Tough Love

Hello, Scribes Readers, PJ Sharon here, and today I’m talking about tough love. This is the time of year that many of us are setting goals, working on business plans, re-evaluating our marketing strategies and generally attempting to lasso and tame this wild thing we call the “writer’s life”. Even with the best of intentions, most of the resolutions we make fall by the wayside and our ambitious goal setting can make us feel overwhelmed rather than hopeful for the new year.

Don’t get me wrong. I love goal setting, and my plate is as full of to-do’s as it ever has been, but instead of sharing my lofty aspirations with you all, I’d rather discuss how we go about sticking to our plan and meeting those goals. You’ve probably read a ton of blogs on goal setting, with such advice as making them manageable, measurable, and achievable. Great advice, for sure. But for today, I’d like to offer some coaching advice from an expert–no, not me.

Jillian Michaels (2013_06_02 01_59_31 UTC)My girl, Jillian Michaels, is one of the best motivators I’ve ever come across. I don’t often watch The Biggest Loser, but I know from personal experience that her training methods are effective. Through her 90 Day Body Revolution DVD set–which I bought last year around this time in hopes of shedding the weight I’d gained living the writer’s life–I was able to drop twenty-five pounds in about five months. Yes, I had to eat healthier and the workouts are brutal, but they’re only thirty minutes a day, five days a week…a small price to pay for a strong, healthy body, in my opinion. I figured I could do anything for thirty minutes a day and I knew the pay-off would be worth it. I reminded myself that I was worth it!

As a personal trainer myself, I quickly learned to appreciate Jillian’s tough love approach. Even when I want to swear at the TV, her passion and positive messages of encouragement continue to push me through every workout. Statements like, “Do your best,” “Just try one,” “Don’t you quit on me–don’t you quit on yourself,” “I know you can do this,” “Dig deep and find the strength you never knew you had,” and my favorite, “Focus on the why–why are you doing this?” She lists the common reasons why people want to be more fit, such as better health, longevity, skinny jeans, and sex with the light on, but the bottom line is that we all have a “why” when it comes to being driven toward a goal. If you focus on the “why”, you will tolerate any amount of torturous “how”.

Last week’s guest, Amy Denim, author of THE COFFEE BREAK BUSINESS PLAN for WRITERS, talked about creating a muse statement, a positive affirmation that sums up who you are and what you want for your writing career. (Here’s the link to the post if you missed it). I highly recommend that you start your new year by doing just that, and when you’re writing that statement, think about your “why”. Why do you write? What do you want to accomplish in your writing career? Why do you want it? How important is it to you? And what are you willing to do to get it?

Today’s Unlocked Secret: When you start to feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand or are questioning if the time and work you’re investing in your writing life is worth it, read your muse statement and remember your “why”. Then, dig deep and find the strength you never knew you had, and tackle that next goal.

What motivates you to keep going when the going gets tough?

7 thoughts on “Tough Love”

  1. I love JM too! I’m currently doing her 30 day making the cut program, combined with a 30 day Elimination Diet to find out which food doesn’t agree with me, AND wrapping the whole month with Jon Gabriel’s meditation program.

    It’s funny how sometimes I can be so hard on myself, and other times I baby myself to the point of paralysis. Self-tough-love is hard to achieve. I did JM’s program 4 or 5 years ago and I had difficulty with some movements that add strain to the lower back. Think burpies, squat thrusts, those kind of exercise. I did them, but boy, I did not look elegant.

    To my dismay, this year I find myself unable to do them. It saddens me to realize my back condition has deteriorated. I spent a few days having a pity party until Jillian’s voice brought me back. I switched out those exercises with something I CAN do.

    Bravo Jillian. But if you show up on my doorstep, I’ll swear I’ll pee myself. 🙂

    1. Hi Carole…all good stuff! Jillian’s workouts are not for the faint of heart. Ironically, I had back and neck issues when I started the program last year but I modified what i couldn’t do and stayed with each CD until I could do all the moves. By the second month, my back was going out of alignment less often. Now, after ten years of instability in my lower back and pelvis, I’m finally staying in alignment. I still have the instability issues in my neck and I do think some of the higher level plyometrics/jump training that requires upper body weight bearing as you mentioned above does aggravate the condition. My hope is that with the stabilization exercises I’m adding in from my PT pals, I can improve that as well.

      i liked what you said about focusing on what you CAN do. So important to know yourself and your body. Keep up the good work.

  2. This post offers fantastic encouragement Paula. I am so pleased for you that you were able to discipline yourself to move forward and reach your goal to lose weight. No matter how you, or I, do it, it takes focus and honesty about what you are willing to do to reach any goal.

  3. I’ve never watched the Biggest Loser but those are good thoughts to keep in mind. Motivation can be such a fickled thing at times. Thanks

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