Struggling with Getting Motivated?

Ahhh. It’s finally arrived. Springtime. So many of us while sitting at home freezing our a’s off in winter, dreamt of the time when the leaves return, when we could walk out the door without a 20 minute procedure of wrestling with little ones to force mittens, hats, and Antarctic-ready outerwear on their chilly, wee bodies. In winter, we had a whole list of activities/goals that we were going to do when the warm weather finally arrived- things we couldn’t wait to get to.

And now the spring is here. Why are we finding that these things we’ve planned- couldn’t wait to do- are taking their time to come to fruition? We aren’t quite “hitting the ground running” as we Funny fitness woman ready for gymnastickthought we would. And then we beat ourselves up for it.

This is a theme now among so many of my clients. I have these things I want to accomplish. I keep failing at doing them. I feel like a failure. I just can’t get motivated.

So, for this post, I want to give you some things to think about on how to find some motivated to set you in action.

 

Shut off the Self-Defeating Voice

What are some of the things you think to yourself when you “fail” to meet your goals? Ones I hear all the time are things like,

“What’s wrong with me?”

“I’m so lazy.”

“I’ll start fresh on Monday since I have already blown this week”.

“I can’t do anything right”.

“I wish I was as motivated as ___.”

“I’m not good at this”.

“I’m a failure”.

We all have our go-to self-critical statements. And man, are they vicious. Imagine you saying these things to another person (which you would NEVER DO! So, btw, why is it okay to say to yourself?). How do you think the person would feel after hearing these messages about themselves?

Defective, inadequate, defeated, disheartened, stuck, disappointed, depressed, frustrated etc.

Let me ask you this… How motivated do you expect to be when you feel this way?

NOT MOTIVATED AT ALL.

The messages we give to ourselves (aka THOUGHTS), are so incredibly important. They determine how we feel and what we do. When we feel defeated, we do the opposite of what we want which is inaction (or which is eating a tub of ice cream, drinking a bottle of wine, or [insert behaviors that definitely don’t help our cause]).

 

Get to the heart of the matter

So, what helps when we catch ourselves engaging in negative, self-critical thought, is focusing on the WHY behind what we want to do. Really think about the answers to these questions:

Why do we truly want to achieve this goal? What’s at the heart of it? How will we feel when we get there? How will we feel when we even just take one step forward towards making the dream a reality? How will accomplishing this affect our life?

Focus on THAT.

Sometimes, once we get those answers, it’s very easy to revert back to the whole “but, it feels like I’m never going to get there” thing. Stop yourself. Get back to the heart of it. And read on.

 

Find an accountability buddy

It can be tremendously powerful to have a friend who also wants to accomplish a goal (which should be all of your friends, by the way) and is willing to partner up with you. You don’t have to be working towards the same thing, just both be aiming for something that is taking a little work to stick to. Develop a plan and communicate to hold one another accountable for taking small steps.

 

Set yourself up for success

You may have a lofty goal that is going to take a lot of work to accomplish or a smaller goal that just requires getting started and a little consistency. Either way, we need to break down the goal into steps. Something nearly all of my clients are familiar with is my philosophy that in order to get in motion, we have to:

Set yourself up to succeed.

What do I mean by this? In order to gain momentum and turn a “have to” into a “want to”, we have to feel like we are winning. Even just a little. Like I mentioned before, when we are consistently not meeting our goals, we aren’t motivated. We feel beat up.

Many times, the problem lies in the goals themselves (when I say goals here I mean the action steps towards accomplishing your ultimate goal). Nine times out of ten, we are setting our expectations too high- and consequently setting ourselves up to fail.

I’m not saying don’t aim for the stars. AIM for those bad boys. But when it’s the “getting started” thing that we are struggling with, we often need to tweak our steps to allow ourselves some wins.

Let’s use an example:

Let’s say your ultimate goal is to lose 20 pounds by September.

The goals (steps) you set are: to work out four times a week by running 3 miles on Monday and Wednesday and doing a 60 minute workout videos on Thursday and Saturday.

