You’re considering a new exercise program but history may have shown you how difficult it is for you to stick with it. For all of your enthusiasm and know how, you can’t seem to make it past the first two weeks without losing your motivation.
Immediately signing up for daily workouts may seem a logical way to jump-start your wellness goals. After all, that’s what bootcamps are built upon. However, the absence of a personal trainer who is typically responsible for keeping you motivated and on your schedule could make it impossible for you to reach your goals particularly if you are currently inactive. Chances are after a few weeks of attempting to do this on your own, you will experience extreme exercise burnout and give up.
In my observation as a movement studio owner, new exercisers who stick with it, resist the urge to jump in like gangbusters. They start slow, take BABY-STEPS and begin with EXERCISE THEY ENJOY. It is human nature to move towards pleasure and away from pain, so starting this way is ideal. The pleasure you experience will keep you motivated and coming back for more.
How to Stick with It
- Set long term goals for your exercise routine. A year from now, how many days per week do you want to exercise (frequency)? How long do you want to exercise (duration)? And how hard you want to work (intensity)?
- Commit to one workout per week at a specific date and time.
- Select a second, optional workout for whenever you like.
- Under no circumstances do you miss the one workout you are committed to during this initial phase.
- When the single workout becomes routine, commit to a second workout session on a different day.
- Once the second workout session is added, you may miss/skip one of each session in a month if needed.
- Keep building in more workout sessions in this fashion until you reach your goal activity level.
- Increase the duration and intensity of your workout in the same manner.
Incorporate visualization. Daily visualization of what you aim to achieve is a powerful motivator; perhaps you as an active, healthy, vibrant person. The image may be from your imagination, a magazine, or a vision board you create in advance. A vision board is a drawing, painting, or collage of images that represent your goal.
- Spend a few moments morning and night contemplating the image. If from your imagination, do this with your eyes closed.
- For the next step if your eyes are open, close them.
- See yourself embodying the image you created.
- Feel how good it feels to be that person and connect to it emotionally.
- Then set out to take action on your intention.
- Repeat daily.
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