Motivational Success Plan: Part I

How to stay motivated


You start a program, and end up quitting within 3 weeks because you weren’t seeing results or you simply didn’t exercise because you “didn’t feel like it”… It’s very hard to get anywhere if you don’t actually commit… It’s time to implement a motivational plan to MAKE SURE you stay on the healthy path.


So before you even begin your healthy program, let’s set up some motivational tools to keep you engaged and give you tools to use when  you waver.


Doing these things before you start your workout routine and then going back looking at these tools when you are having moments of weakness can provide you with instant motivation! Implement as many of these tools as you can because the more tools you have at your disposal the more likely you will stick with your healthy plan.


  1. Painted picture
  2. Subgoals
  3. Selfies
  4. Take measurements / fit tests
  5. Accountability
  6. Make it cost you


Write down your painted picture: As you probably know almost all motivation is in the mind. Life and motivation are pretty much all about these brain games. The painted picture method is a concept I’ve borrowed from the business realm. It involves taking 5-10 minutes to sit-down and visualize the person you want to be after you have achieved your goals. What do you look like? How do you feel? What’s your confidence level? How much healthier are you? Next visualize how you are going to achieve your goals. What does it require to get there? What are the time / physical commitments? Give each question a good deal of thought and write down your answers.


You are essentially creating a painted picture of who you envision yourself to be at the end of your exercise program.


Print it off and have it close at-hand so on difficult days you can read what you want to be and how awesome it will be to achieve your goals. It will help you re-set your mind to your goals! This can provide an amazing amount of motivation when you are struggling and are wondering what you are doing this for.


Sub-goals are key: It great to have an overall goal but have sub-goals that are more attainable in a specified time period. For example, if your overall goal is to lose 30 pounds, your sub-goals could be to lose 15 pounds by April, run a half marathon by August, and bench-press 250lbs by October. Even though the last two goals aren’t about losing 30 pounds they will help you get to your final goal (like checkpoints) and are a fun and engaging way to stay on track!


Subgoals are great because they allow you to achieve parts of your goal more quickly.


While losing 30 pounds may take a half a year, losing 3 pounds could take only a few weeks, making you feel great about yourself and motivated to continue your journey. That is the best part about subgoals: they take less time to achieve.


Pictures are amazingly motivational.


This could quite easily be the most powerful of all the motivational tools. Take some photographs of yourself from the front and the side before you begin your program. After 4 weeks take more photos and compare the two.


Photographs are great because they are a physical, tangible object you can hold in your hands that show the significant improvements you’ve made! I promise you that if you can see significant differences between the before and after photos you will have motivation to do almost anything, instantly!



Okay that’s it for this post – I don’t want to explode your head with information overload. In my next post I will discuss the final 3 motivational tools you can implement to make sure you stay on your fitness plan and get the healthy results you truly deserve!


For more motivation, support, and very specific instructions to take you a step further towards your goals visit us at Always Active Athletics today!


Fall Food Finds – The Best Nutrition in Autumn Harvest

Fall Harvest Foods

Fall Harvest Foods


As the temperatures drop and leaves turn an array of beautiful burnt orange, golden brown and deep red, Fall’s hearty vegetables and sweet fruit are ready and ripe. Autumn’s abundant harvest includes a wide variety of colors and flavors you can use to make an endless number of delicious dishes from cold salads to warm comforting soups and casseroles. Not only is in-season produce the best price among all fresh produce but it is also picked at its peak of ripeness for exceptional taste and eye-popping color.


What’s even better, when you switch what you eat with the seasons you are more likely to get a wider variety of vitamins, minerals and healthy plant compounds such as antioxidants.


Butternut Squash


Loaded with fiber, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A & C, butternut squash tastes great when cubed and roasted or you can turn it into a sweet dish by baking it with pecans and cranberries.




Though we often think of oranges for vitamin C, cauliflower is an excellent source of this nutrient. And as fall can sometimes mean the start of cold and flu season, the more vitamin C the better!  My favorite ways to enjoy this vegetable – roasted until it becomes crispy and caramelized and then I toss it with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. You’ve probably also seen cauliflower mashed potatoes – these are very easy to make and you can either mix them in with mashed potatoes or make them separately by steaming cauliflower and blending them with low-fat milk, yogurt or sour cream and a little bit of light butter along with a dash of salt and pepper (pour into a baking dish, and bake until bubbly).




The most well known Fall fruit does more than just light up your front porch. Pumpkin is actually a type of squash loaded with vitamins A & C. Stuffed pumpkin provides a sweet, delicious healthy snack when combined with apples, pineapple (another Fall fruit), raisins and spices. You can also make pumpkin muffins, pumpkin & sweet potatoes as a side dish and of course roast the seeds for a good dose of healthy fats along with several minerals including magnesium, zinc and copper and a good dose of protein. For more Pumpkin details see  Pumpkin Nutrition – Fall Pumpkin Overload is Good For You!


Radicchio and Swiss Chard 


These dark green leafy vegetables contain antioxidant carotenoids and lend a different flavor to your dishes than the greens you may typically reach for. So, add them to your scrambled eggs, soups, stir-fry dishes and stews.


If you are overwhelmed by the choices and not sure where to start, pick one new fruit or vegetable you have never tried or rarely eat and whip up a new dish. By the end of this season you will have plenty of new tasty dishes to delight your taste buds and contribute to overall health.
















4 Tips To Help You Get Back To Your Health Goals

plan your health

plan your health

Did you skip a day of exercise? 

Did one day turn into two and then a whole week and you are left wondering if you should go back?



There are 4 things you should do right away to help achieve your goals.


1. Believe That You Can – believing that you can reach your goal is the number one determinant of success. Kevin Plank, the founder of Under Armour said it best, “The game is already won or lost by the way you approach it.” You have to believe before you can achieve. So what if you are having a tough time picturing the changes you desire? Well then it’s time to pull out the “fake it till you make it” mentality.


If it’s weight loss you are after, spend time envisioning your body smaller, shopping for new clothes (heck, buy something you like that is too tight right now and put it within your sight), fitting into an airplane seat with plenty of room to spare. Use your mind to daydream and see yourself where you want to be. Also put things within your sight that are reminders of the success you will have. See yourself kicking that winning goal.


2. Enlist the Help of Others Who Believe in You – some people want you to succeed and really believe that you can do it. Others will be envious of your success and determination. Surround yourself with a support team (personal trainer, dietitian, friends, family, coworkers) who believe that you can do it and are cheering you on the entire way!


3. Ditch the All-or-Nothing Thinking. If eating a cookie makes you feel like your weight loss efforts are falling apart, it’s time to readjust your mindset. Missing a week of working out doesn’t mean you should give up. Having a day where you completely blow your diet does not mean that you’ll gain 5 lbs back. Realize that you don’t have to be perfect all of the time to achieve your Health Goal. Forgive yourself, forget it and look forward not backward.


4. Write it Down. There is something about having a visual reminder that makes you change your behavior.  If you want to workout 3 days a week, keep a calendar up on the wall where you see it often, and write down your workouts on each day you complete one. And, do the same thing for diet – write down what you eat every day and just the act of writing it down will help you make better choices.