Getting started in developing your health & vitality is a struggle that many people have. There are so many factors that play a part and stand in the way of starting and achieving your goals. Some of those factors are legitimate and some, maybe not so much. None the less, it can be hard to start to fit exercise into your life in the beginning.
So having a system in place that works for us instead of against us can increase our odds of actually following through. Because many of us jump in without any idea of what to expect. And if you aren’t prepared and don’t take a few steps to ensure your success, then it’s likely going to be another short stint of exercise.
But before we look at a system that is going to work for you, let’s see check out some factors that work against you when trying to incorporate fitness into your life. This will help us to understand why it’s important to build the system in the first. Place
Paralysis By Analysis
If you do a simple Google search for “how to start exercising?” you’ll likely see thousands upon thousands of recommendations. There will be tips on getting started at home, advertisements for your local fitness center, articles about running or walking, people telling you to do Yoga or Crossfit or Dance Fitness.
There are so many different modalities for exercise, that it’s sometimes hard to know where to even start! And this is where many people shut down. They don’t even make it past this step because they don’t know even know where to start. They’re worried about all kinds of things like:
What type of exercise is best for losing weight?
Can I even do this because of my age?
Who do I go to in the first place?
These are all legitimate concerns, and yet they also hold us back from taking the steps we need to make progress.
Failure to Plan Ahead
Let’s say you make it past the point of making a decision on where to start. Congratulations, you are one step closer to getting to your goal!
The next thing that most of us run into after choosing to exercise is not planning ahead. In other words, we don’t or can’t anticipate the daily habits that are built into our lives that might get in our way.
Old habits are hard to break, and new habits are hard to implement. And not setting yourself up for success to help create a new habit (in our example, exercise) can lead to sudden failure.
Time, Time, Time
Then, of course, there is the time that it takes to exercise. We all have busy lives. And we all have things that need to get done.
So, how in the world are you going to fit yet another thing into your life when all of your time is full already?
There’s a way to do this. And it may be easier than you think. However, it is going to effort, and it is going to take time. But if you’re persistent enough and patient enough with yourself, you can make fitness a part of your life without a problem.
Because you’re worth it after all.
How to Make Fitness Work for You
Just like there are a thousand different types of exercise, there are also a thousand different strategies for “fitting fitness into your life”. Today, we’re going to talk about 3 that will have a great impact.
This system is going to seem simple, because it is. However, it’s always the simple things we overlook. We want to make things more complex than they need to be. Because we believe that the more complex something is, the better it is.
Einstein once said, “Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler”. Where most of us struggle is the “making things as simple as possible”.
So let’s start at the first step of our system:
Like I said, this is going to sound obvious. And this step is blatantly so. However, we get so caught up in analyzing every step that we often don’t make it past the point of deciding.
Or we do decide and find it it’s not what we enjoy. But we did it anyway because that’s what Aunt Sallie told us was best for losing weight.
Well, Aunt Sallie is not you. And only you can decide what you will enjoy doing. So start by picking 3 different types of exercise that you think you may enjoy. Yes, ENJOY. You have to have fun while you’re doing it. Not all the time, because exercise should be difficult after all. But on average, you should enjoy the exercise you do.
Once you’ve picked 3 forms of exercise, try each one for about 10 days. This will give you a good gauge on where that type of exercise fits in your Like-O-Meter.
And, once you’ve decided which type of exercise you like best, choose it and run with it. Stick with it for AT LEAST 12 months. Play the long game. Because inconsistent exercise gets you inconsistent results.
So DECIDE and stick with it.
#2) Set the Environment
Putting a new habit into your life can be a daunting task. And that’s all exercise is. It’s creating a new habit.
So one thing you can do to make sure your chances of succeeding are better is setting up your environment to support the new habit.
One example of doing this is laying out exercise clothes. Many of us like to belief that we’re going to have the willpower to come home after work, grab something to eat, change into workout clothes, and drive back out to the gym. And if you think you’re this person, statistics say otherwise.
Because your habit is to drive home, get home, sit on the couch, turn on the TV and relax, trying to turn that around requires A LOT of willpower. So, pack your clothes the night before, put them in from of the door and taking them with you to work. Then go to the gym RIGHT AFTER work!
Or, if you’re a morning person, lay your gym clothes out the night before so you see them right when you roll out of bed. Put on the gym clothes and go straight to the gym.
Set yourself up for success. This is going to be a process. And until you make it habit in your life (sorry, this takes longer than 10 days), a great way to increase your likelihood of success is to decrease the resistance in front of you.
#3) Schedule it
I believe that at some level, all of us think that our health is important. And we all take steps to ensure a certain level of health.
Take going to the doctor, for instance. Many of us set regular doctor appointments so we can go in and get worked over to make sure that everything is in working order. Most of these doctors appointments are set months or even a year in advance.
Do you think it’s a coincidence that doctors do this? Have you set your next appointment in advance instead of just hoping you’ll call to set it up at some point?
Not likely. The same goes with your exercise. When you don’t’ schedule your exercise in advance, you’re basically telling yourself that you’ll get to it when you can. And, I promise you, when you can rarely comes. Because there’s always tomorrow.
At Thriveology, on the 15thof every month, we encourage our members to schedule all of their workouts for the next month. Yes, they sit down and schedule all of their workouts for the next month!
This way you are holding yourself accountable. This makes you work things around your workout, instead of working your workout around other things.
If you don’t schedule it and make it priority, it is much less likely to happen. You are worth it. Your health is what defines your time on this Earth. If you don’t schedule that time you, you’ll find all the excuses in the world to put it off until tomorrow.
So start by deciding what to do and make sure you’re going to enjoy it. Then, set up your environment for the path of least resistance. Remember, we want this thing to succeed, so make it easy for that to happen. Then, finally, get it on your schedule! Schedule 2 weeks out, 3 weeks out, 6 weeks out. The longer the better! Hold yourself accountable and you will see yourself start to succeed!