So how do you get yourself to do more exercise with less mental battles? The answer lies in building a solid exercise habit.
Habits are with us all the time. The moment you wake up, to the time you go to sleep we use habits to manage our daily life. It could be the order you wash yourself in the shower to flicking on the TV after work. They come in many shapes and forms, but I like to place them in two general categories:
Habits that empower us; and Habits that disempower us.
Most people when they first come to me have exercise habits that disempower them. Their habits have them living a sedentary lifestyle and they aren’t motivated to want to exercise. New participants in my training usually take 2-4 weeks to develop new and empowering exercise habits. Their attendance improves and most importantly they start to see the results!
My 9.30am ladies fit4life group is a perfect example…
Nearly everyone that joins it is a complete beginner and worried at the thought of doing a class on a Tuesday and having to come back again on Thursday..
When I tell them we also have a extra charity class on Saturdays they look at me in bewilderment.. does this lad seriously think I’ll be here 3 days out of 7??
But over time these people have grown and become more confident to a point where we now have 4 classes (excluding Saturday)...
So what’s the secret? What can you do right now to make your exercise habits empower you? Here are five simple things I use all the time:
Set INSPIRING goals!
If your goals don’t make you get even a little bit excited every time you look at them, then they aren’t inspiring. Re-write them, make them BIG and BOLD and place them in places you can see them! Use them to motivate you! Always have the end in mind.
Small steps achieve big goals
Now you have the big picture it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer size of what you want to achieve. By breaking it down into smaller steps it will help you see how something so big can be achieved easily.
DO something every day!
To create a habit you need to make it happen every day! Make a list, tick it off every single day, until you find you don’t need the list anymore! A 10 min walk every day = 3650 mins every year = 60.8 hours! You can achieve that!
Environment is everything
Being around nay-sayers or people who don’t exercise will not help! It is like a smoker who wants to quit, yet surrounds themselves at the pub every weekend with people who smoke. Surround yourself by people who either want the same thing or have already got what you want. Join a group class, be held accountable.
Do the best you can and learn!
A wise woman once told me that to achieve excellence that you need to ask yourself “Did I do my best?” This question is unbelievably powerful and will help you raise your own standards so you can achieve your best results! Ask it every day so you can reflect on your daily activity levels and take any learnings that will help you improve.
Hopefully these tips will help you improve your exercise habits. Remember everyone has the power to change any disempowering habits and introduce new empowering ones into their life. I challenge you all to do something for the next 10 days that will produce a positive change to your health and exercise program!