“The big numbers aren’t reached unless the small numbers are realized.” – Joyce Meyer
When I think back to several years ago, I never would have been able to imagine the place that I am at now in my life. My old self could never have imagined that by the time 2017 rolled around I would have my personal training certification, I would be preparing to compete at Canadian Nationals in Masters Bikini, and I would be starting my own business! I was depressed and discouraged, and only now do I see that it had been going on for several years. I had a good life in terms of my health, my family and my finances, but there was an underlying discontent that I just couldn’t seem to shake. I wasn’t working, but I couldn’t seem to enjoy that fact. I lacked self-confidence and was overly concerned with what others thought of me, probably because I didn’t think that highly of myself.
At the beginning of 2016 I promised myself that I would make some changes. I knew what I wanted to do, but I felt overwhelmed thinking about what it would take to get there. I had a sense that I needed to challenge myself with something new, but I had no idea how I could make it happen. So I decided to start small, hoping that it would increase my confidence and lead to bigger changes. And it worked.
In January 2016 I promised myself that I would get my personal training certification. To make it seem more doable, I told myself that it didn’t matter if it took one month or a year to complete it. The important thing was that I do it. I took it step by step and day by day, and finally 13 months later I did it! I had also promised myself that I would compete at Provincials that same year. Every time I felt overwhelmed by my goals I told myself to continue just for one more day. It worked, and in July 2016 I had the time of my life competing on the provincial stage and taking home the first place trophy. Another smaller thing that was very good for me that year was going away on vacation in the winter. Believe it or not we had never been away in the winter on a family vacation. Every year my husband asked me to go away and I would feel too overwhelmed. I felt like travelling as a family of five was more work than it was worth. But when my kids started begging to go away last winter, I felt that it was time to get over my fears and do it. It ended up being so good for me and the whole family and I hope to do it again every year!
These small accomplishments really increased my confidence, so much so that in January of this year I set a huge, scary goal for myself: I would start making competition bikinis! I had no sewing machine and I hadn’t sewn a thing in 20 years. But I knew that my love for all things competing would be an asset. I knew I had an eye for what looks good on competitors in terms of colours and styles. And I knew that as a perfectionist my bikinis would be of the best quality. Lo and behold, less than six months after setting this big audacious goal, I have several bikini orders and will complete my first bikini this week!
There are many, many days where I doubt myself. Days where I feel completely overwhelmed with being a mom, training for nationals, and making bikinis, and just keeping my house clean. But I know that I wouldn’t change a single thing. I don’t ever want to go back to that place of discontent and indecision that I was in a few short years ago.
The changes in my physique as I prepare to compete are similar to the changes in the rest of my life. I may not notice the changes every day, but little by little the small actions add up to big transformation! Below are the little tricks that I use to reach my goals, big and small!
Start the day right
I take time each morning to set my intentions and attitude for the day. This helps me worry less and appreciate the good things in my life. I tell myself that I don’t have to do everything and figure everything out in one day.
It’s great to set big goals for ourselves, but I find it’s also very easy to get overwhelmed to the point of being unable to take action. So instead I focus on the small things I can do today to get closer to my goals. One of the biggest things I’ve learned recently is that one good decision leads to another, no matter how small!
Focus on what I can change, not on changing someone else
Often when we set goals for ourselves, there are other people involved in some way. So it is important to not get caught up in what others are doing and focus on what we have personal control over. When it comes to diet, not everyone in my house eats the way I do! So it is my personal responsibility to do what I need to do each day to reach my goals, without expecting others to change their behaviour just for me.
Live for today
I prefer to take it one day at a time, one meal at a time, one workout at a time. I don’t need to lose 10 pounds this week. But maybe I can lose 1 pound. How can I accomplish that? By preparing yummy healthy meals and doing enjoyable exercise on most days. That I can do! Before I know it I will be able to look back and see how far I have come!
Thanks for reading!