We all do it, don’t we? Any of this sound familiar?
‘I’ll start running….tomorrow.’
‘I’ll take up swimming again….soon.’
‘I’ll get back down the gym….when I have the time.’
There’s always a reason to put it off. There’s a project at work that’s taking all your time. The kids haven’t gone back to school yet or you haven’t got the money for the subs at the gym.
Many of my clients make the mistake of thinking that exercise has to be painful to be helpful. They think they have to ‘go for the burn’. No pain no gain, right?
Wrong! We are exercising all the time; when we walk upstairs at the office instead of taking the lift; when we run for the bus; when we walk round the shops or play football with the kids.
If you start to think of exercise as everyday activity, it can become a part of a lifestyle which embraces movement as something which is normal, natural and healthy.
So, instead of being a couch potato, get your TV fix standing up, walking or running on the spot. Instead of taking your phone calls, sitting down, stand and move around while you’re talking. The person you’re talking to won’t even know they are part of your exercise plan!
You can burn hundreds of extra calories a day just by moving more. You can turn fat into muscle by stretching, bending and lifting whenever and wherever you can.
This is the starting point. Once you get going you might find you are motivated to raise the bar and really take action. Energy breeds energy. Getting the rock moving downhill is the hardest part, after that it’s carried along by its own momentum .
Here are some super simple tips to keep it going
If you think too long about it, you won’t do it or you’ll give yourself the opportunity to talk yourself out of it.
If you’ve decided 6pm is gym time, get it in your diary. Make an appointment with yourself. This is something you are doing for yourself because you are special and you deserve it. Think of it as your time.
What you focus on is what you get. Focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re really in shape, feeling and looking good.
Think of the alternative
If you’re looking for motivation, how about imagining two paths.
Along one path, you have let yourself go. You over ate, over drank and slobbed around on the sofa every evening. As you look into the future, what does that person look like? How do they move, dress, feel about their body?
Along the second path, there is the you of the future where you took the time to really look after that body. You ate a healthy, well balanced diet, enjoyed moving, walking, being active. As you look into that future, how do you feel?
The great news is that, you have a choice right here, right now.
You can’t eat an elephant in one go
So, if you think about the goal, it might feel overwhelming. Losing three stone or turning that flabby stomach into an enviable six-pack might just seem too much or too hard.
Of course, nobody ever climbed a mountain in one leap. You have to break the task down into manageable goals. What can you do immediately to start to take you towards that long term goal?
The benefits: focus on a better body
Keep a list of all the proven benefits of moving and exercising, such as:
- Better quality sleep
- A clearer complexion
- Younger appearance
- A slimmer, more toned body
- Raised libido
- Better digestion
- Improved heart and lung function
- A raised metabolic rate which helps you continue to burn more calories even when resting
More benefits: A healthier mind
A brighter you: exercise makes you smarter, improves memory and all mental functions as more oxygen is sent to the brain. Water and nutrients through good diet will nourish and support all those important brain cells.
A less stressed you: people who are fit and exercise regularly have a lower resting heart rate. When the pressure builds, fitter people cope better.
A more confident you: being active and looking after yourself will send feel good hormones racing around the body. They will settle in the brain as raised confidence, self respect and esteem. Others will notice.
A happier you: one of the key benefits of being active, is the boost you get from raised serotonin. This happiness hormone is produced
as a natural by-product of exercise and has been found to lift depression better than medication.
Be your own sports coach
All the best athletes use visualisation for enhanced performance and to help them meet goals.
Try this technique:
Imagine you are watching TV. The programme you tune in to is called. ‘You, mark II’.
In this show, you watch yourself as you walk, run, move with ease. You watch yourself living the active life you know will be great for your body and mind.
In your imagination, fast forward through several episodes where you are getting fitter, healthier, slimmer and more attractive. Play this internal DVD every day. After a while, this will replace any old, negative or unhelpful mind movies.
Set SMART goals
Firm up your target. If you want to get fit, identify what that would look like. What would you be doing that you’re not doing now?
What do you want? Why do you want it? What will it look like when you’ve got it? How will that feel?
SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic…and timed.
So, get focused and get going. No excuses.
Did this help get you motivated? Let me know in the comments…