We can either learn to embrace it or use all our energy and force to fight against it.
Why? Why do we resist…change…resist control…resist acceptance? All of these things that can actually help propel us forward yet we often push back.
When you start to realize that it takes just as much effort to fight this “shift” as it does to make a new habit, a new change… once we let go of expectations and accept, we are able to embrace this “shift” completely. And then, and only then do we make a permanent change.
“Whereas excuse making is often a subconscious process, breaking a habit requires conscious effort.” – Headspace
This applies to all aspects of life but today we will focus mostly on how you can use this approach to stick to your workout routine and continue to make this your healthiest year yet.
Start by asking yourself… What motivates me?
Be honest. You can say it allowed, in your mind or even write it down… just know that no-one (not even YOU) are judging what it is that comes out.
Now look or listen to your answer. Maybe it’s your spouse, your child (or children), maybe your health, maybe it’s for yourself in general- which is great. There is NO wrong answer.
This exercise was simply to allow you to acknowledge what it is that keeps your fire burning. Now how can you use it to stick to your workout routine?
Many people start a fitness program, but they may stop when they get bored, they don’t enjoy it or results come too slowly. Did you catch yourself nodding your head? Let’s change that. Let’s make movement a part of your everyday life and an enjoyable part. We have gathered 7 different ways to keep you on track and get you moving.
Set a goal
Set realistic goals that include clear milestones, and as you progress toward your goal, checking off small achievements along the way – you’ll find a ripple effect occurs and things fall into place at work, home, and in your health. When we set small goals we can accomplish we are less likely to defeat ourselves and give up.
We take small actions like this because it can be difficult if you aren’t seeing progress. You feel like you are working yourself to death, going nowhere. But written goals are like mile-markers for us. They allow us to see how far we have come and how far we need to go. Celebrate even the small victories.
How do you set a goal?
Listen to yourself and set goals that pertain to your fitness level and lifestyle. This may mean if you have not exercised for a long time, maybe starting to walk 10 minutes a day is enough. Once you are ready – be sure to push yourself and progress from there. Maybe it’s 15 or 20 minutes the next week, and so on. Soon you could be running that half marathon you always wanted to.
Now setting these goals is one thing – but we are talking about staying motivated and in order to be sure you stick to these goals – write them down. Better yet – share them with someone you trust, someone that would not sabotage your mindset, someone that will support you.
I have found that writing down my goals and reviewing them regularly provokes me to take the next most important step – action.
Change your perspective
It’s all about the “shift”. Shift the way you think. If you want to reach your goals – as a trainer – I am going to be brutally honest. You need to take action. Simple as that. Nothing will happen until you put the effort in. Whatever effort you put in will equal the results you will obtain. So you need to start thinking like an athlete, not a couch potato.
Become observant of your thoughts and start to break them one at a time. Self-love is the key here. Start to notice when changes take place in the way you feel and the way you look. If you start exercising and you feel more confident and good about yourself – express it. Why suppress it? If you are putting effort into your training, then be proud of it. If you have people around you that are not celebrating the small victories with you – or simply happy to see you succeed then maybe re-think your social circle. Whatever you do be strong and don’t let them hinder your success or attitude towards what you are doing for yourself.
Stop exercising for vanity
Okay, I know… really? This is the reason I am sure you workout or most people (in general) choose to workout. Earlier when we talked about setting small attainable goals, this also applies here. Rather than cutting out that “ideal” body you want from that health magazine. Set small goes for yourself, they can look something like this:
- I want to gain more energy
- I want to connect with myself more
- I want to feel stronger
- I want to learn to accept myself for who I am
Notice that last suggestion? This is huge. Stop comparing yourself and exercise because you want to not because you feel like that is the only way you will be accepted. Once we learn to accept ourselves, we realize others accept us as well. It is when we don’t welcome who we fully are, we create it in others. We start to think others are judging us, only to support that self-defeating mentality we love to wallow in. Start to connect to who you truly are – and be that person. We need more “real” people in this world.
If you find yourself living these self-sabotaging “habits”, read this ARTICLE for a little more insight.
