I was in Phoenix, Arizona this past week lounging in the pool with some of my friends, and we starting talking about health and fitness. As you all know, “Winter is Not Coming,” for all you Game of Thrones fans out there 😉 In fact, summer is practically here, and it has everyone in a panic, remembering all of those winter nights… and days… cuddled up on the couch with a large pizza and a box of chocolates (we have to keep ourselves warm somehow people!!). As we were talking, I realized that the biggest problem is not the gym itself, but getting there. So I want to focus this month on health and fitness, and I think that the best place to start is motivation, because in my opinion, staying motivated is the hardest hurdle we have to face in order to get healthy and stay that way. Prepare to be motivated people! By the end of this article, I expect you to have your tennies (tennis shoes) on and your butt out the door.
- The Calendar Method: Such a clever name… I know. I came up with it myself ;p For those of you who don’t know me, I started my adult career as a teacher. I did some teaching in primary schools and some in pre-school. The one thing that I found to always motivate my students was stickers. I would give them a sticker on a chart for good behavior and then throughout the year they could visually track their progress. Stickers are magical y’all. I’m telling you! This year, gradually getting used to my busy lifestyle as a flight attendant, I found myself working out less and less. I knew that I had to come up with some way to track the days I worked out, so I came up with the calendar method.
This is so simple, and it lets you see exactly how many days you were active at the end of the week and even the month. All you have to do is hang a wall calendar somewhere that you will see it easily (ours is hanging on the fridge. nom nom), and every day that you are active at least 30 minutes or more, you earn a sticker for that day. My personal goal is to be active at least five to six days a week. As you can see from the picture above, I have been active three days this week, so I now know that I have to go to the gym today and tomorrow to meet my personal goal. I am a visual person, so this method really motivates me because I can actually see what I have already accomplished and what I still need to accomplish. It is May, so wall calendars may be a little difficult to find, but Walmart carries them almost all year around. You can also order some fabulous wall calendars online right now, and even better, most of them are on clearance!! Papersource.com always has the best calendars. Right now all of their wall calendars are 75% off. This paint chip calendar is to die for and it’s on sale for $6.24 :O!
Also, if you want to go the cheapest route, you can print calendars for free off of Microsoft Word. For stickers, I typically buy mine at the Dollar Tree, because they are so cheap and you can find really good ones. For this month, we are using foxes because we are getting “foxy” for summer 🙂
2) A Dollar a Day keeps the Cellulite Away: This is one of the more expensive ways to stay motivated. If you worked out EVERY SINGLE DAY, which I would not advise because your body needs rest, you would be spending at most $31. This is called the dollar a day method because every day you are active you put a dollar in a jar. At the end of the month, you take however much you have earned and put it towards something fun aimed towards fitness. For example, I take my “booty money,” as I like to call it, straight to the nearest TJ Maxx and pick out a new exercise shirt or legging. You can usually get active clothes for about $10 a piece there, so I can typically get a whole new outfit. You can also set a multi-month goal. For example, I have been eying these amazing exercise leggings from Free People, but they are about $88. So I would have to set a goal to be active at least 88 times over a four month period.
3) Keep a Written Exercise Log: This is not my favorite method because honestly it’s hard for me to stick with writing everything down every single day, but for some people who respond more to writing it’s a great motivation method. All you have to do is buy a journal or a notebook and write your daily activity down. It doesn’t have to be an expensive notebook, you can get one for $1.00 at Walmart or the Dollar Tree. I use the Diet Doodle Diary, which I got at Tj Maxx. You can find it on Amazon for about ten buckaroos. Click on the photo below for the link.
My favorite thing about this diary is that I can track both my exercise and my diet, and it’s all in the same notebook. It’s very important when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle to be aware of both your physical activity and what you are eating. This book allows you to do both in a fun, and stylish way.
4) Photo Op: We all have those photos that we look back at and say, “Oh my goodness, I looked so ripped in that photo!” Okay okay… I actually have never looked ripped in my life, but you get the point. The grass is always greener and the hips are always leaner in those photos from the past. Instead of storing them away in some dusty old box in the basement, get one or two of them out. Hang them up on your fridge, and I guarantee when you walk over to the fridge to get out that M&M ice cream sandwich you will stop dead in yo’ tracks. Also, throw one in your gym bag so when you go to the gym you see what you are working towards.
5) Create a Power Playlist: Whenever I am stuck on the couch, I know that there is one sure thing to get me off of it: music. Music fuels my mood, and I am sure in some ways it fuels yours too. You better believe that if you turn on Micheal Buble, you will be pouring yourself a glass of chardonnay and taking a bubble bath. You have to find songs that make you want to move. We are all different, so your power playlist will certainly be different than mine, but you want to look for songs that have quick tempos. I will be posting my personal power playlist on the blog this weekend, but to get you off the couch today I will post a clip of one of my favorite pre-workout songs.
It’s only slightly embarrassing how I dance around my apartment to this song when I am getting ready for my workout, but it gets me moving.
The most important thing to take from this is that you need to be motivated to stay HEALTHY not to get SKINNY. Now, no more Netflix and chill for you! Get yo’ butt of that couch.