By: Ashley Drummonds, Regular Contributor
My alarm went off at 5:30 this morning. This week I am supposed to be doing 20-30 minutes of cardio on an empty stomach before eating breakfast to prepare for a photo shoot this Saturday. So what did I do? I hit the snooze and went right back to sleep! I woke up feeling exhausted after last week’s intense workouts and even though I got about 9 hours of sleep, I still wanted those extra few minutes. How could I do that!? The photo shoot is this Saturday and I have to give it my best this week; how in the world could I hit the snooze and go back to sleep instead of doing the 20 minutes of cardio?
Because I listened to my body. Even though every book and everything tells me I am supposed to be training instead of sleeping, I know my body best and I know I needed the extra zzzz’s. I didn’t go back to sleep out of laziness or because I decided it wasn’t important. I went back to sleep because sometimes I know what’s best for me better than the experts out there. I knew if I would have just sucked it up and done the cardio I would have felt exhausted and drained for the rest of the day and possibly even more tired tomorrow. Health and Fitness sometimes takes just as much mental energy as it does physical energy: motivating yourself, planning your meals, pushing through those last reps, all of it takes tons of mental energy! What do I need this week more than energy to get through these last few days? My mind! My mind is what keeps me pursuing my goals, keeps me going to the gym every week, keeps me eating delicious and nutritious foods so when my body is tired I am not going to take the chance of exhausting my mind too.
Some days we all have the energy of a five year old and the strength of an ox to hit it hard in the gym and to stick to our eating plan, and other days you just don’t want to. I agree. So then what do you do?
Here are a few things that help me stay motivated:
- I listen to my body! I do exactly what it says because I know it will punish me if I do not. Your body gives you signs of fatigue and exhaustion to tell you to rest. At the same time, it gives you energy and great sleep to tell you to get moving. (This isn’t an excuse to be lazy when you have the energy, but don’t want to put in the effort)
- I focus on why I am eating healthy, training regularly, and taking mental breaks to get myself centered. This keeps my mind in the direction of my goals and also reminds me that this is all for great benefits.
- I tell a close friend! If I need support or a reminder as to why I do this, I tell someone! It’s ok to say “hey I’m feeling unmotivated today and not like myself” or “hey, why am I doing this again?” Your support system of friends and family are there for a reason. We all need relationships and those people who help pick us up when we’re tired. Tell a friend, tell a family member, tell God, tell Buddha, tell whomever you want. Get it out and release all the doubt and insecurities then see what kind of confidence and energy comes back (it always does I promise).
- I tell myself! Literally, if I am just having one of those days I will look in the mirror and start reciting affirmations to myself until I feel like I am awesome. (I actually did this today believe it or not and recited “You can do this…I can do this!” as I gulped down my first gallon of water for the day)
Any time life gets tough you have to take a hard look at why you are doing this thing that is so hard. If the reason isn’t there anymore it’s ok to stop, but if the same benefits are there and you have a goal in sight then keep pushing. It’ll be well worth it! Write out your goals-fitness, nutrition, career, financial, personal, relationships, etc--whatever it is write it out and put it EVERYWHERE. The brain acts on things that it is influenced by on a regular basis. I have my goals in my phone, on the dash in my car, on my bedroom mirror, everywhere! It might feel odd at first, but repetition produces habit so why not just see what happens if you try it out? Worst case scenario, you reach all those goals and then make even greater ones!
How do you handle the motivation marathon?
- Try one of Ashley's motivation reminders and tell us what you learned!
I AM Ashley Drummonds. I am a health and fitness expert and use my own journey in fitness to empower women to embrace both their inner and outer strength through ABS (Authentic Beauty and Strength). I have a passion for connecting, educating, and helping women all over the world to build strong bodies, create healthy lifestyles, and fall in love with their own beautiful body! www.ashleydrummonds.com