Do you remember when you were a kid and you did stuff, simply because you enjoyed it? You didn't worry if something you turned your hand to was going to turn out good, or make you a success, or if people would judge you? Sometimes you’d get the odd giggle or judgmental comment. But you managed to shrug them off, because you just did things because you enjoyed them, they made you happy!
But then, as we’d get older, the giggles and judgmental fodder thrown at us start to stick.
We start questioning if we should bother? Will this go anywhere? Will people laugh at us and think we are stupid? Is this a waste of our time?
I think back to me and my sisters as kids. Firstly, we were always playing 'businesses'. We invented libraries and restaurants. We had a jewellery business, we made little bracelets from plastic beads, but that wasn't enough for us, we made a little catalogue to go along with it and we'd try and make sales to our parents friends when they came around, telling them to buy it for their wives. We also like choreographing bodybuilding shows and dance routines to entertain ourselves. It was amazing and fun, we never questioned if it was stupid. We just loved doing these things.
I remember my older sister, feeling restricted by her fashion wheel, designing loads of amazing outfits on her notepad and watching fashion shows and freely sharing her thoughts on designs and designers.
I remember my younger sister writing full on books at 7 years old, full of exciting adventures and proudly sharing them with us.
I remember writing songs on my keyboard, protest style songs. I remember singing about poor little spiders and cows to my sisters and people who came to our house. I remember designing workout routines inspired by ‘Mr Motivator’ and excitedly showing them to people.
We were always proud of the things we created, but somewhere along the line, we got quiet about it. We started worrying about what the world would think of us. I think we each spent quite a chunk of our late teens and 20’s, like so many other people, worrying about what others thought of us instead of living life for ourselves. When you stop doing the things you love and start living to what you believe others expectations are you start losing little pieces of yourself. We are always told we have a short time on this earth but it feels a massive slog when you’re not true to yourself.
I am so proud of my sisters today. I still see them struggling between doing what they love and worrying about other people, as do I. But my older sister is working in fashion and my little sister has published two of her books.
It’s so important to start just doing things because we love doing them. I am not saying quit your job and start your own business, but honestly, if you loved drawing when you were a kid – start drawing again, If you loved writing – start writing again! Whatever it was, start doing it again because you enjoy it, do it for yourself without worrying if it’s good enough or what others will think of it!
It might turn into something amazing, it might turn into nothing or it might help you find pieces of yourself again.
I don't know about you, but scrolling through instagram used to make me feel 'less than' and fairly shitty about myself. That was until I realised instagram wasn't the problem. I was, or rather who I was choosing to follow. So I deleted all accounts that made me feel like there was something wrong with me and started following ones that helped me to nurture my self image.
These are just 5 of my favourites.
This may sound dramatic but Girls Gone Strong changed my life. I have always loved fitness and longed to work in the fitness industry, but the way fitness is marketed to women just didn’t sit right with me. It made me question if I wanted to be a part of the industry. I luckily stumbled across GGS and it showed me it doesn’t have to be about food guilt and body shame.As their website puts it.
“We have come together to provide a common voice of body-positive, evidence-based information about strength training, nutrition, having a fit pregnancy, women’s health, physical therapy and injury prevention, fat loss, mindset, and much more. Our Advisory Board members are the top female experts in their fields. These brilliant, world-class health and fitness professionals—along with other highly-qualified contributors we hand select—combine the latest research with decades of experience working with women in the real world to offer solutions that help women reach their goals in a realistic, sustainable, and compassionate way.”
Their Instagram is full of information about how to correctly complete certain exercises, body positive messages and the odd poke of fun at bad marketing of fitness toward women such as the post above.
Jessamyn is a goddamn legend! Yogi and author of Every Body Yoga. If you want to pull your hair out at the current ‘cookie cut’ image of the fitness industry you definitely will not regret following her and having her show up on your social media feed with wisdom as exampled below:
“The meat of a yoga practice happens off the mat- it comes up at the intersections of identity, the spaces where we’re forced to reckon with the light and dark inside of ourselves. Yoga poses are just a vehicle to a much bigger reckoning within the self. As my yoga practice has deepened, its become less about glorified gymnastics and more about reckoning with the light and dark inside myself. At this point in my life, physical and spiritual reclamation is a huge part of that. I’m sure that’s a little disconcerting for those who have been sold a different definition of yoga and who come over to my journal looking for posture inspiration- but this page isn’t about the yoga of mass marketing. This is about my yoga and my yoga is messy and complicated and NSFW and vulgar as fuck. My grandma wouldn’t approve and I doubt yours would either. Good thing this shit isn’t for them, huh?”
