On this cold, wintery morning I was hoping to find myself on a beach somewhere. Warm sand between my toes, a turquoise ocean, pina coladas galore.
Alas trying to escape reality never really works..but a girl can dream.
My goal to stay off sugar was close to a breaking point last night..that's right people. Day 6 and I almost threw in the towel.
But I've always been a determined soul. Is it so wrong that I'm motivated to make it at least 73 days so that I can be added to the list of things longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage?
Hey motivation is motivation.
Last night there was only one thing I wanted. Andes Mint ice cream. Doesn't that sound so good? In my hopes to fight the temptation I decided to make applesauce from some recently canned apples. Not canned by me because we all know how I feel about that subject..remember this?
Anyway, I couldn't get the stupid jar open. After several minutes I let go of my pride and asked Andrew to open it for me. Which he also couldn't do.
So we made a bet. If I could open a jar before him he had to go buy me Andes Mint ice cream.
Now I was extremely motivated to open that jar of apples, although I had obviously brushed aside the reality that the apples were in fact meant to distract me from wanting ice cream.
In the end, I opened my jar first (I assure you my husband is very manly and strong) and while I was rejoicing in my victory and soon to be sugary downfall, Andrew said, "But honey, you've been doing so good, are you SURE you want me to buy you ice cream?"
Well that's a dumb question. Of course I want you to buy me ice cream. Can't you see I've just used all my strength to open a jar of apples to prove how bad I want it?
But I knew he was right and did I really want to give in to temptation just to regret it in the morning?
The moral of the story is how ESSENTIAL it is to have the right kind of motivation to keep you on track with your goals. Because temptation will come and bulldoze all your hard work if you let it. Be strong and consider putting the following helpful tools in place.
1. Take advice from Abe.
You must first decide for yourself that you will be successful. No matter what it takes. Think of other difficult things you've accomplished and tell yourself this will be something you can add to that list. Above all other motivation, your DESIRE to achieve your goals will ultimately determine your success. Abraham Lincoln said, "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other."
2. Surround yourself with people who believe in you.
No doubt peer pressure is one of the easiest ways to lose sight of your goals. So make sure it's positive pressure, like Andrew reminding me that I wasn't controlled by the temptation, but that I was making a choice to give in. His "you've been doing so good" also told me that he was proud of everyday that I had stuck to my goal. Isn't he awesome? Don't be afraid to distance yourself from people who are likely to encourage you to give in to temptation or who express disbelief that you can succeed. Positive people that believe in you should help you be strong (even when Andes Mint ice cream is calling your name).
3. Recruit a friend to do it with you.
Whether you're trying to eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight, become more organized, or cure your shopping habit-there's probably someone you know that's trying to do the same. You don't even have to have the same goal in mind so much as someone to be accountable to. This will help both of you. Get talking to your friends and family and find people that want to make a change in their life, but need help doing it. You'll be surprised how much easier it is to stay strong when you know you're motivating someone else too.
4. Write it down.
If you're at all like me, you need visual reminders of your goal. It seems the more I'm reminded throughout the day about what I'm working on, the easier it is to say no to temptation when it comes. Making a big change in your life is hard and it's best to get in the habit of recommitting yourself daily, hourly, minute-ly (that's probably not a word). Get out the post it notes and put reminders in your car, on your computer, bathroom mirror, fridge, husband's forehead, whatever it takes! Put in places you see often.
5. Acknowledge your progress!
Whenever I'm not in the mood to exercise or I feel like I'm too busy to take the time, Andrew always says to me, "Just go for 10 minutes..10 minutes is better than nothing!" I love this advice, (I have a great husband) because it helps me remember that every little bit counts. Keep a journal. Blog about it. Tell a friend. Announce it on Facebook. Progress is progress so acknowledge it everyday. Be excited that you lost 3 pounds even though you hoped for 5. 3 is better than 0! You will be more motivated to stick with your goals as you pat yourself on the back for your small triumphs. Those small victories add up and before you know it you'll be reaching your goal and more motivated than ever to do hard things. Don't focus on how far you have to go, REJOICE in how far you've come!
6. Don't be afraid to start over.
The beauty of life is that you can always begin again. Keep trying. Don't give up on yourself. If you failed yesterday, pick yourself up and try again today. Making positive changes in your life is hard and can sometimes take longer than we hope. Goals are meant to make you stretch so if things are going differently than planned, don't be discouraged. Be brave and tell yourself that this is a brand new day to do what you couldn't do before. As someone once said, "Failure is success if we learn from it". Learn from your mistakes. Be determined to start over no matter how many times it takes.
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." -Ralph Waldo Emerson