Archive for December 17, 2017

Are you relying too much on the ‘M’ word?

I’ve got a question for you:  Are you relying too much on the ‘M’ word?




‘Motivation,’ that is.




And another:  Are you one of those people who’s ‘waiting for the New Year’ to take care of your health and fitness?




Or:  are you one of those people who tends to say, “Oh, it’s the holidays, I’ll start working out again after January 1”?




One of the words I hear tossed around frequently (especially when it comes to working out when things get busy) is ‘motivation,’ as in:  “I don’t feel motivated” or “I just don’t have motivation” or “I just can’t get motivated.”





And I get it–really, I do.




Except….Except motivation is one of those ‘sprint’ emotions–it’s there all in a flash and feels hot and exciting, but flames out fast.




So ‘motivation’ isn’t a very good long-term way to achieve or maintain successful exercise or healthier eating habits (sorry!), especially during the holiday season, aka:  the rest of 2017. The hours of daylight are getting shorter, the list of to-do’s is often a bit longer, we feel less energetic in general, and then we have all these ‘extras’ to figure out–parties, gifts, family get-togethers, travel plans….




At the end of the day, motivation isn’t going to see us through, especially when we feel pressed for time/energy and pulled in many directions at once.




What we need instead is a whole lot of purpose–we need to know and have a really good handle on our big WHY for continuing to make healthier choices for ourselves instead of putting our health and fitness on the back burner until the magical ‘new year’ arrives.





It’s our WHY, our deep, gut-level purpose, is what really gets us moving and keeps us moving.  


  • It’s what makes us rise up bravely from our falls.
  • It’s the voice that whispers, “try again” in our ear when we want to stay down.
  • It’s what gets us to the gym at those odd hours, or picking up the dumbbells or kettlebells at home to get in that much-needed workout instead of ‘throwing in the towel,’ because we’re tired or it’s no longer convenient.




Motivation is long gone at these times, and if we wait to find it again so that we can act, so we can get moving, and do the (sometimes) hard things we need to do for ourselves, we will be waiting a VERY long time.




I know I sure don’t feel motivated to do anything but camp out on my couch under a blanket in comfy clothes most evenings.




also know that if I let motivation dictate my evening choices, I won’t get in that much-needed workout, or read that extra article or chapter of an exercise science book, or cook a healthy dinner for me and my family.




But if we call on our WHY instead of ‘finding’ motivation? 

Our why is always there for us–we just have to look a bit deeper to find it.




So instead of leaning so heavily on motivation to keep up with our health and fitness goals through the holidays, we can turn the ‘M’ word on its head–literally–so that it becomes much more useful.




When we turn it upside down, that M becomes a W, which stands for our big WHY.




And NOW is the time to do just that.




If you don’t yet have a solid grip on your big WHY–if you can’t say your why out loud, if it’s not right there on the tip of your tongue, then it’s time to pause and define it.




Here’s how to get to that big WHY!




First, start with this:

What are your fitness goals?


Then ask:

  • Why does this/do these goal(s) matter?
  • How do these fitness goals affect your life?
  • How do these fitness goals impact your health?
  • How do these fitness goals impact how you feel each day?
  • How do these fitness goals impact how you feel about yourself?
  • How do these fitness goals influence your energy?
  • How do these fitness goals influence your happiness?
  • How do these fitness goals improve or affect your overall quality of life?




Now your job is to take all the answers to those questions, and distill them down into what I’ve started calling your ‘Anchor’:  a clear, strong, solid one-sentence answer that sums up powerfully WHY your fitness goals REALLY matter to you.



Finding and defining your Anchor matters, because:

  • There are going to be a lot of times you feel like skipping the gym or hitting the couch instead of the weights.
  • There are going to be times you may want to quit.  
  • There are times when working out doesn’t feel great, or you aren’t happy with your performance.  
  • There are going to be times where other people might interfere–question why you have to work out, try to get you to skip your plans and do something else, try to commandeer your time.



The difference between the path you choose at these times will likely be determined by your Anchor–that big WHY statement that you can ‘reach back to’ to hold you fast to your goals and purpose.



So before the week is over, I encourage you to find a few quiet minutes (yeah, I know, ‘quiet’–hahahaha….) and build your Anchor.



Make your anchor something you can repeat easily to yourself, something that ‘hits you right in the feels.’  Post it on your bathroom mirror, on your desk, on your fridge, in your car and anywhere else you might need to see it each day.



Then stick to your fitness goals tenaciously for the rest of this holiday season and clear through 2018 to feel your best and come out feeling proud and accomplished instead of sluggish and feeling bad about having to start all over.


“Have an anchor so that life doesn’t toss you around.” 

~Debby Ryan


You’ve got this–and I’ve got your back!  Just shoot me an email if you need a little more guidance, support and accountability getting started and sticking to your fitness goals!!


Simply click this link, and we’ll get you started on an amazing 2018 ==>


And in case you needed a solid, get-er-done, do-anywhere workout, I’ve got you covered with this fun, simple and sweaty circuit:


Stay Anchored!!





focus on your CANs



When we’re injured, or off our game, or feel like our hands are tied behind our backs by life and we’re not able to do all the things we want to be able to do, it’s easy to get discouraged.



It’s so easy to get tunnel vision about our situation, fixated on our pain, or our injury, or all the ways we’re penned in or inconvenienced. Actually, it’s a natural reflex of the brain to have a ‘negativity bias,’ or immediately shift into thinking about what’s wrong.


So you’re not a Debbie Downer or a Negative Nancy if you find yourself getting sucked into ‘what’s wrong’ mode—it happens.




I know this one all too well, from having train-wrecked my low back/pelvis in a riding accident 10 years ago, from breaking my big toe 6 years ago and then developing a bone infection, from tearing a meniscus and needing surgery and six months of rehab to fix it 5 years ago, from needing 14 weeks of physical therapy to overcome tendonitis in my shoulder, and from recovering from tweaking my back last year, and from years and years of dealing with an all-too-often unpredictable and inconvenient Army lifestyle.


I get those feelings. I get how they can pull you under, how it can be tough to see anything but where you’re ‘stuck.’


This is exactly the time, however, when we need to refocus—to shift our perspective to one that searches for our CANs rather than dwelling on our can’ts.


Fixating on our can’ts keeps us stuck and struggling—at least mentally and emotionally. But refocusing on what we CAN do—that’s uplifting, empowering, and pushes us back into action.


If you’ve got a lower body injury, shift your focus to what you can do with your core and upper body.


Running might be out for you, which means it might be a perfect time to dedicate yourself to training for doing those pull ups, push ups, nailing down a bulletproof heavy kettlebell swing, and developing those rock hard abs.





If some part of your upper body is giving you the business, it’s a perfect time to start doubling up on your ab and glute work while you heal that elbow or shoulder.




If your back is on the mend, it’s an ideal time to refocus all your training efforts on creating a super strong core and learn to make your hip muscles work better for you.


Here’s a short workout that might be right up your alley:


Focus on your CANS. Take back your power. Find the things you CAN do that keep you in the game—that keep you positive and proactive and building/maintaining muscle.


Then put all your energy into those projects with laser-like focus. Do what you need to heal or make it through the situation you’re in, but don’t let it suck you down.


Find your fight. Find your power. Find what you CAN do. Then CAN yourself forward.