I was just talking to a fellow mom who has had a tough time getting back into a routine postpartum. She asked me how I was able to commit and make the big lifestyle change I did when I did P90X back in 2011 and after explaining my answer to her, I realized it would make a pretty good blog post! How did I go from someone who struggled with her weight and low self esteem, someone who was constantly starting new diets (always “starting Monday) but always quit them, and someone who was running an 11 minute mile on a good day to the person I am today?
Well, I think there are three big reasons why I was able to make that shift. First, I was inspired by my friend Asia‘s results. She did P90X and seriously looked amazing! She could bust out 5+ pull-ups and over 30 push-ups. She went from someone who I never considered an athlete (sorry Asia!) to one of the fittest (if not fittest) people I knew. I was inspired. It wasn’t an infomercial – it was real life. I wanted her results and I wanted them NOW. And the best part was, all I had to do was follow the exact same plan she did, which was P90X. It was a big commitment – 90 freaking days of workouts. 90 days of clean eating (with some cheats in there, I wasn’t perfect!). I transformed in those 90 days and I was blown away by what I accomplished. I came out of it a whole new person (and with a shiny 5 minute half marathon PR).
After I gained 45 pounds during my pregnancy, I was left with 20+ to lose postpartum and I went back to what I knew – first P90X and then 21 Day Fix (21 Day Fix was much more compatible with mom life!). I again dedicated myself fully to these programs and had results I was proud of.
Aside from some serious inspiration, here are three ways to stay motivated to tackle your big scary goal, whether it’s finally completing a workout program or training for a marathon:
- Accountability. For the first time in my life, I had someone doing a program with me. Mike and I worked out side by side for 90 days. He sometimes had to drag me out of bed at 5:30 but we did it. We completed all of the workouts (most run around 1 hour 15 minutes long!) together, we made our protein shakes together, and we sacrificed together at social events when we really just wanted to eat everything in sight!
- Committing 100% & Setting Smaller Goals Along the Way. There was no half-assing P90X. Although I was also running 3 days a week so I skipped the Kenpo (cardio) workout each week, I completed the remaining 5 workouts plus three Ab Ripper workouts every week along with my runs. I literally NEVER missed one. My Type-A nature really shined here and to me this was all or nothing. In order to get the results that Asia and all those people on the informercials got, I couldn’t make excuses. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to skip that Ab Ripper workout after a tough hour long strength training workout, but I never did. I also made smaller goals through my journey. For example, we made a goal to only have one cheat meal and no alcohol for the entire first month, which meant many sacrifices at social events (we were more lax in months 2 and 3 – life’s too short to never enjoy the party!). I wrote down my weight and reps during every weight training workout and tried to beat my previous week’s weight and/or reps every week. I was dead set on being able to do a pull-up unassisted and I achieved that goal. I made a goal to be able to do Ab Ripper with all the advanced moves without taking a single break and achieved it. I made a goal to be able to hold wheel pose for a full minute during Yoga X and crushed it. Those little goals really helped motivate me along the way when the 90 days seemed super long.
- I Shared My Journey Publicly. I started this blog to document my journey through P90X. Maybe you even started reading back then (THANK YOU for sticking with me if you did!!!). I didn’t have many readers, but between blogging and twitter, my goal was out there and I didn’t want to let my readers down. I actually would “log” my workout in twitter every day and document accomplishments – in retrospect that was super annoying but it was kind of like how I log my workouts in the My Challenge Tracker app during my challenge groups. Knowing that someone might be looking for my tweet or blog post kept me accountable.
What works for me may not work for everyone, but I hope you found this helpful. And I know this may sound intense – but sometimes you have to go a little extreme if you want to achieve an extreme goal. Changing your lifestyle and your habits, dropping 10+ pounds, running your first marathon or qualifying for Boston are all HUGE goals. You won’t achieve them without a big commitment. I’m not saying that you won’t ever miss a workout, eat pizza, get sick or sleep in – but having the attitude of half-assedness (is that a word? I’m making it a word) is not gonna get you there. Obstacles will happen but if you’re committed and staying the course consistently over time, you’ll achieve that goal despite them.
It can be SUPER scary to put yourself out there and set out toward something, but believe me, as someone who has failed many, many times at one of my biggest goals (aka qualifying for Boston), failing hurts when it happens but you grow so much in the journey. Success requires failure – if you never try because you’re scared to fail, you’ll never succeed.
What is a big scary goal you’re working toward? What have you found is something that motivates you to keep working toward your goals?
I still have a couple spots left for my four week October 16th accountability group. If you’re ready to commit and tackle some big goals, join me! Fill out this form to get more info and sign up.