Finding your inspiration
We heard last week from Rick and how his mindset got him to a marathon finish line.
We hope it gave you an insight into the mental challenges which may need to be overcome to achieve your dreams and goals.
There are so many inspiring people out there, people who have been incredibly successful in building business empires, people who achieve incredible physical feats and the most incredible people who overcome absolute adversity to achieve amazing things.
But inspiration can come in many forms – we don’t just get inspiration from people who have achieved amazing things. It could be that your kids inspire you to do the absolute best for them, to be the best role model, to work hard and provide for them. Or if your parents are growing old very happily together, they might inspire you to work at your own relationship, through the ups and downs. You might know someone that has been struck with a terrible illness and still gets up every day and faces the world, with a smile on their face. Inspiration doesn’t necessarily have to come from some massive achievement, it can come from anywhere.
We may find inspiration to do certain things because of certain people. Someone who inspired us to go into a particular profession, take up a particular hobby, or behave in a certain way. There is inspiration all around us in our groups. We (Rachel and Rick) are inspired every day by every single one of you! We hear lots of your personal stories. Some of the adversity that our members overcome just to even get through each day, let alone finding the time and energy to make it to group, inspires us every single day. People with illnesses, physical and mental, that just keep going towards their goals, whatever they may be. People who have overcome incredible physical setbacks and are now able to do things with their bodies that they never thought possible. People with complex family lives, busy, stressful jobs with long hours and those that care for others, somehow find a way to make this new lifestyle choice work for them so they can achieve their goals.
Turning inspiration and motivation into a plan!
All of us are capable of lots more than we ever dare imagine. You’ve got what it takes – be brave and believe in yourself.Rachel Wilcock
Inspiration is the light-bulb moment, the person or thing that makes you think differently. It’s the awakening of your mind, to new opportunities or a new way of being. Motivation takes you to the next level. It turns your dream into a reality. But how you get there, that’s your job!
We are all capable of achieving our goals. But to do so we need to do more than just dream or be inspired. We need to learn and take advice from those around us, who have achieved what we want to achieve, and adapt their methodologies to fit our lives.
For instance, very simplistically – if I wanted to train for a marathon, I would ask Rick for a training plan, because I know that he has run a number of marathons very successfully. However, I have different draws on my time than Rick does, (school runs to do, kids to look after, dogs to walk, family and husband to keep happy) so I would have to adapt that training plan to suit me. My long runs might have to be on a different day to what his were, and my shorter runs might have to be very early morning, rather than tea time. But it’s possible.
If I didn’t adapt the plan, I wouldn’t achieve my goal of completing my marathon training and getting to the start line. You can’t be a carbon copy of someone else, but you can use their knowledge and experience to assist you.
Then we have to stay motivated to achieving that goal. So, using the same example, whilst I am undertaking the training plan, I am going to have to keep myself dedicated and motivated to sticking to the training plan.
My motivation would be that I want to get to that start line more than anything else that might come up to sway me from my training in the 16 weeks it will take to train. And why do I want to get there? Because I want to follow in the footsteps of all the amazing athletes that have gone before me. I want to show my children that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I want to make my Dad proud of me, turning from that inactive, self confessed lazy child, teenager and adult, to a marathon runner. I have to keep all this at the forefront of my mind. This is what I will have to focus on when I have to sacrifice a Saturday night out at the end of my training plan, because I need to run 20 miles the following day. It’s what I need to focus on when I must get up at 5.45am to do my midweek runs, because that is the only time I can fit them in.
For someone who has just started at Be Strong, and they have perhaps got 3 stones to lose, they are probably feeling highly motivated at first, but they need to find within themselves what the source of that motivation is, and it would have to be something that is going to keep them motivated on the 6 month journey of losing 1-2lbs a week to shed that 3 stone. They need to find their purpose. Mine was, and still is, to be a good role model for my children. its never changed. Rick’s is to see how far he can go and inspire others to become active. That’s never changed either, it’s who we are now, what we’ve become.
This process can be likened to training for a marathon, because you have to be in it for the long game, not the quick win. This person would need to keep focused on the fact that they are going to be healthier and fitter in the long run, their joints will hurt less, they will be able to walk upstairs without getting out of breath, that they will be a healthy role model for other members of their family, or that they have finally gained control of their eating habits.
They will need a plan to get them there. So they will need to know how many calories they can eat in a day, to achieve their goals, and the foods that fit those calories. They will need a realistic exercise/activity plan, to start to improve their fitness. They will need to know how many calories are in the foods they are eating and where their opportunities are for improvement. If that person doesn’t take the time to learn about the food they are eating, and how many calories are in it, how will they ever succeed at this game? They will need to come to group every week to continue to find motivation, learn new things, accept accountability by getting weighed – and this must be part of a written plan.
Both me, on my marathon training, and the new member, are going to have to come up with ways of dealing with the times we fall down, or the distractions that get in the way, and work out how we will deal with them. I might have a holiday planned, slap bang in the middle of my training plan – which means I either adapt my training plan to take account of this, or I have to do some research on where I can continue my training on holiday. I might get a niggle or a slight injury so if that happens I will have to follow the advice of coaches, physios or sports therapists to make sure I recover quickly, and get back into training. I will have to adapt my nutrition to make sure I am fuelling my body properly. I will need to make sure I eat the right sorts of foods at the right time. Reduce alcohol, and keep my weight low, to make it easier to complete the challenge ahead of me.
The new member equally might have a holiday booked, or a string of nights out planned, so they will have to adapt to that – by either staying on track and eating sensibly throughout, and maybe increasing their exercise a little to help balance the calories, or they may have to accept the fact that they might gain weight that week and simply get back to it straight away. Remember our basics, find your purpose, maintain focus in the face of distraction, get up fast each time you fall down and be persistent.
Generally speaking, people who come to group regularly, experience success. When they fall down, don’t get up fast and stop being accountable to themselves, they tend to struggle, go back to how it was. There may be a period of time where they don’t come to group, and when they come back they have gained weight. Generally speaking, as soon as they start attending regularly again, guess what? Their weight is back under control.
We all have it in us!
Goals don’t have to be as grand as completing a marathon, losing 10 stone, or climbing Mount Everest. They can be something as simple as losing ½ a stone, or being able to walk up flights of stairs at work without being breathless.
Whatever that goal is, it needs lots of consideration as to how you will achieve it. Everyone will have their own experiences that they can draw on as well – everyone will at some point have to have used mental strength to overcome a challenge and achieve their goal. Whether that was passing exams, getting a job they really wanted, meeting a deadline, completing a physical challenge, getting through a terrible experience or overcoming an illness. We are all capable of achieving, we just have to use the right tools to get us there. Draw on the tools you used in those previous personal challenges and adapt and utilise them to your advantage to achieve your current goals.
The December Challenge!
We are in the first week of the December Challenge – where we are going to finish the year strong, and take on the challenge of committing to and completing an activity every single day. Right now your motivation to complete this will be high. But have you got a plan for Christmas week? Or the day after your Christmas party, when you have the worst hangover?
This week we want you to simply review your plan to complete your December Challenge. It should say specifically what you are going to do. Do you know what your purpose is, and can you maintain focus in the face of distraction? Do you have a simple written plan in place to achieve it? i.e. time of day, who you are doing it with etc, is it realistic? What will you do if you fall down? Did you agree to make it public? There’s nothing like a bit of public accountability to focus your mind.
Please put pen to paper, (not a note in your phone) and write down what you want to achieve, it will make such a difference to your motivation levels. I promise you. Stick it somewhere prominent where you see it every day and good luck! Stay focused!
There’s still time to join in with the December challenge!