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January is coming to a close next week and hopefully those shiny new goals you made on January 1 are still going strong. How are you doing?? Good??? Floundering?

Do you know what to do when your motivation flags and life throws lots of obstacles in your way?

Last winter I was managing five exercise days a week consistently and feeling terrific.

When I returned in the spring from a three-week trip to Alaska and the Yukon my schedule had changed due to life and work commitments. Over the next few months my dedication to my exercise routine floundered. Some weeks I was only getting three days of exercise in, some weeks four and some weeks one — if I was lucky.  I felt guilty and of course I felt as though the problem was due to the fact that I was busy and didn’t have enough hours in the day. In other words, I was telling myself I didn’t have enough time.

Ever had that problem? Ha! I’m kidding of course. We all have busy lives and at times feel like we’re just barely hanging on. Sometimes it feels as if we truly don’t have enough time. So I looked to one of my favorite books on health and fitness for some motivation and I found this:

“The only real issue is that it’s tough to keep up the motivation to exercise when life is crowded with obligations and stress. So rely on structure more than motivation. Carve out the time to exercise, make it protected time, and guard it fiercely against intrusion.”  From Younger Next Year or Younger Next Year for Women Live Like You’re 50-Strong, Fit, Sexy — Until You’re 80 and Beyond


Those last three sentences are powerful aren’t they? Let’s Break It Down:

1)    Rely on STRUCTURE not motivation.

2)    Plan when you’re going to do it.

3)    Write it down, SCHEDULE it some place where you can see it.

4)    DO it even on the days you’re not “feeling” it.

5)    GUARD this time fiercely.

I hadn’t taken the time to rework my schedule. I should have known better than to rely on my motivation and throw my exercise sessions in “whenever.” I know “whenever” rarely ever happens.

Writers are well aware of the “whenever” syndrome. Some mornings I am heard sighing all across the Midwest as I make the trek from the kitchen coffee pot into my office. On the days the writing isn’t going so great, you’d think I was getting ready to climb Mount McKinley in my jammies. Dialogue is flat, complete sentences non-existent. Motivation at this is time low, in the dumpster low.

No matter what, I always manage to stay true to my “writing time” even when I’m not “feeling” motivated.  I could say I’ll write when I feel better. No. I’ve learned feelings lie. If I stick it out in my office in spite of my “feelings” I can eke out a good session. If it isn’t good at least I know I went in there and tried. It builds confidence. It builds habit. It’s me telling myself, in actions and words, this is important to me.

My motivation to exercise isn’t strong enough for me when my usual routine is thrown to the four winds. I sat down with my planner and decided that even if I couldn’t fit in a full 30 or 45 minutes I needed to do something. So I started scheduling instead of saying I’d fit it in “whenever” and after a few weeks I got back on track.

If you’re floundering in some of your goals for 2012 check and see if you’ve made a plan to reach each goal. Don’t rely solely on your motivation because there will be days when motivation won’t be your BFF.

Let your schedule and your priorities for the day take over even when you’re not “feelin’ it.  Follow your plan no matter what. Remember: feelings lie. Especially the one that says you’ll get back to it later. You’ll feel so much better if you follow your plan. Honest!

If your plan isn’t working, rework the plan! Schedule exercise like you would any other appointment. Get serious about protecting your time and go for it. This is about your health and wellness, if you don’t protect the base from which all good things flow, you won’t be able to create, love or laugh.

“We are not tired at the end of the day because we get too much exercise. We are tired because we do not get enough exercise. We are mentally, emotionally and physically drained from being sedentary.”  From Younger Next Year or Younger Next Year for Women Live Like You’re 50-Strong, Fit, Sexy — Until You’re 80 and Beyond 

Let me know how your goals (not just health and fitness) are going and if you feel good about where you are and where you’re headed. Come on BRAG! And if you need help, tell us that too. There are lots of wise ladies and gents who hang out here, maybe we can help. <G>

Some of my wana#711 friends are big proponents of the writing challenge ROW80. I have to tell you that these people are serious about achieving their goals while living real life. I love cheering them on. You can join anytime, just follow the link.

Ginger Calem has a wonderful challenge for creatives Writer’s Butt  Ha! Her site is filled with lots of great nutrition and fitness advice plus she makes it fun. Check it out.

Thanks for stopping by! Next week I’ll be back to my usual Magic Monday posts and we’ll talk about how to create an effective exercise plan that will turn back the clock. Yep, the old Ponce de Leon Fountain of Youth, right here on Hanging By A Moment. <G>

Have a happy, health-filled day!