Moving into 2021: Exercise, Motivation and Getting Rid of Barriers

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Hi Everyone!

The end of the year is traditionally a time of reflection. We look on the year past, and set goals for the year ahead. The 2020 pandemic has made this an exceptionally challenging year.

Like many, I found myself struggling through 2020 with less energy and motivation. There were times when the barriers felt stronger than my ability to surmount them. I dealt with episodes of sadness, low energy and melancholy. I felt like a faded version of myself. I had to hit pause, and step back for a while. I focused on family and my own needs, and clawed my way back toward normal.

Once I found some equilibrium I had to take a hard look at my barriers the past year. Living during a global pandemic has significantly impacted the way I normally do things, and I have had to re-evaluate and adapt.

Here’s a trick to successfully setting goals: First you identify your goal, second you assess any barriers to the goal, and third you adapt and adjust your plan.

So, what does that look like in action?

Goal: Film more workouts in 2021.

Identify Barriers: One of my barriers to filming new workouts has been our home setup. We live in a split-level home and my filming studio is on the same floor as the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, etc. With kids and no option for babysitting due to the pandemic, this hasn’t been working for the past year. I try to film, setup lighting and equipment, get interrupted over and over again, and eventually get so frustrated I would give up.

Adapt for Success: We have a finished area downstairs. It doesn’t have the best lighting so I never considered it as a filming studio. The wall colors are warm and cozy, and we have a low drop ceiling that would prevent me from jumping. I decided that those obstacles were surmountable, so we are painting, removing a section of the drop ceiling, and establishing a new studio area for filming workouts. My goal is to be able to get down there by myself so Jesse can take care of the kids and I can film uninterrupted.

Our renovation project isn’t complete yet, but we have a great start on it!

Make your goal measurable: I wouldn’t be a very good Occupational Therapist or fitness trainer if I didn’t make my goals measurable. Film more workouts in 2021 is a general goal, but it has no measure for progress or success.

Measurable Goal: My goal is to film three new workouts per week in 2021. I plan to release new workouts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.

So I’ve addressed the goal. adapted for the barriers and made a plan/schedule to help myself succeed. This technique can be applied to any goal.

You might also enjoy this article Setting Goals You Will Actually Achieve:

I would love to hear about your goals this year. Share your plan in the comments below.

Over the past month I have been incorporating exercises from my Original 30-Day Workout Challenge. Great job to those of you who joined me for the challenge:


PS You can find me on Social Media: @BenderFitness and on Facebook: @MelissaBenderFitness and Jesse is on Instagram: @BenderCrosby1

PPS If you want to help support BenderFitness so we can keep bringing you new workouts, your donation is greatly appreciated:

7 thoughts on “Moving into 2021: Exercise, Motivation and Getting Rid of Barriers

  1. Stacy Delcour

    I am so thankful for your plan to film on those days! I have loved your workouts for years. I am 41 and entering my second semester of nursing school. Better late than never right? Lol. The stress of school and lower metabolism at this age has taken it’s toll this past year. I am also a spin instructor who’s gym was closed due to the pandemic. The combination of sedative study hours, lack of workouts, and stress have got me down! I have to adapt this year and force myself to schedule in that workout time and also learn to motivate myself alone. I miss my class but your workouts will help guide me back towards getting myself back!! Here’s to 2021 and getting “ us” back!!!

    • benderfitness

      Yes! Nursing is a great career choice. Those long hours will be so worth it in the end. Wishing you the best! -Melissa

  2. Teresa

    Your so right about setting goals you can achive!
    Mine are to eat right and exercise 5 times a week. Bye a house and be happy!!
    Love the foto with your babies!!

  3. Christine

    Glad you stepped back and took time for yourself. Sometimes putting ourselves first is the hardest thing to do but the most important. I can relate to you on so many levels and you continue to be an inspiration! Thank you and all the best for 2021!

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