Monday, June 14, 2010

The Check-List - Crystal Light Pure Fitness Post #2

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Crystal Light Pure Fitness.

Most days, I live for the sweet and glorious satisfaction of a check mark.

Two loads of laundry done? Check.

Mid-term exams graded? Check.

Refund deposited in bank? Double Check.

With each tic of my pen, with each item figuratively dismissed from my watch list, I breathe a sigh of relief and inhale the sweet smell of success.

Because while others drink alcohol for their release, I indulge in an addiction with my to-do lists.

Ahhh, the beauty of the to-do list.

An itemized list I make for myself each day, laying out every activity I have to complete, every task I have to conquer, every appointment I have to make.

Without these little slips of schedules, I swear, I'd never survive most days. Heck, I'd never survive most hours.

With two jobs, a husband, a dog, and a house to attend to, I'm liable to lose my mind before I even remember to take my delicates out of the dryer.

Without my to-do lists, I'd never get anything done.

And that includes my exercise.

Just like anything else, my weekly runs, my cycling classes, my abdominal workouts, they all have to be penciled in.

It's the only way I ever get up the motivation to do them.

Normally, I sit down on a Sunday afternoon and plan my week. In my planner, I make lists of each item I want to tackle each day of the week. I include the big events - Parent-Teacher Conferences: 4 p.m. on Thursday - and the little ones, too - Pick Up Crystal Light Pure Fitness drink mix at store.

Laid out, all organized and unattended to, I always get a little flutter in my stomach, looking at all there is to be done in a week.

And, once I've got the calendar as complete as I can get it, then I start to pencil in my workouts.

A crazy day on Monday may mean I have to go for a 6-a.m. run before work.

A lax day on Wednesday may allow me time to do an hour of strength-training in the afternoon, along with 30 minutes on the Stairmaster.

And a completely open Saturday may provoke me to write - in big, bold letters - REST DAY, committing to a plan of sleeping in, reading a book, cuddling with my husband, and doing nothing more strenuous than walking the dog.

Whatever the weekly schedule may look like, I pencil them in: Five to six workouts, making sure I include strength-training at least three times in a week.
Just like that, it's a part of my mandatory schedule.

Those little assignments - "4-Mile Run on Gym Treadmill - 9 a.m." - become a part of my daily check lists. And just like I wouldn't skip a work meeting, I won't skip an appointment at the gym, either.

After all, it's on the books. It's in the list.

I have to do it.

I have a deadline to meet.

I have to be able to mark it as "Done."

I have to brand it with my conquering symbol.

Hour-long kickboxing class? Check.

Two-hour bike ride? Check.

An hour of interval training? Check.

That flick of the pen is my motivator. It is mightier than the sword and mightier than any steel, stubborn, lazy will that likes to course through my body, rendering me almost useless, tempting me to lie back down and skip my morning run just this once.

That check mark keeps me going. Up and out of bed, working through a routine, getting my exercise, and then reaching for my pen.

Workout complete?


Now it's your turn.

Tell me; how do you stay motivated and keep on your fitness routine?

Every answer entered below will put your name in the ring for the drawing of a $100 Visa gift card, courtesy of BlogHer and Crystal Light Pure Fitness, taking place at the end of this month.

To find out the official rules of the Crystal Light Pure Fitness Reviews Program, head here. And while you're at it, take a peek at the other bloggers reviewing Crystal Light Pure Fitness at CLPF exclusive offers page, and enter to win four other additional $100 gift cards, as well as a $1,000 sweepstakes.


Mrs. Potts said...

As always, a great post.

I stay motivated several ways.

1. Focus on my health. What I'm doing today I'll be thankful for in 20 years.

2. Fit into my jeans. I've lost 20lbs now and am wearing jeans I hadn't in 2 years.

3. Keep up with the munchkins. They're 5 & 3 - enough said.

Lil' Woman said...

Now that I'm back in PA my mom has been my biggest motivation.

She gives me advice about food as well as goes walking with me at night.

Gina said...

I plan it too. Like you, I have a planner and I jot it down. I also remind myself that you never, ever regret going to the gym...and when you really don't feel like going, it's probably when you need to go most of all!

Happy Dash said...

I've become guilty of starting with one mode of motivation and then changing to another ... I guess I haven't found something that is just perfect for me. Currently, I schedule workouts with a friend every other day - an outing with her motivates me to workout not only with her but alone after! I've also been known to use the blog to hold me accountable & keep my routine.

I think I'll try to schedule it in my planner - maybe that will work for me as I am a planner :)

Adorably Distracted... said...

This is hard because sometimes I do NOT feel the urge to go. Some things that motivate me

1. Adding new songs to my ipod
2. Thinking of a bathing suit
3. Thinking about how good the end result will be.
4. Thinking about how if I run extra now, I can eat a little bit of ice cream later!
5. When my husband or friends works out too it really helps me push myself because if they are working hard for me, then I work hard for them!

Courtney said...

My boyfriend is my biggest motivation. He eats very healthy and works out all the time. He will definitely let me know if I shouldn't be eating what I'm eating, or if I need to work out more. Sometimes we will work out together.

Hilary Lane said...

I am so envious of your amazing to do list skills! When I was in college, I lived by my planner & to-do lists, but now I find it hard to remember to open my planner! I can plan out my entire month and then forget to open my planner for 3 weeks! And exercising? Pretty much spontaneous. Okay, no pretty much to it. ALWAYS spontaneous.

K said...

The biggest motivator for me is getting outdoors and doing something fun. I get bored in routines.

Kelsey said...

I stay motivated by having a routine--waking up at the same time every day. On "run days" I get up and know that it's time to run. Oh and it helps me to have a goal in mind! :)

Taylor said...

I stay motivated by having a routine, if I know Monday is a work out day, then I will work out and eat healthy. I thrive on routines and procedures!

Lauren said...

I have a hard time being consistent. :( Although I've realized that making "meet me at the gym" dates with my friends helps a lot! As does wanting to be able to wear the clothes in my closet, rather than going out to buy new ones. ;)

Lucy Marie said...

Sometimes I have a hard time staying motivated. When the weather is nice and I can get outside I have no problem but during the winter months - it is HARD! So ... I find if I include my workouts as a check box on my daily to do list (which we all know, I clearly live by), then I find I'm more likely to get it done.

Amanda said...

I am the exact same way with the check-lists! To be honest, I don't really work out. Ever. However, I've recently started and I decided that accountability would be the biggest key to me starting some kind of routine and sticking to it, so myself and 4 other bloggers decided to do the 30 Day Shred together last month. We each emailed everybody daily, with how our workouts went (what was going well, what we were struggling with, etc.). Knowing that I needed to email them encouraged me to do it on days I really didn't want to.

Now? my roommate and I are both trying to get on this "fit" bandwagon, so we're semi-competing with each other to see who looks more fabulous first :)

tootie said...

Great post! I try to work out in the morning, so I won't have to worry about fitting it in later in the day. And good music always helps!

Kelsey Kim said...

It's easy to stay motivated when you have fun, and when you get some alone time,that helps.

Michelle said...

I am easily distracted and not always one to stick to a firm routine. I have every good intention of working out on a daily basis, but it doesn't always happen.

So, throughout the day I try to do things that will make a difference. I sit up straight at my desk at work (or in my car driving home) and contract my abs. I also walk...a lot. I don't use the elevator at work. I take the stairs.

At home, I have arm circles that I use to tone my guns. ha ha ha I also try to do 10 push-ups a day.

Oh, and water...water is key. I shoot for 64 ounces a day. Needless to say, I pee a lot. But, walking to the bathroom is exercise! ;)

Moe said...

I listen to what my boyfriend says he does for exercise.....and then say "okay. come on you have to do something too. you can't be a slug". haaha. :)

It's awesome motivation.... ;)

Anne J said...

I stay motivated because my 17 year old daughter is my training buddy. We keep each other going.

ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I stay motivated by picking a fitness goal to work towards. It started a year ago picking my first 5k as I was just starting to get into running.

Now it's training for a marathon. Crazy! :) But having that goal for the future keeps me going to the gym and getting my workouts in so I can make it to race day and rock it!

kari jasus said...

several things motivate me to work out. rain: if it rains i usually hit the gym. coffee: enlivens my sluggish body to get moving. the mirror: one look and i'm hitting the gym, or biking my son to the park.

Helga Marie said...

what keeps me motivated- besides a piping hot cup of coffee.

The fact that I am unable to afford a new post baby wardrobe is the main reason I have been able to stay motivated about elipticalling while watching my recordigs of Days of Our Lives, and One Life to Live every night after EJ goes to bed. 7months after his birth, and I only fit in about 1/2 my wardrobe- so I just keep working out and praying I can shrink down just one more size ;o)

QallieQ at gmail dot com

Gail said...

I am motivated to exercise because of my husband. He and I get up at 6:00 every morning to go to the gym. If he wasn't willing to go with me, I would likely just stay in bed and sleep another hour. But, we both get up, get dressed, and head to the gym for a morning workout. And, I feel great all day long!

Karina said...

working out with my husband keeps me motivated

Stefanie said...

I stay motivated by changing up my workout routine and always taking time to reward myself. I might buy myself a new outfit when I drop a few pounds or just keep motivated by how great I feel. I love to stay fit because it makes me feel more confident in myself.

Erin from Long Island said...

To stat motivated, I like to crank the music, loose myself in some sport on tv, and focus how much stronger I am getting.

Mami2jcn said...

I try to make exercise fun and listen to good music. Sometimes I'll daydream while I'm's fun and I get to escape reality for a while.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I stay motivated by making smaller goals to achieve rather than huge ones that may discourage me. I'll say, "Okay, I want to lose one dress size, then once I accomplish that I want to lose one more". Rather than "I want to hurry and lose two dress sizes". Thanks! :)

shevilkenevil1 at aol dot com

LindsayC said...

Thank you for this truly inspiring post! My biggest motivation is because I know what will happen if I don't. I had surgery on my knee and I slacked off in my post rehab workout and it cost me. So now I look at my body as the intricate machine it is and I do what I can to maintain it because it makes my life easier. When my body works my mind works and I'm happier.

Anonymous said...

What motivates me is doing something fun. We got a Wii fit and its really fun to compete with the family and use it as a way to get everyone active and competing!

teacherlinz at yahoo dot com

Sunny said...

I joined a private Facebook group my friends and I made. That way we can hold each other accountable for our fitness and weight loss goals without having to publish everything publicly on our walls. It has worked out great so far!

Just call me b said...

I try to get my friends to run with me, and if I know they are counting on me, it motivates me!