A couple of years ago, my friend Charlie Weingroff did a great talk about a program he had developed. He said something to the sorts of, "You don't do this program to be fit; you do it to be awesome."
I think we've got away from being awesome in our training. As adults, we're so concerned with looking a certain way, focusing on what I call the "side benefits" of a good training program.
Instead of focusing on losing fat in your stomach or your arms or getting "toned" or getting in shape, I think you should concentrate on getting awesome.
What does that mean?
It means you are strong. You can pick heavy things up, put heavy things over your head, and carry heavy stuff. It means you can sprint. Not run, but sprint. It means that you are powerful. You can develop force quickly. You can explosively swing a kettlebell or jump over something if you have to. It also means you take small steps to improve and eventually master your nutrition and sleep.
Do you know what the side benefits of training to be awesome are? Let's start with weight loss, increased muscle and decreased body fat (which is the definition of toned...I guess). How about improvement in functional strength, mobility and joint range of motion. By this I mean comfortably being able to play with your kids on the floor or even tying your shoes.
The best thing about training like this is it doesn't require you to kill yourself in the gym every day. You don't have to take every HIIT class or run on the treadmill for 60 minutes a day.
What you do have to do is show up for 30 minutes at least 5-6 days a week. Some days should be more intense on the weight training side, some days will be more intense on the interval training side, and some may only be body weight, mobility, and working on your cardio base. It also means you commit to training to be awesome for the rest of your life. Being awesome doesn't happen in a 30 or 60-day challenge.
Let me make something clear. You are already awesome. But we both know you have a little more. Try to focus your training, nutrition, and sleep on bringing it all out.