Ultimate Booty Workouts |How my approach to fitness helped me write a book

Last week marked the much-anticipated (by me at least ;) ) launch of my new book, Ultimate Booty Workouts. (Confession, for days I’ve been stalking the online sites where it’s selling, waiting for ‘available for pre-order’ to switch to ‘purchase now’, ‘in stock’ and ‘add to cart’)

Ultimate Booty Workouts

It’s out! It’s really out!

 

Funnily enough, the most common question people have been asking me, (after “what’s the best exercise for building a better butt?” (there IS NO SINGLE exercise that’ll do it for you; variety is key) and “is that you on the cover?” (nope; but I did model for the photos inside)) is “how did you find time to write a book?”

How indeed? I have three, busy children. I teach group fitness classes and train clients. I blog, write freelance pieces, shoot and edit YouTube videos and keep up (sort of ;) ) on social media. I knit, read, watch television and spend time with my husband. I even manage to fit in exercise four or five days a week.

I know this sounds familiar because your plate is just as full (if not more so) as mine ;)

The more I pondered this question, the more I realized that my approach to book writing is essentially the same as my approach to fitness. Make time, break it down, schedule it in and get it done.

Ultimate Booty Workouts: how my approach to fitness helped me write a book

  • choose a time frame with a fixed end date. Last spring, I signed a contract with my publisher promising to produce a 35 000 word text by August 1st. Just knowing that their was a ‘due date’ was an incredibly strong motivator. If weight loss is your goal, determine how long it will realistically take you to lose the weight (aim for 1 to 1.5 pounds per week) and circle the end date on your calendar. For those of you following the program in my book, your end date will be 12 weeks from the day you start.
  • break it down into manageable chunks. Instead of focusing on the end product (which scared the heck out of me), I broke the assignment down into smaller chunks and set mini-deadlines for each.  I focused on tackling one small task at a time, knowing that as long as I stuck to my production schedule I’d meet my goal. The same approach works with diet and exercise. Focus on one day’s meals and workouts at a time. Repeat tomorrow and the day after and the day after… Little by little, you’ll creep towards your goal.
  • eliminate distractions. Ironically, the biggest distraction I faced while writing was social media. E-mails, text messages, Tweets and Facebook notifications were constantly drawing my attention away from the task at hand. I quickly learned that in order to meet my writing goals for the day I needed to work offline and with the ringer on my phone set to silent. Determine what (and perhaps, who) distracts you from eating healthily and sticking to your workout schedule. This might mean cleaning out your pantry and eliminating your trigger foods. Or moving your workout to earlier in the day before others’ needs distract you from your own.
  • enlist support. If you’ve read the Acknowledgments, you’ll know that I depended on the support of many friends and colleagues during the writing process. Some were cheerleaders (thanks Carla and Jody), some were sounding boards (thanks Suzanne, Kymberly and Alexandra) and others stepped up to assume my home (thanks honey) and work responsibilities when I feared I was falling behind. Studies have shown that having a solid support system in place is an important predictor of weight loss success and exercise adherence. Join a weight loss group (either virtually on in real life), find a workout buddy, register for a group fitness program or hire a personal trainer to increase your chances of successfully reaching your goal.
  • prepare for roadblocks and setbacks. Despite having created a detailed writing schedule, I didn’t always meet my mini-deadlines. Children got sick. My husband had to travel for work. Other projects, with more immediate deadlines cropped up. On more than one occasion, I succumbed to Facebook. Rather than stress about what I didn’t accomplish, I focused on what I did manage to get done and recommitted the very next morning to getting back on track. Diet slip ups will happen. You’ll miss a workout now or then. Don’t let feelings of guilt and remorse sabotage you. Tomorrow is another day.
  • celebrate small victories. There were many a day when the promise of “knitting once you have a thousand words written” was a powerful motivator. Celebrate reaching your mini-deadlines with meaningful experiences or gifts. Met your weight loss goal for the month? Enjoy an evening at the theatre with friends. Finished the first phase of Ultimate Booty Workouts? Treat yourself to a new pair of workout shorts.
  • enjoy the process. As wonderful as it is to hold a copy of the finished book in my hand, that feeling of accomplishment and pride lasts only a few moments when compared to the amount of time spent in the process of creating it. Enjoying the process is key to reaching any goal, be it weight loss, improved fitness or your first book.

I’d love to know what strategies YOU use to help you reach a big, long term goal (be it health and fitness or otherwise)

Ultimate Booty Workouts can be purchased online through Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, Chapters/Indigo and Barnes & Noble.

