Get Motivated! ... Daily in 2019

December 31  No such thing as coulda, shoulda, woulda. If you shoulda and coulda, you woulda done it! - Pat Riley
As another year comes to and end and we prepare our resolutions or goals for the one to come, we'll probably look back over the past months and evaluate various aspects of our lives - our careers, our weight, our relationships and of course, our fitness program. Rarely do we reach the end of a year without regrets or unreached goals. The good news is, tomorrow is another day. In fact, tomorrow begins a new year - time to make new plans and set new targets. While looking back to the past is tempting and almost impossible to avoid, we do need to look forward so that we can aspire to higher goals and new accomplishments. We have done a lot already however we can do more in the future. I can, I shall, and I will continue to work out to be the best I can be!

December 30 
I've done it my way so I have nobody to blame but me!
- John Daly 
It's important to develop our own way of doing things. After all, we are ultimately responsible for how we play and the outcome. Win or lose, good or bad, we are the one. A bad sport blames the coach, the weather, the conditions when their own performance is lacking. When we rely on ourselves we can claim every victory as our own. Of course, that means we will have to take full responsibility for our losses too. It is a fantastic feeling to know that our successes have been accomplished through our own hard work and dedication. This doesn't mean that we don't have to listen to advice or be able to get valuable input from trainers or coaches or others. Everyone can use some help sometime but we need to take that assistance and use it to our best advantage.
I am 100 percent responsible for my own performance no matter what the outcome!

December 29 
Mental discipline and commitment - think "big picture!"
- Andre Agassi 
When we are trying to get better at a specific exercise or sport, it is easy to miss the big picture. We get so focused on what we want to improve or on what we do best that we are missing something important. Part of that big picture is the commitment to the small stuff that leads you to the the big stuff but we need to keep it all in perspective. Knowing our ultimate goal can keep us on target and our mental tenacity can keep us moving steadily toward that target. Sometimes it's hard to prevent those breakdowns and there will be days when it will seem that everything conspires against us. We have to resist the temptation and keep focused. The mental time and energy that we put into our efforts will help us to succeed.
I will keep my mind on the big picture! 

December 28 
There is definitely such a thing as trying hard!
- Dean Palmer 
If we want something very badly we can put so much pressure on ourselves that we are incapable of doing what is necessary to achieve our goals. We start thinking too much, worrying if we can do it right and let our nerves take over. When we are tense and nervous we will not perform our best. When we are trying hard to achieve something, it can completely take over our thoughts and actions. The more we think and obsess about what we want to do, the more energy we take away from how we are going to do it. When it comes to attempting something important, the best thing we can do is relax. Tension is the enemy of working well. Ironically, sometimes taking our intense focus off our goals can help.
I will remember that trying too hard is just as much of a problem as not trying hard enough!

December 27 
This is the payoff for all the tears, the pain, the frustration!
- Summer Sanders 
We all have our version of an "Olympic" payoff. It is usually a cherished goal that we have been dreaming about and planning for. It is the carrot on the stick that keeps us working hard, enduring the pain and making sacrifices. We always need to keep striving for that payoff. It can be big or small but all that matters is that is important to us. It doesn't have to be the be-all, end-all super achievement. It is possible for a payoff to be a mini-goal that takes us to our larger aspirations. If we have goals, we will be able to mark off the milestones that let us know we are making progress. Before we start a workout or exercise program, we have to decide what the payoff is going to be.
The only way to get to my payoff will be if I keep working toward it!

December 26 
I've always felt it wasn't up to anyone else to make me give my best!
- Akeem Olajuwon 
Ultimately we're the only ones who can get ourselves to work out and perform to our potential. No motivational coach, encouraging parent, gung-ho teammate, psyched-up workout partner or guilt-inspiring commercial can consistently get us to give our best. Sure, they might get us going in the short term, but we have to be our own best motivator on a regular basis to be as effective as we can be. We can use our goals to encourage ourselves to work harder and longer. There's nothing wrong with using others to help us however we can't rely on these outside influences day after day. Eventually the desire must come from within. We must call upon our own willpower to keep us going, we must dig deep for the energy to work out. We must encourage ourselves to persevere. We must be our own best coach, cheerleader and trainer.
I'm my own best motivator!

