If you made a commitment to change at the beginning of 2013, but are having a hard go of it, consider these tips to start moving you in a more positive direction. ..
1) Put it in writing.
Making a formal commitment to yourself and putting it in writing helps you get really clear about what you what and how you’re going to get it.
Write down all the reasons you want to change your habits, and try to phrase them in positive terms. For example, “so I can play with the kids” would be better than “because I don’t have the energy to play with the kids”.
Next write down what you’re committing to. Are you going to work out three times per week? For how long? Are you trying to reach a specific goal? What will you do when you reach that goal, what will you do if you don’t?
2) Get involved with a group.
If you just can’t find the internal motivation to push yourself, or even get to the gym then a little external motivation might be in order.
Group training is a fun way to push yourself, meet some new friends and pick up some fitness pointers you would otherwise miss out on. There’s nothing like a shared pain experience to forge lifelong friendships. If you’re in the Kingston area, check out CrossFit Kingston and come work out with me!
3) Make Yourself a Deal.
If you don’t feel like going to the gym, make yourself a deal. Tell yourself you’re only going to put on your exercise clothes and if you still don’t want to go, you won’t. Sometimes it just takes the initial effort of getting over the inertia to completely change your attitude.
4) Get a workout buddy.
A study of 3000 women revealed that 61% find it almost impossible to summon up the energy to exercise alone. However, the same proportion admitted that they push themselves harder if they have company.
Exercising together has the added benefit of bringing you closer to a friend too. More than half of those surveyed thought working out with a mate had improved their relationship.
5) Throw out your scale
Find ways to measure your progress other than the weight on the scale. Monitoring your weight alone can be very deceiving, especially when you begin strength training. Often people will increase their muscle mass, while simultaneously burning fat. That means you are getting leaner and healthier, but the weight on the scale might not show a change. If fat loss is your goal, pay attention to how your clothes are fitting or track inches lost rather than the number on the scale. An even better method is to track parameters of fitness, health and well-being rather than bodyweight.
Some other things you can track to monitor your progress include:
-resting heart rate
-before and after pictures
-the weights you are lifting (how much, how many reps etc.)
-your 500M sprint rowing time or other specific distance for time measurement, like your 5k walk or run time.
6) If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail!
One of the biggest obstacles to sticking to a fitness plan is time management. We all have the same number of hours in the day, so saying you can’t find the time is a weak excuse.
Look at your schedule on a weekly basis and figure out when you are going to workout. That may mean you have to get up an hour earlier a couple of days per week to make it work, but knowing that at the beginning of the week makes it much more likely that it will happen. Sacrifices will have to be made.
If you only have a vague idea of when you’ll workout, but then something comes up, or you’re tired after a long day, you’ll skip it every time. If you keep an appointment book, schedule your sessions just like you would any other important appointment and KEEP it.
7) Don’t overdo it.
If you are new to exercise, or haven’t worked out since high school you’re going to want to ease back into it.
Delayed on-set muscle soreness, or DOMS as it’s loving referred to by trainers, explains the sore, stiff muscles you usually have the day after you exercise intensely, or at all, if it’s been a while. By getting into the swing of things a little more gradually you can largely prevent that and you won’t be so sore that you can’t sit on the toilet without screaming in agony for two weeks.
A nice long stretch and a protein shake with fish oil and glutamine after your workout can go a long way to preventing soreness.
8) Hire a personal trainer.
The top 3% of achievers recognize when they need an expert to take them to the next level of achievement. They then hire said expert and do what said expert tells them to do.
If you want to go it alone, that’s fine. Ask questions, read books and get a plan, but don’t fumble around in the dark. If you want to make your life easier and get results quicker, then hire a professional like the top 3% do.
9) Train for performance.
Find a sport you like and register for an event. I can’t tell you how my fitness changed when I started training for firefit vs. training for health or to change the shape of my body. Find some sort of challenge, a 5K run, a mini-triathalon, a CrossFit competition or something else that will put at risk of public humiliation and SIGN UP! It’s a powerful motivator.
10) Appease the lizard.
Keep in mind that change is frightening to your lizard brain. As illogical as it may seem, there is a part of you that would prefer to keep doing what you’ve always done because it’s familiar and therefore safe. It may totally suck, and it may be taking you down the path to poor health, low self-esteem and misery, but the lizard doesn’t see or care about that…it’s all about here and now. This is just one of the ways that EFT and other ways of accessing and re-programming the subconscious mind can help make change painless.