Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Motivation & Discipline: Health Edition

It's 6:55A. I am outside sipping on coffee and listening to birds chirp. Why? Because I made a promise to myself that I would join this group known as "morning people." Yesterday and today I moved my alarm clock up by an hour to 5:45A. That may not sound early to you, but when your workplace is 5-minutes from your house, it makes for a lot of time to kill. While I may not be ready to jump into a morning workout, I am enjoying the time to wind up for the day. So, that's my progress report on that habit.

I had one of those lightbulb-moments this morning. When you go to sleep to late basketball games on TNT and leave your TV on, you wake up to an infomercial of Chuck Norris' Global Gym or Larry King discussing anti-inflammatory diets. I don't know about you, but I have a good idea of how I should be eating and what workouts are effective. I've dedicated entire Pinterest boards to it. I need to watch an infomercial on how to stay motivated to do it. That's why I read articles like 12 Morning Routines of Successful People. I need it to be in my face that one common factor among a lot of successful people isn't the fact that they all exercise, it's discipline. Guaranteed all of these CEOs are busier than I am, and maybe they just all train themselves to function on very little sleep. And maybe I am actually better off to be existing without that level of stress; regardless, there is something to be said about discipline. Discipline is what gets you out the door at 6:00A. Discipline is what dictates your food assortment in your grocery cart. Now, where do they sell discipline?

That might be the only thing they don't sell on Amazon Prime. Discipline has a predecessor called motivation. Without motivation, it is doubtful that you ever become disciplined at anything. So, I have to ask myself what motivates me. This morning I have made a list of what motivates me. 

-Other people. It's true. Isn't that terrible? Well, maybe not. I have been known to look at regimens of celebrities and copy smoothie recipies or try a new workout move because, well, look at 'em. It could also be a blogger I follow. A few years back, a friend of mine introduced me to Peanut Butter Fingers. This is a health/fitness/lifestyle blog of a girl who shares all her recipes, workout plans and advice, and she does so with an open and inviting personality. The joy she finds in exercise is what I find infectious. Not only do I derive motivation from celebrities and bloggers, but I also derive motivation from my friends and coworkers. I love seeing people take the stairs at work because they are striving for 10,000 steps per day. I have friends who I know are avid runners or disciplined eaters, and I love chatting with them about what is working and what I can try. If you are like me and respond positively to the good habits of others, tap into that motivation on your road to discipline.

-Diabetes/Health. I have very obvious incentives in my life to kick it into gear. Every 3-6 months, I get a hemoglobin a1c taken at the endocrinologist. It feels like Report Card Day in middle school. Did I pass? I am confident the doctors do not encourage that type of thinking, but like a marathon runner, it motivates me to beat my record. Some of this thinking stems from other people motivating me (see first category) because I don't want to disappoint the doctors. But I also owe it to myself to live a quality life and keep Diabetes as quiet as possible. To some degree, I control how disruptive the disease is in my life and a healthy lifestyle is my primary weapon. Do you have a chronic illness, pain or other health issues that motivate you? Do your research to discover how simple changes in your diet and exercise routines can make all the difference.

-Events. I posted about this recently. I'm not proud of it, but the superficial side of me is motivated to look good at upcoming events. You know, little things like weddings and high school reunions. You may be thinking you shouldn't care what other people think. And you'd probably be correct, but it would be dishonest of me to pretend like I don't. In most facets of my life, I care tremendously about what people think. BUT, I think that can be channeled in healthy ways and unhealthy ways. I like to think that I use this as motivation in a positive way by paying closer attention to the decisions I make that affect not only my physical appearance, but also my reputation. Why would we care about reputation if we really weren't concerned with the opinions of others? Be honest, is there anything more gratifying than working your butt off at something and then having the gratification of someone saying, "hey, you look great!" It's not my sole or even primary motivator, but it is a motivator. The caveat here is that event-based motivators lend themselves to temporary, fad diets. Once the event is over, all bets are off. Don't do that! Use the event as the reason to get started, but make sure you tap into your other motivators to ensure you stay the course. After all, these are lifestyle changes all on the road to discipline. 

-Knowledge. So, maybe you love the idea of making these changes and you're motivated, but you have no idea where to start. Frankly, you're intimidated by all of it. The good news: there are so many resources out there. The bad news: there are so many resources out there. Not all things are going to work for you. Not all things you're going to enjoy. That is why I think my friend, Catherine Portera, is doing something awesome in becoming a Wellness Coach. The whole thing is personalized to you. She is doing homework for you. She is holding you accountable. Hate spinach? She will give you recipes that avoid spinach. I thought I knew a lot about diet and exercise, but she would find articles with new data and research that dispelled some myths I had in my head. Check out The Healthy Lemon if you are interested in that avenue! I did, and I am extremely glad! http://www.thehealthylemon.com

Alright guys! Now that you know I am motivated by other people, I need you to tell me what you're getting into (diet or exercise) that is working for you! Share, please! Blogging isn't fun without feedback.

1,2,3 GO!

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