December 25 
Winners never quit and quitters never win!
- Anonymous
Sometimes it's easy to get discouraged when we don't see improvement. However, it's important that we have the confidence to stick with a program that challenges us even when it feels like we're going nowhere.While it may seem simpler to give up, or at least ease off a bit, when we seem to be waging an uphill battle, that's the time for us to really dig in our heels and stick with the program. Just hanging in there through a tough period will make the ultimate breakthrough a lot more satisfying. Quitting or cutting back in training will most likely impede our success. No matter how depressed we might be by our lack of progress, we must make it our policy to stick it out. It will always get better with time and the wait will be well worth it. I will never quit!

December 24 
Paying attention to the subtle things can make a big difference! - A.J. Kitt
When we reach a certain level of performance, it sometimes feels as if the basics are behind us. We've been there and we've done that and we never want to have to do it again. Well, sometimes it helps a great deal to be reminded of the basics and how they worked for us. Simplifying our workouts can do wonders to our overall performance. There are probably a lot of things we do automatically that could use some thinking about. Often when we examine the basics, and we bring to that examination our well-developed experience and knowledge, we may be surprised to discover that we can improve on our base skills, which in turn will improve how we perform overall. Getting back to basics isn't a step backward, it's a new way to move forward! 

December 23 
I do whatever it takes - whatever it takes to win! - Ulf Samuelsson
There are those who think you can take this attitude too far. It is certainly possible to let that "win at any cost" attitude have a negative effect on you and your competition. But there is something to be said for working extremely hard and competing with desire. It's important to figure out what it will take to win as well as what constitutes "winning" as it's not the same for everyone. Once you know what winning is for you, you will also figure out what it will take to get you there. Usually more practice is involved but it also help to get more coaching, lessons or increase the quantity or quality of your workouts. I'll figure out whatever it will take to win and I will go out and do it!

December 22 
The thrill isn't in the winning, it's in the doing!
- Chuck Noll 
The activity of preparation - all those hours of practice, the sweat, the pain and the accomplishments that we endure as we work toward a goal are often more satisfying than the competition itself. The groundwork we lay is what we can be proudest of because it is what allows us to compete at all. Sticking with it takes motivation. It takes our time and our energy as it can be both encouraging and discouraging from day to day. If we can remember the importance of our daily workouts, the value to our overall fitness plan, and try to enjoy them as well as endure them, we'll get a lot more out of the process of preparing to compete.
I can be proud of, and encouraged by, all the preparation I do to to compete in my sport!

December 21 
If you don't succeed at first, try, try again!
- Hank Aaron
The old cliche has lots of truth in it. There are no sure ways to succeed, but a sure way to fail is to give up. Keeping at it can also take our minds off other problems. Focusing on something other than what's troubling us can be very liberating and rewarding. Often the focus of working out or being in competition can help change our attitude or perspective and help us see a solution to our problem. By persevering we will help ourselves to get what we want. We can get there by keeping our eye on our goals and working, no matter what the circumstances. I'll leave all other problems aside when I focus on my workout goals!

December 20 
Setting a specific goal is the most important step in any major accomplishment! - Kurt Thomas 
This enables you to keep your mind focused on your goal and off the many obstacles that will arise when you're striving to do your best. A goal should be a target that is just over the horizon. It is something that is just beyond our grasp and it becomes the thing that keeps us going. We should keep our goals in mind and work out accordingly. Unfortunately, there will always be things that will come up that will turn us away from striving toward our goals - other commitments, responsibilities and distractions. Setting a specific goal will help us stay on track and not be deterred. The more specific the goal, the more precise we can be about deciding how we will go about achieving it. When I work out I will have my goal firmly in sight and in mind!

