Most Engaged Motivator - Rosemary Kearney
Last February Empeal and Network Ireland collaborated to complete the NI Fittest Branch Challenge. Rosemary was awarded a special prize as the most engaged motivator in the competition. An interview was conducted to get a more in-dept insight into her experience with the competition and to gain tips on how to stay motivated and engaged in your goals. Rosemary is a data protection consultant who specialises in GDPR and her story is quite relatable as she retold her experience with working from home.
“My work involves a lot of sitting and reading, not much activity during the day. My activity comes from looking after my three kids, trying to get out a bit with them and also doing the housework”.
Rosemary continued to explain that since the beginning of lockdown it has been hard to stay motivated and due to this it has also been harder to manage weight. For many people weight management can be difficult, particularly when working from home at a desk for most of the day.
“I have definitely put on weight and noticed that my body was aching in my neck and shoulders from sitting so long at my desk. I wanted to do something to encourage me to move more but without getting into a negative headspace or taking the “mental stick” to myself where I ended up feeling worse because I was self-critical about missing targets or goals”.
This is a very relatable message as setting unrealistic goals for yourself can often lead to critical thoughts. However, Rosemary continued on by discussing what helped throughout her health journey and how she was able to set realistic goals.
“The NI fittest branch with Empeal was really great for this. I decided not to start with 10,000 steps a day because I knew that after a few days I would not sustain it, but to work myself up to 10,000 steps a day. It was hard especially when we got the results and some people were doing nearly 20,000 a day, but I found the positive encouragement from my branch members instrumental in staying motivated”.
Another additional aspect of Rosemary’s health journey which was highlighted was including health experts into her plan when motivation was lacking, and an extra boost was needed.
“I loved the sprints that Empeal ran with the experts because I could listen to them while doing my steps and found out lots of new information. The sprints also encouraged me to focus on myself more. So much of my day’s energy is devoted to other people, that it was really positive for me to have something that really said, its ok to focus on yourself. I notice now that I am more conscious of my self-care than I was before the challenge”.
When Rosemary was asked about her own idea of wellbeing her response was interesting as she acknowledge that reflection had an important part to play,
“I reflected a lot about what my idea of wellbeing is during the challenge. I discovered that it is really a conversation that I had to have with myself every day that starts with the questions, how am I today? And how am I going to look after myself today?”
Rosemary also brought up a very important point by highlighting the importance of listening to your own body and giving yourself the time and care you need in hard moments,
“Somedays, I’m really focused on movement, healthy eating and all those positive elements. Other days its recognizing that I need quiet time, or somebody pampering, and other days it’s about just relaxing with some not-so-healthy food in front of the tv”.
Finally, Rosemary concluded that through the use of the Empeal challenge with Network Ireland, a changed was noticed within herself and her behaviors such as,
“I am now making behavioral choices rather than reactions and I am trying to bring the same dedication and compassion that I have for others to myself. Wellness is really about noticing what I need every day and then doing my best to do that. And that has really benefited me over the last months”.
This is great advice for anyone to hear, sometimes being overly strict on yourself can have a negative effect on your happiness and wellbeing. Listening to your body and becoming more self-aware can make difficult times and challenges easier to face and can help with achieving your overall goals.