Find a buddy or a community
Let’s face it we all need some external motivation sometimes. Even as trainers – we need it. So find yourself a friend that enjoys being active and start moving together. Even if its only part of your routine once a week. If you are like me – I personally like to train on my own, whether it’s lifting weights or being on my bike. I love the freedom, the connection, the time for myself to just be. However, I know this takes time – and how powerful having a buddy or community can be. After training consistently in the gym for a while, I was looking for something new, something different. So I reached out to a friend who also enjoyed fitness and together we gathered a group of us and started outdoor rowing. It was great there was 4 of us girls (my sister included) and every week together we would get out on the water. We would laugh, talk (of course – with 4 women 😉 ) and just have fun! The time would fly by – all while we were getting our physical activity in for the day. It’s a great way to connect and move at the same time.
From there I joined Muay Thai and met so many wonderful people being set in this communal environment. It’s a powerful thing when you say to someone “I’ll see you tomorrow night” then the next day when you are experiencing that afternoon energy drop when you are trying to find all the excuses possible of why you should not go to class that night. Well, when you remember you told so and so that you would be there your mind shifts. How can you let them down, how will you answer to them why you chose not to go? It’s much easier to go then to fill your mind with all of these unnecessary conversations we go through.
I bet you feel better once you go 😉
Give yourself a break
We will approach this from a few different angles. remind yourself again what we discussed earlier – and give yourself a break from judgment. Learn to accept yourself. Accept that you might not be able to do 10 push-ups right away. Who can? No-one. Everyone has to start somewhere. That’s the beautiful thing about fitness that there is always room for progression whether you are a newbie or a fitness trainer. So give yourself a break from always having to be perfect.
Second approach… if you have been exercising for a while and you find yourself getting tired of your routine. Give yourself a break. You can stay physically active in other things you enjoy, but know it won’t destruct your results if you miss a workout or few days pushing weights. When we allow ourselves to take a mini vaca from our typical routine. We not only test our willpower to get back into it, we come back with this “freshness” with this new energy.
We often emphasize how important this is because it is powerful. It can really keep you motivated when you have different ways of incorporating movement into your day. Not to mention mentally you can gain more confidence, as you are continuing to learn and grow.
“Learning provides you with an escape when you need it, knowledge when you seek it, and a great pastime.”
When you expose yourself to new opportunities and experiences, the more chances you have of finding something that “makes your heart sing”, “that feeds your soul”, and when we find those we stick with them. The movement then becomes our lifestyle, it becomes joyous not a chore.
Schedule it in
We mentioned earlier how powerful writing your goals down can actually be. The same applies to tasks when we write a task down you are already making that commitment to yourself to complete it. When you plan, there are fewer excuses to make.
“Don’t make excuses for failure, make a plan for success” – Julian Hall
This could mean getting a personal trainer. It gives you not only a “routine” but accountability. The same can go for finding something online. Often people shy away from going to the gym, fitness class, or even to a personal trainer because they “aren’t in shape”. We see and hear this a lot. There’s, unfortunately, a lot of procrastination attached to this way of thinking. So if this sounds like you – start working on many of the things we discussed already. Stop the self-judgment, start to accept yourself. Stop the excuses and start to take action. One way to do this is to start even in the comfort of your own home.
In our AV Coaching, we offer the ability to incorporate movement in the comfort of your own living room. We make the scheduling easy for you, as we provide a weekly “program” and routine. You just have to take the action and do it.
Everyone is different, that is why we provided numerous options. See what one speaks to you the most and start there.
You didn’t get to where you are today without taking some sort of action. So, it makes sense that if you have a vision in your head about where you would like to be in the future, it will require action.
Even though you may have the knowledge to do some particular thing, you may lack putting the necessary action behind that knowledge.
We often hear that “knowledge is power.” But, knowledge is really only reserved power. It remains useless until we tap into it and apply the action. A knowledge that is not put into action remains just knowledge in your head and provides no real benefit or result.
To accomplish results we must couple our knowledge with the necessary action to attain results.
Why is it that most people find it difficult to put the necessary action behind their knowledge? I believe it is nothing more than a lack of belief.
Our belief system can be the driving force behind our behaviors and our results. If we can change our beliefs, we will change our behaviors. When we change our behaviors, we will change our results. Then, when we change our results, we will change our lives.
So get your paper, write down your goals, even share it with someone. Schedule it in, let go of that judgment and take action. You know deep down you want to, and really the only person stopping you is you! Believe in yourself – trust that you do deserve this. Try it and see what happens… just trust the process.
Dedicated To Your Health & Wellbeing,
PS. If you are looking for more tips on how to stay motivated check out our article: 9 keys to unstoppable motivation