Friday, February 11, 2011

Motivation... in many forms

I've been thinking about motivation a lot this week. One specific event that got me thinking was a crazy-busy day. I worked later than I had planned, rushed home and got dinner together, and rushed back out the door for Open House at my daughter's school. The Open House was over at 8:15, but we had to stay a little later to pick up a bag of clothes from the secretary. Her mother had cleaned out some too-small clothing and thought I might be able to use it. My daughter and I did some shopping, since we didn't have any milk in the house for breakfast the next morning.

By the time we got home, it was 9:30. I was eager to go through the bag of clothes and see what new items I had to add to my wardrobe. The trouble was, I am in the middle of a freelance proofreading assignment for a crossword puzzle magazine, and I needed to do two pages' worth of puzzles to stay on track to be finished by my deadline.

I worked up a plan. I figured out approximately how many answers I needed to come up with for the puzzle assignment, and guessed at how many pieces of clothing were in the bag. I told myself that for every 4 answers I got, I would check out one piece of clothing. That actually worked out quite well. The "study breaks" kept me motivated and provided a nice break. I had fun going through the bag of clothes and found quite a few things that looked like they would fit and be a nice addition to my wardrobe.

I thought about how the plan I worked out, of small goals (4 answers) and immediate rewards (a piece of clothing from the bag) kept me on track and moving forward. I think I need to break my remaining weight loss down into small chunks and come up with some fun and happy rewards to celebrate reaching those goals.

I've been working on more ways to keep myself on track this week. Early in the week, I was having bedtime prayer time with my youngest daughter Bethany (12 years old). I said something about the fact that I still wanted to get in some exercise, but I just didn't feel like I had the energy or the motivation. She said, "You need to do it. You don't want to let Laura down!" I couldn't figure out who she was talking about! She smiled and said, "Laura's Lean Beef! People will be reading your blog and you want to tell them you got in a good workout!" Boy, that kid knows how to motivate! Half an hour later, I was fnished with an intense kettlebell workout, and feeling a great sense of accomplishment!

My helper, motivator & encourager: Bethany

Bethany also came up with a nice way of keeping my goals in front of me on a regular basis. She was cleaning out her closet and gave me a cute little bracelet that says Aloha and has some Hawaiian flowers on it.
15 weeks from now, my husband and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary with a Hawaiian cruise. 15 weeks sounds like a long time away, but I'm sure it's going to fly by (sort of like 25 years have flown by)! I've been wearing the bracelet for a couple of days now, and I admit, it has helped me to say no to some temptations. One day this week, a work crew brought in a dozen doughnuts and left them on the table outside my office. One of them took great pleasure in munching on a doughnut outside my door, saying, "Ooooh, this is sooooo good! Don't you want one?" I almost caved in, but decided to stay strong... I'm not ready to go out in public in a bathing suit just yet!

One last way I've been pumping up my motivation this week was to pull my "goal dress" out of the back of the closet.
I found this dress about 15 years ago at a thrift shop. I've never fit into it. In fact, it still has the price tag on it (it was $8.99, cut down to $4.98). It has a satin underdress with spaghetti straps and a lace overlay. I would love to be able to wear this dress for out 25th anniversary this year. I'm getting closer... at first, I could barely get the sleeves past my elbow, and now they almost fit.
This week has been a good one for getting back on track. It's time for the scale to start moving in the right direction again!

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