that’s a wRap: REflect + REward + REfocus

RRRrrrrRRRRrrrrRRRRrrrr… [me attempting to roll my tongue via a keyboard]
aren’t you sexy with that svelte summer bod that you worked oh-so-hard for this past 12 weeks?

one of the most important aspects of setting any goal is to reflect on where you started and what you accomplished.  so often, we focus on what we didn’t do or what we could’ve done better.  while it’s wonderful that you continue to push yourself to be a better YOU, it’s also important that you give yourself  a little pat on the back for making progress, no matter how big or small.  so look back over the past 12-week program.  what were your BIG 12-week goals?  did you reach them? even if you didn’t get 100% to your goal – odds are, you’re that much closer.  if all you do is focus on what  you didn’t do, you’ll actually get down on yourself which is self-defeating.  that destructive thinking is a downward spiral – so don’t get sucked into it!  we’ll use my goals as an example to show you how it’s all in how you look at things that determine your mindset.  one of my favorite quotes: “change the way you look at things, and the things you look at begin to change.”  when we started this 12-week program my goal (ah this is when i love that i’m airing my deepest most inner thoughts for the world to see) was to  “rock my sports bra with confidence in the gym”.  yep – there it is.  i’ve always been “that girl” that works out in a sports bra – not to get the looks or attention, but because that’s how i see every little muscle working and i promise you that you will hold your abs in tighter during your entire workout too.  it keeps my nutrition in check too because if that little 6-pack becomes non-existent, i notice immediately and get back on track.  so confidence was my #1 goal, but since that’s not measurable i decided i wanted to lose 10lbs.  realistically, i probably didn’t have 10 to lose, but this is an example of setting unrealistic expectations.  yes, i even do it!  my other goal was to happily squeeze my booty back in my size 26 jeans.  at competition weight i was a 25 (yikes!) and the all-too-common post-competition weight gain, coupled with a few stressful life events, left me squEEzing into my 27s.  now, before you roll your eyes at my “struggle” to be a size 26 (yes i know what you’re thinking).  remember, happiness with your body isn’t about a number on a scale or a jean size – but how you feel in your own skin.  so the first step is to reflect: i actually started rockin’ the sports bra last week at the gym and i must say that that alone made me feel like i’d achieved my goal – regardless of any numbers.  but if you must know…i lost 4lbs and while the 26s are still snug, i now rock the (looser) 27s with confidence.

action item: REflect on progress YOU made over the past 12 weeks.  did you reach your BIG goal?  what small goals did you reach along the way?

now onto my favorite part…reward yourself!  um…let me take a moment to say…yay ME!  again, i think we get so caught up in focusing on the negative that we don’t take the time out to reward ourselves for what we do accomplish.  so allow me to convince you to spoil yourself!  rewarding yourself is a positive way of reinforcing good behavior and the byproduct of doing something nice for yourself is that you will be more likely to continue making positive choices.  i’m all about rewards and i often bribe myself even on the silliest of things.  say my goal for the day is to drink 3 liters of water (yes, that’s my daily goal).  and it’s 2pm and i’m really wanting to go to starbucks for my afternoon americano.  i make a little mental note that i have to “earn” my americano by finishing 2 of my 3 liters – and the reward is starbucks.  silly? maybe. but it works.  so over the past 12 weeks i  set my weekly goals (using my lovely new fitbook 3.0!) and then used weekly rewards just as a way to give myself something to look forward to each week.  so some weeks, if i worked out every day i had planned i would reward myself with a pedicure…or if i drank my 3L of water 5 out of 7 days i would buy myself a book i’d been wanting.  the rewards were things i would do anyway, but i used them as lures so i had to earn them!  so my overall 12-week big reward was saving up to spoil myself at lululemon.  each week i ranked my week on a scale of 1 to 10 based on my overall feeling of how i did with my workouts and nutrition, and then i earned the equivalent in $$ each week.  so after 12 weeks i’m happy to say that i EARNED $103 to take myself to buy a few new sports bras or a pair of cute capris!  could i just go and buy them any day i want? sure. but i really really wanted some new workout clothes…so it was a good way to motivate me.  plus it’s good practice in patience and earning something versus instant gratification.  so this sunday: me + an americano + $103 = lululemon shopping spree!

action item: REward yourself for reaching your goals.  what rewards did you set at the beginning of the 12 weeks?  remember to reward goals both big and small.

and finally, the most important part.  with any goal, whether you reached it or didn’t quite get there, it’s important to refocus and evaluate where you’re at and where you want to go from here.  how fun would life be if you just reached a goal and then never made plans to push yourself any further?  maybe you didn’t stick to this 12-week plan quite like you wanted to – so you can set a goal to start the plan over and set a goal to follow it from beginning to end, week by week, just to show yourself you can!  or maybe you followed the plan and made great strides, but now you want to have a bigger goal than just a slim summer bod.  what have you always wanted to try but haven’t?   here are some ideas: sign up for a 5k/10k or even run a marathon, try a sprint or full triathlon, conquer p90x, start training with a personal trainer, take up a new sport you’ve always wanted to try, or (heaven forbid) take a stab at a figure competition (!) or bodybuilding!  whatever floats your boat – and will really excite and drive you.  i’m all about training for something now that is more about my physical abilities than my physical attributes.  i’m still pondering this one to be honest and i’m not quite sure yet where i want to go with it.  part of me has been itching to try a sprint triathlon…but then i’m dangerously close to wanting to train for a marathon too.  someone always told me though that after you run one, you’ll either love running more or despise it.  and i love running…so i don’t want to take the risk of hating it!  so this weekend is my time to REfocus and establish what my next 12 week goals are.  i’ll keep you posted.  have any ideas on what you think i should conquer?  do tell.

action item: REfocus on where you want to go from here.  what will really drive you over the next 12-weeks?  what would push you to be a better you?

so in closing…i hope you pushed yourself over the last 12 weeks, and i hope that even just one thing i said inspired you to reach new levels of greatness. if there’s one thing i know for sure, first-hand, it’s that we are a work in progress, but that it’s our choice every single day to reach our potential.  besides.  who wants to be mediocre anyway?

while the 12-weeks to a summer bod program is officially over, my blog is not.  i’ve got a lot more to say. you know me – never at a loss for words. [note: this was going to be a short blog post by the way!]  so what do you want me to blog about?  tell me what you want to read about. c’mon – try me!  this blog is just as much for you as it is for me – so feel free to chime in and be heard and as always, i’ll be blogging my fitlosophy.

live life fit.

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