December 19 
There are few records that last forever! - Sebastian Coe 
A personal best, however, can last a long time. Our record doesn't have to be in the Hall of Fame for it to count. It can be enshrined in our hearts. Even then, we will always be looking for ways to beat that record. We always want to test ourselves against a new set of expectations because that is the only way we can improve and grow. Whenever there is a record, especially a new one, people in that field will set their sites on beating it. Any record that you make or break is fuel for the fire of another outstanding performance by you or someone else. I will always strive for my personal best and break and set my own records along the way!

December 18 
You have to want to win and expect that you are going to win!
- Martina Navratilova 
Attitude is an important piece of the puzzle. A positive attitude keeps us heading in the right direction and can give us the all important edge we need to come out on top. We have to enter every endeavor knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we will be successful. If we don't have any expectations for ourselves,  we won't achieve up to our potential. Knowing what we are capable of can help us to re-energize.  We have to come back and say "Yes, I can." If we have prepared for every event physically and our heads are in the right place, that firm belief in ourselves will propel us to the top. It doesn't matter what our friends or family think: what really matters is what we think.
I know that I can win!  

December 17 
Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, age don't matter!
- Satchel Paige
Claiming the age handicap can be a handy excuse to get out of exercising. We know of sports where athletes in their mid-twenties can can be considered close to retirement. We are inundated with ads that feature young, hard bodies working out. It's no wonder that we feel over the hill long before we should even think of giving up healthy exercise.We should never give in to that way of thinking. Sure, our bodies may not be able to do everything we once did. As we age we may lose a little flexibility or endurance but if we keep on working we can still perform at a very high level. It's not really age that keeps us from working out, it's our perception of what age is that holds us back.
I won't let my age stand in my way of exercise!

December 16 
If I lose, I'll walk away and never feel bad because I did all I could!
- Joe Frazier
It's never easy to walk away from a loss. It's one of the hardest things an athlete can do. We all want to win but we can't win all the time. It's even harder to walk away from a loss with a winning attitude. However, maintaining  a winning attitude will be invaluable when it comes time to compete again.There are plenty of time when our own performance is quite good - and we lose anyway. No one to blame as blame isn't going to get us anywhere. If we have honestly done everything we could, there is honor in defeat. No matter who we are, there will always be someone out there who can beat us.
If you have to lose, it's better to go down swinging and knowing that you've done your best!

December 15 
When you feel good about yourself, others will feel good about you too!
- Jake Steinfeld
There's nothing better than that post workout feeling where your heart is pumping, endorphins are racing, skin is glowing and your energy is high. It's a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and in that instant we have the sense of exhilaration - sometimes hand in hand with exhaustion - we also feel good and positive about ourselves, about what we've done and what we can do. We should hold on to these feelings as long as possible, because as we radiate this energy and health, others around us feel it and are attracted to it. The better we are feeling about ourselves and what we've accomplished, the more the positive energy rubs off on those around us.
Exercise makes me feel good about myself - and I want everyone to know it!

December 14 
How you respond to the challenge determines whether you are a winner or a loser!
- Lou Holtz 
We are always getting challenged. It is what drives us to improve. We can't be great all the time, so sometimes we need a second chance in order to prove what we are made of. How you start out isn't nearly as important as how you finish. You can start slowly but if you finish strong, you can always walk away a winner. If we think of ourselves as our own best competition, our personal wins and losses will be easy to calculate. We should always be looking for a challenge that will bring out our best. If we remain unchallenged and are never tested, we won't know what it is to feel like a winner.
I will respond to every challenge put before me! 

