Each week, since forming the Accountability Project, I’ve set a word or phrase as my mantra. It can change mid-week, but it is a daily reminder of where my focus lies. The first three weeks, for example, I focused on consistency. I knew my biggest challenge would be creating a routine that would facilitate achieving my goals. The most important of these being running 4x/week instead of 2 on average, getting up at 5 am for key workouts, and keeping a training log and journal on the daily. While weather made consistency a difficult mantra to stick to, I also learned flexibility can work with consistency.
The last two weeks, the mantra has been finding beauty in the grind. That is, find the good in the day to day efforts you put in towards the larger goal. So often we glorify the finished product, the end goal. All we want are the results, not fully taking into account the hard work that goes into accomplishing it. The process, the grind if you will, is often overlooked. My focus has been to find beauty in the grind with all of it’s gritty parts, crappy workouts, and runs in less than ideal weather. The grind is the amount of time spent planning the week’s meal prep and running routes, scheduling days to fit in workouts, appointments, and all the other important things.
Right now, I have big goals that I am taking steps with smaller goals to achieve. Beauty in the grind is not about perfecting each workout or crossing every single thing off the to do list, nor is it about the finished product. Remember the motivation and energy you had for your goals the first two weeks after setting them? It is about bringing that effort every single day. That’s when transformation happens, growth happens, grind happens. The grind isn’t supposed to be pretty. But it is up to us to find the beauty in it.
I’ve compiled a small (and not at all comprehensive) list of what I’ve personally found helped me find beauty in the grind:
Remind yourself that each small action is a step towards the bigger goal.
Keep a daily journal. This has really been the biggest key. It is so easy to get caught up in the negative little things. When you take 5 minutes to reflect at the end of each day, you are often able to see at least a few positive things. This can also help us to reflect on what we’ve already achieved and take stock of where we are now. My personal favorites are unlined Moleskine and Lauren Fleshman's Believe training journal.
Literally find the beauty. The days you get up to run while most people are sleeping? Yeah, think about how gorgeous that sunrise is going to be. The days you get up to workout and have a little quiet time before the kids are up? Think of how beautiful that silence will be as you sip your coffee. (Kids in my case would be two dogs...)
Give yourself grace. It’s okay that some days it is all you can do to roll your bum out of bed. It’s okay that some runs and/or workouts are crappy. It is okay to not be happy all the time. Give yourself some grace and a little positive self talk.
Stay Accountable. Seek out those that are on the same grind. Partner up and share your goals and what you’re working towards. Having someone (or someones) to hold you accountable to your word helps you stay on task and focused on that beauty. That is why I formed the Accountability Project last month. We’re just a few girls with big goals and we like finding the beauty in the grind together. (And we’re also ridiculously good at making lists and training plans.)
If you want help finding beauty in the grind (whether that be with running, working out, life in general), you know what to do!
Be kind. Work hard. Give yourself grace. But never forget to find the beauty in your grind.