In yesterday's post, I shared 3 of 6 tips that have kept my booty moving for 2 1/2 years straight, with no signs of quitting (this time). Here are the rest:
|My friend & I at the peek of Old Rag Mountain in Sperryville, VA.|
4. Don't over or under estimate your ability. Really what this means is learning to both listen to and take cues from your body. Workouts should contain a degree of flexibility or spontaneity in response to what your body is telling you on that particular day or moment. If you push yourself too hard, you may burn out, and if you don't push enough, you won't get better. It's a fine line really, but when you drown out the "I can'ts" and "I hate this'," you'll actually hear a more meaningful voice telling you, "wow, I can actually go one more minute, I know it." or "Hmn...my hamstring is tight...I probably should cool it for now."
|Mary's Rock, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia|
5. Compare yourself to no one, not even yourself. I struggled with this before: I am highly competitive and always want to reach higher than I did yesterday or swim faster than the person in the lane next to me. But this ultimately pushed me to burn out and I would quit working out altogether for a period.
You've got to keep your negative thoughts in check: you don't know that person next to you, and they don't even care about you and what you're doing. If you can't get exactly where you were yesterday, or last week, that's just got to be OK. Gains are only made slightly, and with time. That hill sometimes includes a bit of a decline, that's just the flow of things. Take a failure to reach your mark from yesterday as a sign to rest some, regroup, and try fresh next time.
|One of my hiking buddies always says her reward is the view. I wouldn't disagree.|
6. Reward. This is the best one, but it's value is sometimes lost or seen as superfluous. It's not. It's highly important to our sense of behavior reinforcement. It's simply kindergarten: when you reach a goal, give yourself a treat. Assign that treat before you even get to the reward too, so you have something to look forward to.
One important note about it though: don't let that treat be food or skipping workouts. That can actually defeat your purpose and let bad habits reemerge. Instead, give yourself an unrelated reward like finally seeing a movie you've been dying to see, or splurging on a new pair of sneakers (hahaha).
Miss part I of this post? Check it out here.