But then you struggle getting started on Monday and then you find that the whole week is shot. Why? Because you feel defeated. Like you’ve failed even before you started.

These workout goals might be totally doable for you down the road, but when you are looking to get into a new routine, this seems like a little much to start.

Let’s set you up to succeed.

I encourage my clients to make action steps that are REALLY small and flexible to start. For some, it feels really weird and certainly “not good enough”. Work through that. Stick with me.

In the example, this might mean to do one workout in the week on whatever day they feel like it. Maybe they’ll go on an hour walk. Or maybe they’ll do one 30 minute workout video. But that is it.

Just make sure your action steps are specific, measurable, and time-limited.

With these steps, the easier the better. Why? Because the chances that they’ll actually achieve these mini-goals are much better. And then they scored a win. And a win means everything.

Compare how you feel with a win vs a week of inaction.

Set your goals small and slowly work your way up. You’ll feel the momentum and the behaviors you want will be much more likely here to stay.

 

Celebrate every win

I don’t care how you do this. It could be just by telling your accountability buddy that you accomplished your goal (as long as they’ll do a little cheering for you). Maybe it’s buying yourself a pedicure. Or allowing yourself to watch a movie while your kids are napping (god forbid!). Give yourself a little credit for doing EXACTLY what you said you would do. You are busy. You are human.   You deserve success.

What Happens When We Don’t Allow for Mommy Time?

[Ever write an entire blog without saving it and then logging back onto your computer to post only to find that it is missing and not listed in the trusty “document recovery” section of Word but then it magically appears there two weeks later? Weird! Me too! So if this post seems like it was written a few weeks ago, that’s because it totally was.]  So, without further ado…

 

 

 

At one point or another, I hear from every coaching client that they sometimes find themselves being short and reactive with their little ones. Snapping at their husbands. Feeling moody or just blah. I often hear the words, something is just missing in my life. Aaaaaand I’ve felt it.

There is a message being sent to you during these times Very surprised screaming housewifewhere you just don’t feel like yourself. Can you hear it?

My little guy has had two back-to-back illnesses so lately we’ve spent A LOT of time at home. Taking him to outdoor space hasn’t been an option due to the snow-slush-ice-bullshit EVERYWHERE (hostility? Naah. ). So, we have cancelled all of our activities (therefore my daytime adult interaction), take treacherous and brutally slow and slippery walks over mounds of said bullshit just to get out of the house and make the best of it.

Sometimes self-awareness doesn’t come quite as quickly as we’d like. Sometimes you don’t notice until the tears start rolling or the screams start detonating (or until you realize you haven’t brushed your teeth/hair or changed out of your pajamas until 3PM- not that I can relate to this in any possible way) that something needs to change.

We all get very engrossed in our lives. So much so, that it can be difficult to remember to take a moment to do a self-check.

Ask yourself, “how am I doing?”- just like you might regularly ask a loved one.

Chances are, if you are feeling totally overwhelmed, stuck, reactionary, temperamental, unfulfilled, disengaged, etc., your answer to that question might surprise you.

The next question I have for you is:

When is the last time you attended to your OWN needs? When did you last do something to nurture your soul, your body, your spirit?

The messages we’re being sent when we are acting so out of character are often that we aren’t taking care of our own needs.  You all know what happens when we don’t allow for mommy time. We become the less-than-amazing mommies that we all strive to be. We snap at our children a little easier and aren’t as present in our relationships. We are more negative. We struggle with motivation. And the list goes on and on.

What would it feel like to take a walk alone with headphones or just in silence? How would it feel to bring a book or journal to the coffee shop for a half hour… ALONE? What would a night out with the girls or your partner do for your mood? A meditation or yoga class? A mani-pedi? When is the last time you allowed for some kind of self-expression?

There are endless ideas to consider when thinking of restorative, “me” time. And it all doesn’t have to cost money. Perhaps ask your partner to watch the little ones for a half hour. Or ask another mommy to swap a few hours sitting one another’s kiddos. I’m sure she could use some alone time too!

