How hard do you push yourself? I started seriously working out about 6 years ago. It was shortly after my divorce. It was a release for me. At times the weight of a failed marriage, having to raise 2 kids alone, felt so heavy. At times it felt as though emotionally I couldn’t breathe. That one day I just took off running down the road. The burning in my lungs was a physical manifestation of the emotional burning I felt inside. That slap of reality brought me physically back to the present moment, and it was just what I needed. Soon the weight started to come off and the workouts became a routine, an addiction almost.
Then came a day when I started to notice that the workouts were no longer making me feel as exhausted. My results were beginning to plateau. What I learned was that each time I started to just go through the motions; is when I would no longer see results. If I wanted to get somewhere, see progress or feel the burn again, I needed to be pushed. But not just pushed by anyone, I wasn’t doing this for anyone but me. So I needed to push myself.
As time went on, I continued to see a pattern. That pattern was not only in a workout, but in life. If we aren’t intentional about what we want, and we don’t push ourselves outside of our comfort zones, we won’t see any progress.
So I will ask you again. Mothers, how hard do you push yourself?
I know as mothers we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Between school events, homework, doctor visits, housework, and sometimes a job. It’s hard to keep it all straight! And by now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Welch’s study that was recently released saying that mothers start their days around 6:30 am and end it around 8:30pm, 7 days a week. If this is true mothers are working a whopping 98 hours a week! It could be even more if your schedule includes any additional side hustles or activities. So we all know we push ourselves. We push ourselves pretty flippin’ hard! But are we asking the right questions? I think the real question is: are we pushing with intentionality?
Pushing for Rebirth
Taking that first step beyond the boundaries can sometimes be frightening. In my case, the life I had known as changing. I was pushed into a new life whether I was ready or not. Through the ashes of my life, I allowed myself to grow, to flourish. I could reinvent or just discover who I always knew I could be. I pushed boundaries, I stepped outside the walls of my comfort zone and with that came…
Sometimes, just like our children, we have to push the boundaries to see how far they will bend. We have to get beyond the boundaries of our comfort levels. Sometimes as adults we forget to do the very thing we are all telling our children to do. Try something new, because you just might like it.
The 4 Rules for the Push
Now I won’t leave empty-handed. As I learned to push myself beyond my comfort zones, and became intentional about my growth, I learned a few guidelines that I want to share with you.
1) Know your limits
Taking on so much that your health begins to wane, or your sleep is diminishing is unhealthy! Neither your mind, nor your body can sustain that kind of pressure. Learn where that line is and stay behind it. Your body and family will thank you.
2) Baby Steps are OK!
Not every step has to be a huge leap. Small, what seem like, incremental steps, will get you there too. Just keep your eyes on the step at hand, and before you know it you will look up and almost be to the finish line.
3) Create SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Limited)
I know that creating goals for yourself can be challenging. First you have to know what you want! That is sometimes the most difficult part of them all! But I am here to help. When I first started creating goals I had no clue what I was doing. All I know was there were a few areas in my life that I wanted to grow, in my career, in my physical fitness, in my patience as a mother. So if I created a goal and pushed myself I could take the steps it took to get there. All you have to remember is that they need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Limited or SMART.
4) When you think you can’t do any more, try just one more.
Although some will try to convince you it should be ten more, I am here to tell you that some days it’ll ten, and some days it’ll only be one. That is OK! Normal in fact! But don’t just give up because things got a little hard. Try to push past the struggle to see what you are really made of.
Now it’s your turn to take the wheel. Parents we may be raising great kids, but that doesn’t mean we can’t grow in ourselves too. Show your kids that power of the push by facing it in your own life. When they see your drive, they will witness first-hand the successes that come with hard work.