Food for Thought
Four ways to kick the habit … of skipping workouts
Published Thursday, 18-Mar-2010 in issue 1160
Trying to maintain your New Year Resolution to get fit and in to an exercise habit, but finding you’re more in the habit of making excuses? You can break out of that pattern with a few simple tips on staying motivated and sticking to your fitness routine.
1. Keep your eye on the prize.
You must have a very strong “why” you are doing it. Always connect to that “why,” especially when things get tough or you get busy. If your goal is to get back into your favorite jeans, hang them on the outside of your closet where you’ll see them every morning when you wake up. For an extra nudge, pin up an old photo of you wearing them. People that use visualization techniques are 6 times more likely to achieve their goals. If your cholesterol is too high make a progress chart and hang it on the fridge. It is a simple reminder that will curb your appetites.
2. Schedule a consistent workout time.
Set a regular time that fits your body clock AND your daily and weekly schedule, prioritizing it just like you would a meeting. If your body clock is geared to the morning, follow that lead and train then. Skipping out on your commitment to take good care of yourself means sooner or later you’ll start feeling depleted and run-down, with nothing left to give to those who count on you. Sticking to your fitness regimen not only helps keep you healthy, but also refills your well of physical and mental energy, so you’re more likely to be there and be “on” in your job, relationships, family and others who matter to you.
3. Workout when you don’t feel up to it
The mental edge you get and give to yourself when you beat the temptation to talk yourself out of fitness when you “don’t feel like it” is a huge mental “ahhah”. Some of my best workouts came when I didn’t feel like it. Most growth in anything we do comes from the mental reality of “I CAN”. In some cases you do have to “think your way and believe your way” through it. When you do the payoff is HUGE. Don’t you have a sense of accomplishment and pride when a project around the house or at work is finished, especially when the chips were down? The same thing applies here … you feel GOOD.
4. Tell some one, and use a fitness buddy or trainer
You’re much less likely to be a no-show for your workout when someone’s waiting for you at the gym, track, pool, or court. Agree on a time and place to work out with a trainer or fitness buddy. When someone’s there, waiting, and holding you accountable to your exercise commitment, it’s a mighty motivator. Telling people in your life also motivates you to deliver on what you said you would do. It creates friendly accountability in your family, friendships and or workplace.
Scheduling sessions with a personal trainer creates an especially powerful incentive to work out: You’ll feel a natural desire to make your trainer proud, and to respect the time commitment he or she blocked out to work with you. That’s powerful inspiration when you’re mulling whether to pull the sheets back over your head or pull on those gym shoes!