So many of us have started a well-intended exercise program and for a variety of reasons, fell off. I can relate! After gaining the “freshman 15” in my college days, I signed up to go to a Nautilus center where you spent 20-25 minutes going through a circuit of weight training machines. You worked on one machine for 1-1.5 minutes then moved onto the next one. One day I wasn’t in the mood so I decided not to go. It was only a 20-25 minute workout – how hard was that? Then 1 day turned to 3 days, then 5 days then 2 weeks. I never went back!
Maybe it was the negative energy of the guy who ran the place. Maybe I was just lazy. Or maybe I didn’t have enough will power?! I can feel the nagging, shaming feeling like it was yesterday. The longer I avoided it, the worse I felt. Somehow my brain kicked me back out the door a few years later I found a way to work out that I really enjoyed. And it stuck. This is the key! We all hear about the many reasons to exercise including heart health, mental health, musculoskeletal health. To change your exercise program trajectory, you must start with identifying reasons that matter to YOU.
Try this 3 step exercise to get your started. Grab a note paper or your phone notes:
Step 1) Write down three outcome goals and set a goal date
Step 2) Write down why each outcome goal matters to you – Below each outcome goal write one or more reasons why accomplishing that goal matters to you.
Step 3) Write down action goals – Below your reasons, write down your action goals or the “how” you are going to accomplish this outcome goal.
Goals I Want to Accomplish by May 31, 2020
- Walk 3 miles without stopping.
Why it matters – It will make me feel strong and in better shape.
Action Goals – Recruit friends to join me, start by walking for 5-10 minutes and build slowly over time, buy new shoes good for walking.
- Lose 10 lbs.
Why it matters – My clothes will fit better, I will feel better about myself.
Action Goals – Move more, sit less. Eliminate junk food or allow one weekly cheat day.
- Tone my arms and my legs
Why it matters – I will look and feel stronger, I will be stronger.
Action Goals – Invest in some weights, join a gym or hire a trainer. Plan my workouts ahead of time.
I hope this helps you get started (or start again). Sometimes it takes 3 or 5 attempts, sometimes it takes more until you find the right reason to keep going! Good luck!