So many times have I heard or seen commented on one of my Facebook posts “I wish I had your motivation” or “I wish I had your determination.” Seriously? First off, motivation and determination is a very personal thing. Everyone is motivated by some goal or end result that is personal to THEM. What I want to achieve is totally and completely different from what the next person wants. Also, my goals, because I’m well into my journey, would be considered “lofty” or “impossible” or “overwhelming” to someone just starting out. Right now, I’m driven by the desire to qualify for Marathon Maniacs by running 3 marathons in 90 days or less. I’m also driven to qualify for the Half Fanatics by running 3 half marathons in 90 days or less. I want to and, barring injury, will achieve both of these things by the middle of the year. I am also driven by the desire to get back down to my goal weight (yep, you read that right, BACK down…I was there a year and a half ago and then life happened and I didn’t know how to deal with it).
Second, and maybe most important, YOU have to figure out what YOU want and then YOU have to figure out how much YOU want it. Then, after YOU have figured out those 2 things, YOU now have to figure out how YOU are going to achieve what YOU want. I can’t give you motivation. I can’t teach you determination. You have to give and teach these things to yourself. You can read my blogs…every single one of them. You can read other healthy lifestyle/weight loss/fitness blogs. You can read self help books. You can do all this stuff, but you know what? It doesn’t mean squat if it doesn’t “click” for you. If YOU can’t find the motivation and determination within YOURSELF, then you’re not going to find it in someone or something else. You have to start with yourself. You can take ideas from how others have gone about reaching their goals, but unless YOU put in the work, you’re not going to see any results.
I use a great many tools (read: I’m a data junkie) to help me achieve my desires and goals in fitness and healthy lifestyle. One of these is MyFitnessPal. It helps me be completely aware of what I’m ACTUALLY putting in my mouth and body. It also adjusts my base allowance of calories that I can eat that day when I input calories burned through running and general working out. Because of using this tool on a DAILY basis, I have been more mindful with my eating. I’m making better choices and I know this is key to me losing the excess weight so I can get back down to my goal weight. As they say: 80% diet, 20% exercise. And it really is true.
Another tool I use is reading. Yep. I read. A lot. I have read a lot of books and blogs about nutrition and working out. I have taken everything I have read into consideration and I have applied it to how I approach my efforts of reaching my goals. Knowledge is power. Knowledge applied is success. But don’t get cocky. I don’t know everything. Not even close. I know a decent amount so I believe I could hold my own in a conversation with other nutrition- and fitness-minded people. And I have. And you know what? I’ve said things wrong because I understood them wrong, but these people didn’t judge me, they gently corrected me so that I could do better.
I also use activity trackers and monitors. My favorites are my Garmin 310XT GPS watch and my Polar M400. These two items give me all sorts of feedback that I use to improve what I’m doing with my fitness.
The tools that everyone uses is different from what the next person prefers to use. Just because I’m in love with my Garmin and my fancy new Polar doesn’t mean these are things you would like. You might prefer to use a phone app and a FitBit. Or maybe you like to train “naked.” “Naked” just means sans devices. You do you. And that right there is the best advice I can give you: you do you. What does that mean? It means to find out what works for YOU and then do that. Don’t try and copy other people because what they do might not work for you.