Self-discipline can be self-torture or it can save a life. It can scare you to death or it can motivate the creation of plan that makes your dreams come true. Discipline typically means requiring yourself to do a laundry list of things that you normally would avoid! You know the stream of self-talk that runs through your brain? A lot of it reverberates from an uncompleted to-do list. Ever beat yourself up because you didn’t leap that mountain fast enough or you didn’t memorize the complete dictionary before you left work?
Sound crazy? If self-discipline is about doing lots of things, things often do get crazy fast.
How about if the plan included doing what is possible with consistency? How about if you do what you can and do it fully? Nothing encourages good decisions like a positive experience. Success generates more success. Failure generates a fear of even trying. How about focusing on the consistency of your efforts rather than lurching forward and then falling backwards? How about focusing on your long term intention rather than setting yourself up to fail?
Go for a long, long string of small successes!
The LITTLE things that we can do every day ADD UP to big success on our health and strength goals.
I listed some of the little things that I do below. I’d LOVE to hear about the little things you do!
Often I wear my workout clothes under my regular clothes because it makes it easier for me to work out if I’m already ready!
I take two stairs at a time when I go upstairs.
I sit on the floor a lot. Every time I get up to get something I stand without using my arms to push up. Even if you have to kneel and push with your hands to get up, you get stronger every time you do it!
This month I was part of a burpee challenge. The goal is to do 1000 before the end of the month. I’ve learned that I can get a lot done if I do them in small sets frequently throughout the day. The total done at the end of the day is definitely respectable.
Cut high calorie things like cheese into smaller pieces and keep them in a baggie for when you want a snack. Tell yourself that you can have a certain number and it feels like you can eat more because they are cut into those smaller pieces.
After making your soup, put it in the refrigerator so the fat will congeal on top. Scoop off and throw away the fat before reheating it.
Take the stairs instead of elevators whenever you can.
Park a little farther away from the building so you get a little more walk time.
Use every trip to the bathroom as a reminder or cue to yourself to do 10 or so of some exercise before you leave the bathroom.
- Stand in a squat while brushing your teeth.
When you choose to participate in a challenge, almost always you exercise more than you would have otherwise. That’s a good thing! Challenges provide structure and accountability which is helpful for almost everyone. But, I’ve noticed that since we’re all at different levels of fitness, not everyone can do or would benefit from many challenges suggested.
Enter the DIY March Challenge… Yup, let’s do a Do It Yourself Challenge!
Let’s say you want stronger abs. Let’s say that today you can do 5 sit-ups or 50 sit-ups. That’s your starting point. Next you need to decide how many sit-ups you want to be able to do by the end of the month. Yes, that’ll be a tricky number to come up with. Hopefully by the end of the month you’ll not only have stronger abs but you’ll have a little more self-awareness. If you can do 5 sit-ups today, how about you add one more every other day? That means that by the end of March you’ll be able to do 20 sit-ups at a time! If you are the 50 sit-ups person, how about you add 5 more per day? By the end of March you’ll be doing 155 or so. Too much? Too little? That’s OK; by the end of the month you’ll still have stronger abs if you do the challenge every day AND you’ll know better how to set yourself up for the DIY April Challenge!
You could make your challenge about number of times you swim, the number of miles you walk or run, or the number of pounds you can lift. You create the challenge that challenges you!
Are you in?
If yes, if you’d like, describe your challenge in the comments here. And, if you’re on social media, post your progress daily using #DIYMARCHCHALLENGE
I’ll be seeing you on twitter!
Summer is winding down and as a gardener, that makes me a little sad. BUT… As September fast approaches, I’m aware that the changing season also brings the possibility of new beginnings. In fact, I love that there will be more time for renewing goals and shifting priorities. With the changing weather our focus on outside can move inside. Our personal growth and fitness goals can float back up on the priority list.
But, let’s not just do the same ole same ole… How about trying out a new way to engage in and celebrate successes?
Being able to see evidence of progress makes all our fitness efforts feel even better!
Here’s a way to help you keep your fitness goals front and center.
On the first day of each month, set a goal for that month. It can be whatever works for you. Maybe you want to get to a certain weight or certain body measurements. Maybe you want to eliminate certain unhealthy foods. Or, you might want to work out a certain number of minutes per day. Setting a goal to meditate every day would be a great fitness goal.
Then, post that goal on the Fitness Beyond Expectations Facebook page.
At the end of the month, you can celebrate or adjust your goal however you want!
I think it’s pretty safe to say that consistency is possibly the hardest part of any fitness program. This is true even for those of us who know the importance of consistent exercise. Still, it’s hard.
Sometimes working on a goal can be easier when you get support from others. The encouragement is nice but often it’s the accountability that really motivates. If someone is counting on you to show up somewhere or to do something at a certain time, it’s a lot harder to blow it off! Yes?
So, here’s an idea anyone can try to help with that. If you are already part of a fitness group, it’s very easy to implement this idea. If not, just grab a couple of friends who are already into fitness or who have expressed a desire to start. These people will be your group.
Everyone creates a list of the gym classes they attend now or want to attend regularly. If someone doesn’t belong to a gym or doesn’t like to go to gyms, they list the activities that they do. For example, maybe someone bicycles two miles every Monday and jogs for 15 minutes on Wednesday and does Tai Chi in the park on Saturday. Or maybe some people might do weight training at the gym Tuesday evening and a Zumba DVD at home on Thursday morning. Each list needs to include the person’s name and the details of each activity they do (i.e. what, where, when). These lists are posted on the BADASS REVOLUTION Facebook group for others to see.
If you want to work out with a buddy, you know when and where to meet them! As schedules change, just update your list.
A lifetime of good health comes from a lifetime of many small but important daily decisions. Doing these things every day is the key. If you do, health will be your natural state. If you do this, when you are older you can be as strong and able as you are today. You might mistakenly think that you just have good genes or that you’re just lucky. Well, maybe there’ll be some of that but mostly it’s because of all those little things you did throughout your whole life. Continue reading
It is with great pleasure that I can share this interview of Tanya Rickard with you. How we met seems rather unremarkable. We’re in the same yoga class and we both prefer the right front corner of the room. For quite a while we did yoga right next to each other without much conversation. I’m so glad that we eventually had a chance to get to know each other better because this unremarkable meeting turned out to be with a very remarkable woman.
Five years ago Tanya weighed over 300 pounds and now she weighs a healthy 150 pounds. She has succeeded at transforming her life in ways that are truly inspiring. The changes she embraced are not only physical but also emotional and spiritual. She successfully crafted a brand new and very healthy self-image which directs her journey today! Continue reading
It’s not too hard to know what is good for us. We can study nutrition and learn about the benefits of exercise. Many are pretty good at doing all the right things – for a while…. Whenever you make a good choice, obviously, that’s good. However, if you really want the BIG PAYBACK of healthy living, daily practice is the ticket.
Here are just a few ideas to make the leap from sporadic good choices to a healthy way of life! Continue reading
Getting the benefits of weightlifting won’t happen overnight.
Maybe an understanding the basics will help.
If you go one step at a time, you can succeed at your strength training goals!
Below are just the basics! Sometimes too many details can be overwhelming when you’re just getting started. Hopefully, once you start, you’ll love how you feel. Then, you can dig into the details of each topic as you need. In the meantime, let’s get you started! Continue reading
The woman in the picture is Ernestine Shepherd and she’s my hero!
How old do you think she is? Continue reading