Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Setting Yourself Up For Success - Part II!

Last week was all about creating a plan and ensuring some accountability exists around your goals. This week, I’ll be diving deeper into the depths of goal chasing and discussing the importance of a reward system, measuring your progress and saying ‘YES!’ wisely. 

A Reward System   
What milestones will you celebrate along the way and how will you celebrate them? We humans are more like dogs than we’d like to admit; when we reward ourselves for good behavior, we are more inclined to be good more often.   

Find that one thing you love (healthy and consistent with your goals of course) but that you don’t treat yourself to every day. Now, dangle it in front of yourself as incentive on those hard days when you need an extra push. Most likely it will get you through and you’ll be thankful you didn’t give in. It’s important to see the victories during the process and to treat ourselves once in a while. Life shouldn’t be all work and no play! 
I’ve found that it’s always my Sunday long runs that are tough to get motivated for. Therefore, I promise myself a smoothie and a two hour nap once I struggle through the distance. Works like a charm and seems to get me going every time!   

Bottom Line: Sometimes you need a bit of external motivation. Give yourself a small reward once in a while! 

Measuring Tools  

Something measured, something done. Invest in tools that will help you measure your progress.   

Pull out the camera and take some before shots. Head to your local running store and invest in a GPS watch. Take measurements and write them down in a special notebook. If there’s anything you can do to help create a measuring stick in your quest, then do it! If you can start seeing your progress and results, you’ll gain momentum and feel a renewed sense of motivation. The initial price tag may seem a bit high on some of these items, but I can assure you that they will be well worth it once you’ve accomplished your goal.   

Know that results will take a while – they won’t be evident tomorrow. But the more disciplined you are and the more you measure and record, the more you will be able to see your progress.  

I remember when I was at the 2004 Olympics and I was having a bit of a freak out a few days before the Final. My coach, Kelly, pulled out our work plan, sat me down and said: “Look at how many routines you’ve done. Look at how many times you’ve gone through this nearly perfectly. You’ve put in the work and you are ready. You’ve got to trust that.” Having all of my work recorded and right there in front of me made it a lot easier to trust my readiness. I instantly became grounded with confidence. I had done everything I could to be as prepared as I could be.   

Bottomline: Invest in tools to help you measure your progress. It will keep you motivated and disciplined. 
Energy Protection Shield   

Our energy is incredibly vulnerable – we have to say ‘YES’ wisely or we can burn ourselves out in a jiffy. It’s very easy to get caught up in committing to things that aren’t going to serve us. We often do it out of guilt or obligation. But by saying ‘YES’ to things that aren’t really serving our purpose, we spread ourselves thin.     

Say ‘YES!’ wisely. Protect your energy to ensure you can show up and be the best version of yourself as often as possible. No one can be their best when they are overwhelmed, stressed out and not present. Ensure that your energy stores are recharged by sleeping well, drinking tons of water and by smiling often. Don’t feel bad if you have to say ‘NO’. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you a wise one.  

Bottomline: You can’t do it all. Choose your commitments wisely and don’t spread yourself too thin.   
So there you have it, the 5 keys elements to setting yourself up for success. I encourage you to take some time to actually implement these principles into your life and program. Guaranteed, you’ll start to feel better about where you’re at the instant you have a plan in your hand, a group of friends texting and emailing you some accountability, a nap and a Jugo Juice on the horizon, a GPS watch on your wrist or an album/notebook dedicated to capturing your progress and a bit of extra energy to dedicate towards chasing your goal.   

Please keep me updated on your progress. I’d also love to hear about your unique approach for setting yourself up for success. Are there any tips or secrets that work for you? The more we share, the better we all become.   

Good Luck!  

To read more awesome articles on Active Healthy Living, check out Revive.ca!

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