We have to open our minds for solutions and sometimes get creative. It’s easy to focus on the problem of “not enough (time, money, friends, babysitters, etc).” when the truth is that if you really value self-care (and I HOPE YOU DO!), and you stop making excuses then you will make this happen in some way.

So stop making excuses. Stop ignoring your own needs. You are more than a momma. You are a person who has her own needs and deserves time to herself. Working or SAHM. Let’s all remember to check in with ourselves and nurture the complex individual women that we sometimes forget we are.

It’s Okay to Let it Go

One thing that is so wonderfully therapeutic about writing a coaching/parenting blog is that I have regular opportunities to choose topics that benefit more than just my Rad Moms. As a WAHM, I, too, find myself challenged by some of the same issues that I hear my coaching moms say during our sessions. When I decide to write about a certain topic, I ask myself, “What do I need to hear right now?”. Chances are that I’m not alone in needing to hear these reminders, especially during the holiday season.

 

I love the holidays. LOVE them. I soak up the warmth and generous spirit and energy of it all. But with that being said, there seems to be so many obligations that come along with celebrating the season. Moms are crazy busy as it is. Like, “how the hell am I going to get all of this sh#% done” crazy January to November. December?  Oh hell no.

 

Along with these obligations, complicated emotions easily stuffed down from Jan-Nov seem to pop right to the Let things go postersurface during this time of the year. Complex relationship issues, guilt, grief, control issues, dread, harmful belief systems, loneliness, self-criticism, resentments, anxiety, ALL OF IT right there in your face. With all of this emotion on top of our usual and holiday obligations, no wonder moms are feeling overwhelmed.

 

I want to give all of us permission right now to do something powerful and easy, if you allow it to happen.

 

Let it go.

 

That’s right. Just let it go.

 

Ride the wave of emotion. Acknowledge and validate the feelings. Be kind to yourself. Breathe. Breathe again. One more time. Give yourself permission to let them pass. Let it go.

 

Repeat.

 

Holding on to things does you no good. It only robs you of the joy of this moment. This beautiful moment happening around you right now.

What can you let go of this season?

Need some help with this process, email Kacey at Kacey@theradmom.com and ask me how I can help.

Do You Know Who You Are as a Parent and Individual?

Stepping into the crazy world of parenting is the ultimate immersion experience. You’ve prepared, read the books, talked to your friends. You think you have a pretty good grasp of how profoundly different your life will be. Then…the baby arrives. Only now you can truly appreciate the magnitude of what has just happened.

From the moment the beautiful bundle of joy/need/bodily fluids is in your arms, your life is immeasurably different. Although you love your little humans from every cell of your body, finding ways to balance the nurturing demands of Motherhood and identityyour children while keeping the other aspects of your life together and quasi-functioning is just so incredibly… freaking… hard.

We all have periods of parenting where we’re in the weeds. The hefty demands of it all often leave many mothers (and fathers) feeling overwhelmed, lost, and unfulfilled. This life transition can very easily trigger a loss of the sense of self for many women. Hands down, the number one thing I hear from my clients is that during this crazy season of life, she just doesn’t recognize herself anymore- her identity has been sacrificed in the mothering role.

I have the pleasure and honor of working with bad ass women who are seriously not okay with this. They accept the need to redistribute some of their energy on reclaiming their joy and nurturing the self.

Every woman would agree that she is not the exact same person that she was before her children came along. Having kids changes you at your core. I am reminded of the quote by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh:

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”

Although you have changed, you are not lost. You are evolving. You are opening new layers of identity. Grieving the loss of your former life is normal, healthy, expected. It opens up space and opportunity for discovery and redesign. After becoming a parent, our previously accepted core values, belief systems and our prior pursuits are challenged. However; with every challenge is an opportunity. A beautiful opportunity is occurring for you right now. Right in this moment, you can decide to redefine who you are and you can decide to discover and honor the aspects and activities of life that make you feel alive. Right in this very moment, you can decide to evolve with intention and to begin a whole new chapter of your life filled with authenticity, confidence and joy.

What are you waiting for?