Jen is a trainer and former rugby player and wants to inspire people to become their best selves and to support a healthy, balanced, deeply satisfying way of life. She shares lots of demos on how to perform moves correctly without weightloss being mentioned at all!
Sylvia Mac is a Child Burn Survivor, Campaigner, Model, Inspirational Speaker, Cross Continent Swimmer, Blogger & Founder of Love Disfigure support network. Love disfigures recent campaigns have included outdoor swim challenge from Asia to Europe completed in July 2019, Launched Love Disfigure TALKS to encourage people with visible and hidden differences and much more. I encourage everyone to follow.
Bryony is a Telegraph columnist and author of Mad Girl, The Wrong Knickers and Eat, Drink, Run. You Got This. Her insta encourages good body image, self respect and the importance of mental health.
Inconsistency is the roadblock that will stop you from arriving at your goals. But when you're in a full time job, have kids and are trying to fit in quality time with friends and family, how are we supposed to stay on top of everything and not get sidetracked from doing the things we'd promised ourselves we would in order to reach our goals?
Here are 10 tips that can help:
1. Be specific!
Be SMART when setting your goals:
S – Be specific, don’t simply say “I want to be able to run” you could run for 2 seconds – job done. How far do you want to run?
M – Measurable. So for the above example let’s say running 5k.
A – Attainable – your goal should be challenging but achievable.
R – Realistic – your goal should be realistic.
T – Timed – smack a deadline on it!
Lots of people struggle with their ‘Goal Roadmap’. Start at the end, write down your 5 year goal and unravel it.
To reach it, where would you need to be in a years time, 90 days time, a months time?
Crossing these milestones offer the reassurance that we are heading in the right direction and give us a sense of achievement that keeps us moving forward.
2. Know your own schedule!
Set a time every evening to create or run through your schedule for the next day.
Assign a realistic amount of time to complete each task, if you’re not sure how long it will take, give yourself extra time.
For your big goals, give yourself small daily tasks to move you towards them.
3. Reward yourself!
Completing your goals is no small feat, so reward yourself! Even for small goals! A reward can consist of something as simple as scheduling time in for yourself to read a book, meditate or lay down and listen to your favourite music. Being consistent doesn’t mean being on the go all the time! It’s about scheduling in things that will move you towards your goal and scheduling time to rest – rest makes your more productive!
4. Make peace with failure being a part of success!
If things don’t go to plan – keep going! Sometimes even the best laid plans fall apart. There will be times when you miss your deadline, not be able to keep to your word or make mistakes. It doesn’t mean you are not consistent – it’s just life! Just learn from it and keep moving. If you don’t do a scheduled in workout, ask yourself why? Plan for setbacks! You may have had a genuine reason for missing it or just talked yourself out of it – just keep going and put a plan in place to avoid failing next time
5. Hold yourself accountable!
If you are not reaching the goals you have set. Take it up with yourself. Ask yourself what you can do to improve. Are your goals realistic? Are you planning and sticking to your schedule? The only person you have control over is you!
6. Be patient – change takes time!
When we decide we want to make changes in our lives it can be very exciting and tempting to throw in a massive list of new habits we want to establish. Be mindful and realistic about the time it can take to implement and see changes.
In a study examining 96 people over a 12-week period attempting to form new habits, it was shown to take anywhere between 18 and 254 days, with the average amount of time being 66 days. So don’t give up if you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere after a few weeks.
7. Challenge negative thinking!
Negative thinking is one of consistencies biggest enemies. Make sure you catch negative thinking before you let it in. When negative thoughts such as ‘I can’t do this' start to sneak in, turn it around. Simply saying “I can do this” may feel a little forced. So try “I’m struggling with this at the moment, but I’m going to keep at this, I am further along than where I started”. If a goal is becoming overwhelming there is no shame in revising it, break it into smaller steps or change it slightly.
8. Make sure your goals are your own!
I can’t stress this one enough. It may seem obvious, but it often isn’t. What we think we want is often heavily influenced by friends, family, the music we listen to, the shows we watch, the things we read and social media. Our goals are not always influenced by the things we are actually deeply passionate about.
Take time to question the goals you set for yourself and why you want to achieve them!
9. Get organised!
Make sure you are using a calender and know what is in it.
Tidy your cluttered desk!
Plan everything e.g 7:00pm – 7:15pm plan tasks for tomorrow.
10. Know why you started and remind yourself of this regularly!
It’s easy to become bogged down with things you need to do to reach your goal, don’t forget why you wanted to do this.
Revisit your goals on a daily basis!
This Is me:
I’m Emma, I train women (Offline and Online) who may struggle with their confidence and self esteem. I believe that women need more options that suit different lifestyles and needs, some of us don't have time to stick to a rigid plan, some people are to scared to even set foot in a gym (I have been there).