Name: Rachelle Dejean
Occupation: IFBB Pro, Bodybuilding.com Athlete
365 Days of Motivation: rachelledejean.weebly.com
We're a few months into winter, the snow's piling up, and cold weather's in full swing. Living in these freezing temperatures means you're likely covered in multiple layers of sweaters and long underwear. To make matters worse, your fitness regimen has possibly fallen to the wayside—it's just too damn cold! If your morning workout has been reduced to shoveling snow or scraping the ice off your car's windshield, it's time to reignite your resolutions.
I often get asked "What gets you motivated? What keeps you going?" Sometimes I don't know what to say. It's not like I'm always "on." There are some mornings when I want nothing more than to turn off my alarm, call in sick to work, and lie in bed all day. Who needs the gym? These pillows are so cozy! On those days, I really have to evaluate what's important to me. I think back to the objectives I've set for myself and use them for motivation.
On the days you're just not feeling it, look back at the goals and resolutions you made at the start of 2014 and use them to stay on track. Trust me, I know it's easier said than done. I work full-time because I have bills to pay, too. After a full workday, the extra commitment of working out doesn't sound so appealing. Instead of using fatigue as an excuse to fall off the wagon, use it as a reason to find motivation.
In my experience, being passionate about the things I do keeps me motivated. Motivation then creates action, and action breeds success. I use that inner drive to push past hurdles, whether it's post-work exhaustion or the occasional lack of inspiration. Sometimes, though, that inner drive needs a little help.
That's when I bust out my secret sauce and bring out the boom! Here are seven motivation techniques that I have used for years. I swear by them. If your goals are buried under a blizzard, use these tricks to revive and renew your own resolutions.
Voice Your Aspirations
Sometimes, saying things aloud sets them on the path to becoming reality. After you write your aspirations down, read them aloud and share them with others. This will create a sense of accountability not only to yourself, but to others as well. As opposed to just journaling, adding a voice to your goals helps solidify your vision and put it into action. As silly as it might sound, throwing your goals out into the universe has the added power of making them more concrete. No aspiration is too big or too crazy.
Build Your FitBoard
The beautiful thing about motivation is that it can be replenished and rejuvenated. And, while it can come from within, motivation doesn't always have to be intrinsically generated. Visual motivators, like photos and videos, can help fire up your motivation levels and replenish them whenever they dip.
If you're not already, start using FitBoard on BodySpace. Post images that fuel your drive. You might post a photo of you at your weakest moment, when you felt insecure, upset, or were in a rut. Or you might share a photo of what you want to look like, or a motivational quote that makes you want to move and shake with purpose. Update your FitBoard constantly to keep your motivation burning hot. Don't be afraid to post photos of yourself. Every time you reach a point closer to your goal, document your progress.
Looking for even more motivation? Sometimes all it takes is watching a motivational video on YouTube, reading a friend's inspirational Facebook post, or glancing at other people's FitBoards.
Your goal doesn't always have to be physique-based. Last year, my biggest resolution was to share my journey with others. I wanted to do this in an unconventional way, so I designed and created a "12 Months of Inspiration" calendar featuring transformation stories, athletes, and inspirational quotes. Now I devote my time to making this an annual project. This year's theme, "365 Days of Motivation," has allowed me to merge my passion for graphic design with fitness in a way that can help inspire others and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Silence Doubt With Positive Affirmations
Feel stalled and riddled with worry? Ignore the inner voice that's causing you to doubt yourself. When negative thoughts pop in your head, cancel them out with positive self talk. I do it myself. When I want to get out of my comfort zone and prepare for a fitness competition, my mind automatically resorts to negativity. Statements like "You're not good enough" and "You can't do that" swirl around in my mind. How do I deal? I take a moment to pause and realize that I owe it to myself to reach my potential.
One of my favorite motivational quotes is, "A better you is always worth chasing." Yes, you will have to work to achieve your goals and, no, it won't be easy, but positively engaging your mental judgments is half the battle. Work louder and harder than that voice in your head that says you can't. One day soon, you'll see you can.
