“Be more excited about how far you have come than you are discouraged about how far you have to go.” – Joyce Meyer
One thing that has been a tremendous joy for me in my fitness journey has been participating in bikini competitions. Challenging myself to go to my physical limits has been extremely rewarding in so many ways! Learning to stick to something through all the highs and lows has been a huge learning experience for me. I believe it has made me stronger both physically and mentally.
This will be my 5th year competing and it will be at the national level this summer. There are many tricks I have used over the years to help ensure my success in getting to the stage. Over the previous four years of competition I have placed first, last, and in the middle. I can honestly say that my placing does not determine for me whether I was a success or not. If I make it to competition day in my best physical condition, and step on stage in front of hundreds of people, that means that the previous months of hard work were successful! That means I have overcome all obstacles and made it to my goal. I have overcome illness, physical fatigue, hunger, self-doubt, the negative opinions of others, as well as countless other obstacles and obligations to get to that competition stage! That to me is success and I believe that how I got there can be applied to any challenge or goal that we set for ourselves. I would like to share a few things that help me succeed in my fitness goals. Please feel free to share any tips you may have as well!
Set small and large goals, but make sure they are flexible. I love to set goals for myself, but I am also very aware of how my mind works and how it tries to defeat me sometimes. Sometimes when I set goals for myself that are perhaps too rigid, I end up rebelling against them and getting into a negative, self-defeating state. So I try to make sure that I set goals that are challenging but suit my personality. I have to do it my way!
Have a support system in place. I have noticed over the years that when you decide to take on a worthy challenge there will be so many people in your life who will help you along the way! It is really the most amazing thing. I couldn’t reach my goals without the help of my family, my coach, and my friends! Sometimes even just a kind word from a woman in the locker room at the gym has helped pushed me to be my best.
Don’t listen to negativity. Although most people will help cheer you on to your success, I have also had many people say insensitive and even hurtful things to me while I was pursuing my goals. Learning how to filter out negativity from others is one of the toughest lessons I’ve had to learn over the years. It’s not my job to make others happy in that way so now I know to not even try. Stick to listening to those people you can trust and if constructive criticism comes from them you will know that it is genuine. When the man in the sauna says I’ve gained a lot of weight over the off season – I don’t listen. When my husband tells me I’ve been at the gym a little too much and he’d like me to stay home one evening – I listen.
Don’t think too much. Once you have set a goal for yourself, be decisive and do not waver. Being flexible in certain ways is important as stated above, but over thinking can set you up for failure. When it comes down to it, only action will get you where you want to go. Less thinking, more doing!
Plan out your meals and workouts for the week. At the beginning of the week I plan out my meals to make sure that I have all the needed ingredients on hand. A huge stumbling block for a lot of people who are trying to eat healthy is being hungry with no easy to prepare foods on hand! We make sure to always have good protein sources in the fridge for me and my sons to grab when we need it. Grilled chicken, meat and fish can always be found in our fridge. I also make extra vegetables at dinner so I have extra for the next day’s lunches.
Have a morning ritual to start your day on the right foot. I can’t stress enough the importance of taking time in the morning to set your intentions for the day! Over the last year I have set up a morning ritual that makes me want to get up out of bed. Every single morning I take a big glass of water or a coffee and take a few moments to get into a mindset of peace and well-being. Then I read my bible reading for the day and my devotionals. Then I write my thoughts about today’s teachings in a notebook. I then think about what things I want to tackle that day and remind myself to enjoy each moment as it unfolds. This simple practice has been absolutely life-changing for me!
I believe that success is not just reaching your goals, but enjoying the journey along the way. I’ve learned that approaching anything I want to accomplish with an open mind and a grateful heart is the best way to the finish line!
Thanks for reading!