4 Steps to Quickly Find Your Motivation For Exercise
So you’ve tried getting in shape before and failed. We’ve all been there.
You start out on a Monday (of course) with the best of intentions, but by Thursday you’re eyeing up every off limits food in sight and finding any excuse to avoid that scheduled visit with the trainer.
Why does it seem so hard to stick to a diet and exercise program?
Here is three mindset shifts to set yourself up for success.
- Start with your WHY
The promise of better health in the future isn’t enough to keep people motivated.
You need to find your true motivation to change. Maybe you want to be the best version of yourself for your spouse and children, and getting in shape will help?
Do you have confidence issues related to your weight? Maybe your weight is causing sleep apnea and you’re tired and lethargic throughout the day, affecting your job and quality of life? If you’re exercising to please someone else, or to fit the mold of society’s expectations of someone your age, this will only lead to failure. Get fit for yourself.
But someone who exercises because it helps them sleep better and be more productive is more likely to do it even on the tough days, because it’s having a positive impact on the other 23 hours of your day.
- Reframe How You View Exercise
What does exercise mean to you? “Hard work” “effort” “sweat and pain” etc. most likely? These associations are preventing you from succeeding. If you’ve tried in the past and failed, that negative association of failure is preventing you from getting started again, too. Develop a strategy that’ll turn exercise from a chore to a source of enjoyment. Turn it from a daily chore to a daily gift.
How? To start with, find an exercise you enjoy (play a sport), walk the dog, take a bike ride etc….do anything you can do consistently and seek enjoyment from.
- Plan For Roadblocks
Have a long term goal, by all means, but don’t aim to reach it overnight.
Once you know your triggers, set out a plan to deal with them slowly but surely.
“If Trigger A occurs, then I’ll simply do X, Y or Z”
Setting up scenarios will help you blow past potential obstacles in your path.
Even if you start to slip -it’s not the end. Setbacks are a part of the journey. Relax, dust yourself off and get back on the horse. Just as one day of bad eating doesn’t derail your weight loss – it’s the big picture that matters. Remember, a slip is not a fall, and you’ll be less likely to quit at the first sign of trouble.
- Give Yourself Permission
Give yourself permission to look after yourself. Self-care is vital. Focus on making exercise something you do for yourself. For example, exercise helps you become a better person, spouse, parent, professional, community member or friend. Focus on your WHY you started and give yourself permission to continually work at it.
LEAN CLIFF NOTES:
- Find your TRUE motivation.
- Swap negative associations with positive ones, stop seeing exercise as a chore but a vehicle to the new, vibrant, healthy you.
- To stick to your routine, plan ahead for potential challenges where your motivation will wain. But even if you suffer failures, never stop learning from your mistakes. Small steps forward compound over time.
- Give yourself permission to get healthy, not only for yourself but for your loved ones, too.
— Jaime Brenkus Health Tip 44