Tis the Season to Be…Motivated

This is the time of year when millions of people (and you thought you were so alone), make resolutions and promises, some of them involving blood, sweat and tears (quick, name any of their hit tunes)! This Season of Determination is quickly followed by the Season of Broken Dreams, as resolutions go out the door faster than old eggnog (Yes, I hate eggnog). But do not despair; instead get motivated. There are ways to help yourself get and stay motivated to implement your goals.

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?

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 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 rock classics?

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 group class together), or by check-in (“Hey, did you go to your step 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)!

Alexandra Williams

Alexandra Williams, MA (counseling) is one-half of humorous expert fitness advice columnists, Fun and Fit, which she writes with her identical twin sister, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA.

6 thoughts on “Tis the Season to Be…Motivated

  • December 20, 2010 at 4:58 am

    Great list! My favorite one is #3. So many people give up on exercise routines immediately because they feel too intimated by them. There are ways to scale most exercises in a way that will make them fun and enjoyable for everyone.

    • December 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm

      Thank you Noel. I enjoyed reading your latest post, even though it wouldn’t take my comment!

  • December 19, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Jarrett: Great pic! PS. It should be “Tis the Season….” not “This.” Are you able to fix it, please?

  • December 18, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Hi Alexandra

    I so agree. Do the exercises you enjoy. I love walking and swimming. Also cycling (although need to get new bike for that one lol).

    Also, with the healthy eating. Have a treat now and then. I love healthy food and have always enjoyed being fit and healthy. But I allow myself treats so life stays interesting ;-)

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • December 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      Dear Patricia: You must be my secret other twin, as I also love to walk and have the same approach to eating. As a matter of fact, I’m heading out now for a walk in the snow! Thanks for all your continued support!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *