Motivation Monday [or Friday, Whatever..]

There is nothing like a trip to Southern California [and a simultaneous five days off from reality] to really get one’s ass in gear.

I mean, there really is no better place than SoCal to go if you want to find some motivation. And this really goes for anything.

I have never, ever thought I was fat. In fact, I consider myself extremely lucky that, at two years shy of the dirty thirty, and I still look great. And this is with minimal to no exercise AT ALL. And, on occasion, eating healthy.

So recently, during a trip to sunny San Diego with Bella, in which I stayed in San Marcos with my best friend and her fiance, I found myself striving for a better me.

Since my friend had to work that Friday, Bella and I set off for Del Mar. We walked on the beach and ate lunch at a little restaurant called The Americana [super dog-friendly and right in the little downtown area]. As I sat there enjoying my ice cold beer [hey – I was on vacation, okay?], I began to think, “This is a place that I could call home.” Maybe not Del Mar per se, but San Diego in general. Or SoCal.

And, as coincidence would have it, I also happened to stumble across Paige Hathaway‘s Instagram page [fitness guru and also just straight beautiful]. And, let me tell you, there is nothing more motivating than seeing a woman who is in shape but also has womanly curves [because, let’s be honest, I am just really not into the whole muscular woman thing – when you begin to lose your curves and look like a man, it is just not attractive].

A couple of days ago, Ms. Hathaway wrote a caption to one of her photos that really just spoke to me. She said:

“Greatness will not find you: you have to find it, and you have to work damn hard for it too. Growing up we’ve always heard ‘follow your dreams, don’t settle for anything less.’ We’re taught to do work for the love of it, not for the money. This is a nice goal to strive for, but once you move out and bills start piling up – reality hits. You might feel slighted, lied to, or unfairly left out of the wonderment that life was supposed to bestow on you. Is it possible to do what you love, be successful, and be happy the rest of your life? Absolutely – but you have to WORK REALLY HARD, EVERY SINGLE DAY to get there.

You have to do those 10,000 sketches, play 10,000 gigs, study and practice for 10,000 hours, etc. Stay late, come in early, put in over time, sacrifice, be consistent and never give up. You have to put in the work in order to get there. Figure out who your heroes are in your chosen lifestyle, and focus on the stories of the boring crap they had to do in order to get there. The media loves stories of people who just happened to be in the right place at the right time and got lucky, but for the other 99.99999% – this is not the case.

We all were put on this earth to achieve our greatest self, to live out our purpose, and to do it courageously. But if you really want to do great things in your life, then you have to take chances and make things happen for yourself.”

Upon returning to Sacramento, I realized that this is not the place for me. Sure, I’ve grown to love living here, but I’m tired of the people. I’m young, unattached, and I have a great job that, with some hard work and dedication, will eventually afford me the luxury of living elsewhere.

After reading what Paige wrote, I made some goals for myself, and I made myself a timeline.

The first thing I decided is that, in two years, I want to be successful enough in my business that I have the ability to move – and I want to move to San Diego. In two years, I will be there. It is no longer an option for me to not be there.

I also decided that there is really no excuse as to why I don’t have a diligent and daily workout schedule. And not necessarily to be thinner or to fit into my clothes better, but for the mere fact that exercise produces natural endorphins AND, for me at least, it takes the edge off after a hard day. Too often I find myself agitated or irritated about the must mundane of things and I think to myself, “If I had just gone for a run, this wouldn’t even be an issue.”

The hardest part about life is that the only person standing in your way is yourself. Nobody is going to hand you your goals. Nobody is going to make you thinner or fatter. Things don’t just happen or fall into your lap. You have to work really hard, as Paige says, EVERY SINGLE DAY.

If you’re lacking in motivation, the best thing you can do is surround yourself with positive and motivated people. Visiting San Diego really got my ass in gear. My friends there are fitness fanatics. They run every day and do tons of at-home workouts – proof that you do not need a gym membership to get in shape. And further solidification that there really is no excuse.

Too often, I think we get stuck in the groove of our daily routines. For me, I wake up at the same time every day, go to work, come home, take Bella out, come home, shower, eat, get in bed and watch TV. I’m throwing away precious hours of my one life wasting away in front of the boob tube. GROSS. Just the thought of it makes me want to leave the office and go on a run.

Of course, everybody’s life and schedule is different, we just have to work things in where we can fit them. For me, running after work is the only solution. I cannot motivate myself enough to get out of bed a 5 am. I just know that it’s an unrealistic goal, and that if I try and make it work, I will just give up. Find what works for you, and stick to it. NO EXCUSES.

And for those of us who have a really hard time sticking to a diet – DON’T. If you’re going to work your ass off working out, then you completely deserve a delicious pizza or a burrito. I think it’s unrealistic to expect people to remove the things from their diet that taste good. Just cut down your portions. If you’re going to have a burrito, get it a la carte instead of with the rice and beans. Simple as that. And you still get to enjoy the goods.

So, this weekend, if you’re planning on going out and drinking and stuffing your face, at least make it out for a run first. You’ll feel so much better about indulging, I promise.

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