feel good, it makes us feel alive, and it’s not a burden to keep up with. But, if health and fitness is not a part of how you do things, how do you get it to become a part of your life?
The goal is to make health and fitness a habit in your life. By consciously making healthy choices for yourself on a day to day basis will become a part of your lifestyle.
4 Tips in creating a habit out of fitness and keeping your body in motion.
1. Make your rest days ACTIVE. Recovery and rest days from training and the gym are important for muscle development, strength development, it helps to avoid overtraining, and helps in injury prevention. But rest days don’t necessarily mean to sit around on our butts watching netflix for the entire day to only get up to check the fridge or hit the loo.
Rest days are about taking a break from your gym routine and training. But you can still move your body to keep your muscles in motion. This means, moving through very light activity like leisure walks or bike rides, going on hikes, swimming, yoga, playing sports and games with your friends and family, gardening, cleaning, doing something that you enjoy outside of the gym and keeping yourself active.
2. Avoid consecutive rest days. When planning our rest days, it can be very tempting to just give ourselves two days in a row - this tends to be Saturday and Sunday. This is fine if you are consistently getting into the gym and nailing your workouts. But for someone just starting off whose goal is to turn fitness into a habit, it's better to avoid consecutive rest days. One day is fine, the second day the motivation starts to dwindle, and the third day is a debate whether you should allow yourself one more day of rest “because it’s just ONE day.”
In my opinion, it’s better to split the rest days up when you want to keep yourself in control and moving towards your goals.
3. Train EFFICIENTLY in the time you have. Life is busy! No matter who you are, somedays/weeks/months may feel like you have no control and no time for your full workouts. But start thinking of the workouts as movements rather than a chore, and when life gets crazy and hectic - it’s okay to just go through the movements. If getting 20 or 30 minute sessions on some days stresses you out with everything else around you, focus on making a conscious effort to just get movements in throughout the day or or move through a quick routine of 4-6 exercises for 10-15minutes in your day.
4. Get an accountability partner. Accountability is something that will externally motivate you to get your workout and movements in! Having a friend/family member who has the same goals as you on your team, or hiring a fitness trainer/coach to help guide you in the right direction, even the accountability of joining a group fitness class can help you stay on track.
The idea is having somebody help you live up to your promise to yourself. This person will help you stay honest and can help push you each day to do what you said you would. Even on those tough days that you just don’t feel like it. Sometimes when we have that little push from someone, it can help us get moving - and there are never regrets on those days after a completed activity.
New Year’s Resolutions can be a cliché that can either help you grow, or for many of us, be something that makes absolutely no changes because we don’t follow through with the thought. The most common of these clichés is to workout more and eat healthier. If this is your resolution every year, and you decided to try for it once more, let’s talk about setting it forth and becoming successful.
How are you setting yourself up for success? Other than the overall goal of “workout more” and “eat healthier”, have you set any achievable goals for yourself? This does not have to be something to fail at. You can really succeed, as long as you have a plan. Speaking the words of change out loud is not going to magically give you the body you deserve, make you faster or give you better endurance. Speaking the words of change is not going to magically make you buff or give you the 6 pack of your dreams, drop your resting HR, or even lower your blood pressure. But, Planning, hard work, consistency, patience, and routines will help get you there OVERTIME. So even though you may be starting in the new year, don’t think of this as a 1 year only road. You have to create the habit, stick with it, and it will become a part of your lifestyle.
Let’s start a habit and keep it consistent with these tips:
Don’t be the cliché that doesn’t follow through with your resolution. If you want a change, you and only you can make it happen. So, let’s get started!
Jenna Webster CSCS
I shredded for the wedding!
Jenna Webster, ACSM, ACE – Personal trainer specializing in empower busy women to live healthy and active lifestyles!”