December 13
Just get back to basics. Keep it simple and have fun!
- Dwight Gooden 
We all forget about the fun. Fun seems to be the last thing on the agenda when we are dragging ourselves off to the gym, pounding the pavement or sweating it out in an aerobics or spin class. We complicate our workouts with unrealistic goals and the fun-depleting mantra of "gotta do it". Somehow fun is never a factor. Remember when we were kids and we would run or jump just because we could? We didn't think about how fast or how far we ran; we just did it because we felt like it. That was the way to experience the pure fun and joy of being alive. We didn't do it because we were trying to accomplish something or had a distant goal in mind. Sometimes we sap all the fun out of our exercise by making it an obligation or work. Today I'll find fun in my workout and I'll be much more likely to keep going!

December 12 
Each sport determines what the athletes body will be like! - Michael Murphy 
The process can be aided by suggestion, visualization and other mental techniques. Whether tall and wiry, sturdy and strong, lean and light, or agile and quick, our bodies come in all shapes and sizes, making us better suited for different athletic endeavors. Our continued workouts and training in these areas further increase our strength , speed, flexibility or coordination, honing our skills for our particular sports. We can always improve our performances by using not just physical workouts but mental ones as well. The body is extremely susceptible to the power of suggestion - what our minds create, our bodies will try to imitate. What I can achieve with physical training alone, I can improve upon with good mental fitness!

December 11 
If you trust your nerve as well as your skill, you're capable of a lot more than you can imagine!
- Debi Thomas 
That's really what sports and exercise are all about - giving it our best shot. We will get the most out of our abilities if we give our all the first time and every time. Belief in what we can do is really what allows us to excel at our sport. Striving to be our best doesn't mean we have to be miserable about a less than perfect performance. There are plenty of times when we won't come out on top but this is nothing to be discouraged about. If we have truly given it our heart and soul, we have nothing to be ashamed of if the results don't match our goals. We just know better what we have to do the next time. We can focus on our strengths and be successful next time. Believing in ourselves will carry us farther than any victory.
I will give it my best!

December 10 
An hour of practice is worth five hours of going through the motions!
- Pancho Segura 
How many times have we finished a long, involved workout only to feel we didn't do that much at all? When we were finished, we didn't have the healthy exhaustion and sense of accomplishment that usually follow an aggressive, hard, productive workout. We put in twice as much time for half the results. A workout that is approached in a lazy, low-energy way is obviously not as effective as one where we really go all out. A workout where we are concentrating, fired up, and truly giving our best effort is ultimately more valuable and much more satisfying. There will always be days when we don't feel like pushing. These might be days to take off from working out. Workouts are most effective when you can give your best effort
. I will rest up today and work harder tomorrow!

December 9
No matter how long you've been competing, you still get butterflies before the big event!
- Pee Wee Reese 
No matter what we're doing, we all experience some sort of nervousness before important competitions. Even the most seasoned athletes admit to butterflies and jitters before "the big ones." The good news is nervousness, if channeled the right way, can be helpful in tough situations. It needn't be detrimental to our performance if we try to refocus the anxious energy. Harnessing our nervous energy and transforming it into strength and speed we can use in competition keeps us focused and prevents us from wasting valuable energy on useless worrying. I will acknowledge this state of mind and try to put it to better use! 

December 8 
Don't let obstacles stand in your way on the road to success! - Wayne Gretzky
It's very easy to see only the obstacles that stand in the way of working out - time, family commitments, work. But we need to assess these obstacles objectively and see how big they really are. Can we at least see a glimpse of our goals, or are they blocked completely from view? Can we do something to move the obstacle or make it a little smaller? We also have to be aware of when we create obstacles for ourselves. Could we modify our goals to fit the current situation? Sometimes obstacles are only as big as we choose to make them. With focus and concentration we can make them become a blur instead of a blockade. I will shift my focus from the obstacles to my goal!

 December 7 
There are few things you can't do as long as you're willing to apply yourself!
- Greg LeMond 
Sometimes are limitations are all in our heads. Although we seem to have certain physical limitations, they can hold us back only as much as we let them. When we say we can't do something because we have made assumptions of what we are capable of achieving, we are denying ourselves an opportunity to learn. On the other hand, it is tough to just jump in and tackle something new. That's why we need to spend some time preparing first and applying ourselves later. Knowing what it is we want to do and how we can do it are important for figuring out our game plan. We have to be willing to take the time to investigate the best approach and spend time to truly develop our unique abilities so that we can take on those challenges. If I make the time, I can make my goals! 