I truly believe that rest days and moments where you steer slightly off course shouldn't necessarily be seen as negatives. Falling off the wagon for a meal or missing a day of training could be positive when it comes to the big picture. A brief mental and physical break could be just what you need to recharge, refresh, and refocus.
If your plan allows it, indulge in a cheat meal after a week of staying on track. There's only one caveat: Remember that rewards are earned. If you've faltered, be honest. Don't trick yourself into thinking bad habits should be rewarded.
If you prefer to reward yourself in other ways, try treating yourself to a night out with friends or to a new workout outfit. Nothing's better than showing up the gym and feeling great in a top that really emphasizes your defined bis and tris or shorts that make your quads pop. Check out Bodybuilding.com's clothing line if you need new ideas.
Join the Movement
Keep an eye out for challenges that allow you to join like-minded fitness fanatics such as Bodybuilding.com's $100k Transformation Challenge. It's a great way to join others as you kick off the journey to becoming your best self in 2014. Social platforms like BodySpace allow millions with similar goals and mindsets to support each other while reaching their highest potential.
While there's no doubt that accountability needs to start from within, contests can be a powerful extrinsic source of motivation. You might initially be lured by the monetary prize, but seeing the changes spurred by your hard work will keep you motivated and strong.
No one—not a friend, coworker, or parent—can make you do something if you don't want to do it. But, having them as a support system can definitely help you to stay on track. Need proof? Start hitting the gym with a workout buddy. Knowing there's someone waiting for you at your sweat session will means you're less likely to skip out.
Earlier this month, I found the power behind joining a group movement when I went to Strong Camp in Los Angeles. The retreat-style weekend was just what I needed to push me outside of my comfort zone and allow me to connect and work out with like-minded women.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
According to "The Huffington Post," people who make a New Year's resolution are 10 times more likely to change their lives than those who don't.1 You might not get it right the first week, or even the first few tries, but the fact that you are addressing a change is one step in the right direction.
Keep the goals tied to your resolutions "SMART." What does SMART stand for?
Specific: Set concrete goals for yourself. The more definite and clear-cut your goals are, the easier they are to achieve. So, instead of saying "I want to lose fat," say "I want to lose 5 percent body fat in the next twelve weeks."
Measurable: Whether it's body fat percentage, scale-based weight loss, or inches you want to add to your biceps, it's important that your goals are measurable. Establish criteria that will help you measure progress towards your goal.
Attainable: You're not likely going to drop 20 percent body fat in two weeks or put on 15 pounds of lean muscle in a month. Make sure you plan wisely to allot enough time to reach micro goals on your way to the big picture.
Realistic: By all means, dream big. But big dreams are often realized through small, achievable goals along the way. Sticking to those smaller goals will help you stay strong throughout the process.
Timely: Give yourself a timeline with concrete start and finish dates so that you create a sense of urgency. Days, months, and years of exercise can blend together. Keep things fresh by having time-sensitive deadlines. Want to lose 10 pounds for your high school reunion next month? Looking to drop five percent body fat by summer? Good. Use specific time frames to help you stay on track.
Keep A Log
Like anything else, motivation—and a desire to smash some weights—comes and goes. That's why workout logs are so important. Just when you think you aren't making much progress, or feel discouraged with the process, pause for a second and take a look at your trusty journal.
Find an exercise that you're feeling not so hot about and look at the weight you were using a few months ago. Whether you're looking at your numbers for squats, deadlifts, or calf raises, you should notice an upward trend. While you might have only added five pounds to your back squat this month, the fact your lift increased 20 pounds in the last four months is encouraging. Look at the time it took you to complete a workout. Your energy might be exponentially higher than they were the week prior.
Add progress photos to your log. While taking half-naked selfies might seem silly at first, having pictures to look back on are essential to seeing how far you've come. Compare photos from week one to your photos from week eight and revel in the progress you've made.
I realized the importance of tracking my progress once I started competing. I was eager for my "stage day" results, but the real journey was what was happening along the way. At the start of week one, my PR for bent-over rows was 70 pounds. Now it's 80-85 pounds. Sometimes we're so focused on the big picture that we let small victories slip by without giving ourselves any recognition.