I had every intention of waking up yesterday morning and driving to the gym to take a class that I really enjoy. (Honestly, I did.) My alarm went off, the coffee (which had been preset the night before) was brewing, and even my calendar was blabbing at me about going to the gym. I had prepared in advance…I had done everything right!
But when I woke up, I didn’t want to go. And then I started to make excuses: I have so much to do, I’m already behind on some of my projects, my shoulder has been hurting, my allergies are making me feel sluggish. You get the picture. I was talking myself out of fitness.
I know I’m not the only one who faces this challenge. We all have health and fitness goals—goals that we REALLY want to achieve. But sometimes we talk ourselves out of them. While we may know that our success depends on our efforts and consistency, we’re easily deterred by what feels good at the moment.
Why is it so easy to talk ourselves out of the things we really want? Because we want what’s at the finish line, not so much what’s on the way to the finish line.
I want very much to maintain a fitness routine. I want to feel good, to increase my strength and endurance, and to keep my heart healthy. But I also want to spend time on other things that are important to me.
It’s a real dilemma.
Our time is precious, and we’re the only ones who can decide how to spend it. It’s like having a checking account that’s made up of hours instead of dollars. So, as I sat there listening to myself make excuses, I had to face the truth.
My thinking was the only thing holding me back.
If I had spent that time exercising rather than making excuses, I would have been back home from the gym already. And then I knew what I had to do. I needed to see a visual image of what I was trying to achieve — not just with regard to fitness, but for my life as a whole. Fitness is just one of the many pieces.
So, I dusted off my vision board to remind myself where I was headed.
Seeing the images of my future not only brought a smile to my face, but it also strengthened my commitment to following through on my goals. I may not have gone to the gym that day, but I did still manage to exercise. I put on my tennis shoes, took the dogs for a walk, and walked on the treadmill while I typed this blog post.
My vision board served its purpose by reminding my why I’m doing what I’m doing. It provided me with a boost of motivation when I needed it most.
How do you stay motivated?