December 6
No pain, no gain - no way! - Bill Rodgers
There's only so much physical energy and resilience in the body. If you go beyond a certain point, you're asking for trouble. Most of us have realized the ineffectiveness and even danger, of over-training. While we may push ourselves to the limits of our strength and stamina at times, for the most part we have learned to recognize these limits and work within them. When we have unreasonable expectations of ourselves, we tend to work out to excess, and therefore are apt to suffer the consequences: injury, exhaustion and poor performance. Our bodies have limits and being in tune with what we can physically handle is vitally important. While we want to stretch our limits with challenging workouts, we don't want to push our luck with downright stupidity!

December 5 
When I'm in "a cocoon of concentration", I am invincible!
- Tony Jacklin 
Many athletes tell of being in a "zone" where all thoughts are on the sport and a peak performance is well within reach. It's as if we can do no wrong; our bodies and our minds are as one, the synergy between them incredibly powerful. Unfortunately, not all of us are able to reach this state of pure mind and flawless motion of demand, if at all. It takes an amazing amount of discipline to be able to focus so intently that all other distractions fall by the wayside. We must begin with a clear mind and a goal in sight. Even in noncompetitive situations we can reach this ultimate state - a workout that is close to perfect, a run that nears a personal best.
With focus and concentration I can reach this zone of perfection, where body and mind are in sync to great results!

December 4 
None of us really pushes hard enough!
- Fran Tarkenton 
Sometimes we can only live up to our potential when we are pushed from outside. Unfortunately, if we learn to rely on that push from someone else, we will never be as demanding of our own performance as we should be. The more we challenge ourselves, the more we become familiar with the limits and more important, the expanse of our abilities. Knowing what we are capable of will allow us to adapt to a wide variety of situations. If we know that we can dig deep and come up with a second wind, we won't be trying to conserve energy in the beginning so that we make it through to the end. I will be sure that I am always performing up to my potential! 

December 3
Durability is part of what makes a great athlete! - Bill Russell   
Not everyone can be as quick and agile, as powerful, as steady, or as versatile as a professional athlete. Most of us, in fact, don't even come close. However, most of us can become and continue to be good, reliable athletes regardless of our particular skill level. For most of us, durability means maintaining our strength, reliability, and taking care of ourselves so we can be active and healthy for a long time. There's no need to get out there and kill ourselves every time we compete, or overdo every workout until it hurts. Consistency in practice will mean consistency , and longevity in performance. The smarter we are in pacing ourselves and in appropriately setting our challenges, the more durable athletes we will become!

December 2 
You can't win 'em all!
- Joe Louis
No matter how accomplished we are, how much we practice, or how well we're coached, there will come a time, or two, or three, when we will be done in by an opponent who is just that much more accomplished, more practiced or better coached. No amount of training ever really prepares us for a loss, especially one that is extremely tough or unexpected. And it often takes all our energy to handle it in the gracious manner that is appropriate. We don't have to like losing, but we do have to deal with it on occasion, so it's best to be prepared to cope with any possible outcome so as not to be ashamed of our behaviour later. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, so I should always be ready to handle either situation with grace and aplomb!

December 1 
Do it right or don't do it at all! - Boris Becker 
It is very difficult to live with expectations, whether we have created them for ourselves or they are placed on us by others. High expectations can be debilitating and can end up making us play worse or give up entirely because of pressure. However, when used in a positive way, expectations should motivate us, not discourage us. Setting goals is important but they need to be realistic. If our expectations are too high, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Perfection is very rare. We need to reassess impossibly high standards if we are too afraid of achieving them. I will be sure my expectations motivate me, not discourage me!

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