 

Comments

  1. AMEN SISTER.
    I learned all about the enjoying the process when I watched the husband LOVE the process of dissertation writing (!!).
    He cruised through whereas so many of his peers struggled.
    such a lesson for me, too.
    Miz recently posted…Travels with Charming.My Profile

  2. Great tips. My background is in rhetoric and writing (both BA and MA). I always thought I would have finished my first book by now. But, I’ve always let other things get in the way. And I almost did the same with achieving my PT Cert. But once you carve out that time, like I was easily doing for workouts, it’s amazing how much you can accomplish. BTW – I love the book and need to get a review done ASAP!!!

    • Heather, it’s so easy to procrastinate when the project is a big one. Thanks for your comments and I look forward to your review!

  3. hahaha, I received your book just yesterday, and didn’t even read the acknowledgements, as I went straight to reading it. Thanks! For all my deadlines, I break down the chores as you do. And the one thing that always makes it easier for me to start is to make a quick outline. Then I just follow it. The few times I haven’t done an outline, I’ve struggled. Congrats.
    AlexandraFunFit recently posted…Posture to PerfectionMy Profile

    • Alexandra, writing the Table of Contents before anything else was super important here. In fact, the editors had to approve it before I wrote another word! Thanks for all of your support; online and in person!

  4. I am currently writing my thesis so I have been following all of these tips! It’s so funny you have written this post because I think often compare thesis writing to fitness… Even interval training! I can go intensely for a set period of time and then I need a break ;)

  5. Congrats! So exciting:)
    Rachelle Q recently posted…Workout Wednesday and a Shoe AddictionMy Profile

  6. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  7. Enjoy the process! Fitness and creativity don’t have to be painful. :)
    Pamela Hernandez recently posted…Fit Myths That Need to Go: Lifting Weights Makes Ladies BulkyMy Profile

  8. Congratulations, Tamara!! The book looks wonderful. Kudos to you for getting it done. And I agree–social media can be a huge (but fun!) distraction. We really have to seek that ever-elusive balance.
    Carrie Rubin recently posted…Keep Your Poo To Yourself (A Lazy Blog Day)My Profile

  9. Love this Tamara and congratulations!! I’m so excited for you and for this amazing book!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Laws of MotionMy Profile

  10. So cool! I love it when successful bloggers translate that to successful books. You inspire me to write my own someday.

  11. Congratulations on the book! And ya, just subscribed to you on Youtube. The place is that is Youtube-topia is my 2nd home. hehehe.
    Yum Yucky recently posted…Food from ‘da hood.My Profile

    • Thanks Josie! I haven’t been as active lately on YouTube; the book took a ton of my time. Gotta get back to it!

  12. Congrats! How thrilling to see something you’ve worked so hard on become a reality!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Oat and Quinoa GranolaMy Profile

  13. Such a great post Tamara!!!! Thank you for putting this all down – I am really bad at this stuff! AND, thank you for putting me in your support system – huge hugs & I don’t even know what I did but thank you! :)

    I am so excited to read & write about your book… Such an amazing accomplishment from an amazing woman!!!!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted…How to Manage Weight Gain as We AgeMy Profile

    • Jody, you support me each and every time I go online! Your motivational posts, your knowledge about strength training and your regular comments on this blog mean so very much to me! xo

  14. Congratulations on the book! I can imagine how excited you were when it was available for purchase!

    Your workout approach is great!
    Andrea@WellnessNotes recently posted…Finding the Right Exercise Program for YouMy Profile

    • Andrea, thanks so much for stopping by. Yes, I was (and still am) excited about the whole thing. Even more exciting would be to go into my local bookstore and see it on the shelves…

  15. First, I LOVE the comparison you set up and the way you carried it through. Super clear and a GREAT reminder, even for me — and I do work out consistently. But I have procrastinated 3 years on the book I want to write with sissie foo.
    Second, what a nice surprise to get a shout out from you!
    Third, when is your next book coming out? Huh? Huh?
    As for your point about celebrating victories (rewarding oneself), you are SO ON TARGET! I just got through a book published in 2013 sharing the latest evidence about how critical a reward system is to create good habits. You are so ON IT with this post girrrrrrrrl!

    • Thanks Kymberly. It means a lot to me when YOU praise me for my writing! I’m looking forward to hearing what you and Alexandra think about the book!

  16. So exciting!! Congrats on the major accomplishment!!
    Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut recently posted…What I Like and Dislike About Working From HomeMy Profile

  17. hey Tamara, congratulations on your book, I’m trying to do the same for my fitness blog but it’s been really tough. I like how you have a good way of managing your time throughout the day, to be able to fit these tasks into your schedule. If you don’t mind me asking, how much does it cost to pay a publisher for a book? Thanks.

  18. Congrats on the book Tamara! I’ll probably review it for my readers soon.

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