[outfit_details]Polka Dot Sports Bra (XS), Black Tech Sweat Leggings (XS, comes in a few colors), Gray Merino Wool Long Sleeve
White Hair Tie, Black Gloves, Harlick Skating Boots, John Wilson Blades
This post was made in collaboration with Chase Freedom Unlimited, all opinions are my own.[/outfit_details]
Staying motivated and disciplined when it comes to a long-term goal is tough. Right at the start, passion fuels us and the idea of accomplishing a goal gets us to take the necessary steps. However, over time that can drop off and reality sinks in. It gets harder and harder to continue the grind and then the goal we originally set seems almost impossible. Earlier this year, I set a goal to improve my skating skills. As with most things, it’s easier said than done. Since I’m no longer “training for the Olympics” like I was when I was younger, it’s harder to justify spending time at the rink when I could be working. So far, Johnny and I skate pretty regularly, but we are not always getting as much time on the ice as we should.
I want to share five ways to stay motivated despite challenges that may come your way. A few of which are things I developed from when I was a competitive figure skater. Some are from the grit of being a reporter. Others are just lessons life taught me in order for me to succeed.
1. Understand Your Why
Why are you working toward this goal? Beyond the actual accomplishment or success, get to the reason why you’re pursuing it. Understanding the purpose of why you want to achieve this goal can sustain you through time. I’m a big believer in writing something down and putting it somewhere you can see it almost every day. I have friends who start companies and they write a $1 million check to themselves and put it on their fridge. My phone wallpaper is from when Johnny and I went figure skating in Central Park. It’s without a doubt one of the happiest moments of my life and reminds me of why I wanted to pursue skating again.
2. Produce A Viable Plan
Figure out what steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Whether you need to write it down or make a mental note, keep it handy. This way, when things get hard or you lose motivation, you have something to refer to. Being able to see where you are in relation to the bigger picture can motivate you to stay on track. Plus, it’s always nice to see what you’ve done toward your goal and what’s next!
I developed a practice plan for my skating goal. It’s a checklist of what I need to do every time I’m on the ice, how many repetitions to do and how well I did each of them. It also includes what I can do on a daily basis to help me accomplish my goal. Stretching, working out at the gym, eating healthy are all things contributing toward my goal of being a better figure skating.
3. Reward Yourself
We all like rewards but use this to properly fuel yourself. This is a great way to stay motivated despite challenges. Set up a rewards system related to your goal and treat yourself! When I stepped on the ice six months ago, I was determined to complete a footwork pattern I had seen a famous ice dancer do. I knew learning it would be tricky, especially since footwork was never my strong suit when I was a competitive figure skater. It took me about a month to even get relatively comfortable doing it. Then, a few more weeks to maintain control of my body while turning opposite directions against where I was skating on both feet. I remember telling myself, once you get this, you can buy new figure skating outfits.
Fast forward almost two months and while the footwork pattern is not perfect, I can complete it! I used my Chase Freedom Unlimited Card to buy a new sports bra, leggings, merino wool long sleeve and skating socks! It’s important to choose rewards linked to your goal. I very easily could have treated myself to boba tea or a new pair of earrings. However, those do not play a role in helping me achieve my long-term goal. A rewards system that’ll help you accomplish is a great way to stay motivated.
Plus, thanks to my cash back credit card, I’m always earning when I make purchases.
4. Stay Positive
This sounds obvious but it can be so hard. Earlier this year, I injured my hamstring by doing a spin without properly warming up and stretching. At first, I thought I would not be able to do that spin for a few weeks and everything would be okay. I soon discovered that injury would affect not only my skating but my BBG workouts, too! Here we are, a few months later and I’m still injured and slowly stretching to get back to where I so easily once was.
I could gripe and complain about it, which would do nothing to actually fix the situation. Instead, I stretchy daily, sometimes multiple times a day. I take care to heat it and not push it too hard before it’s ready.
A positive outlook in the midst of challenges will take you far.
5. Break Big Tasks into Small Bits
The thought of a daunting task can be enough to shy anyone away from even starting, let alone gritting their teeth and finishing. If there is a big task you need to complete for your goal, find a way to break it into smaller bits. This makes it more manageable, which means you’re more likely to stay motivated and complete it.
I recently learned doing more than a few spins makes me quite nauseous. One of my goals for this year to get my layback spin back to what it once was: fast and a high leg position. The nausea I feel can obviously get in the way of that. Rather than thinking of the end goal as something I cannot complete since I can barely practice the spin, I broke it down. I work on speed and making sure the foundation of the spin is at its best before I even get into the layback position. This gives me something I can work on while building up to the end goal.