This time of year is such a strange one if you are actually considering making some changes to your fitness and exercise. If you’re like me, you’re determined NOT to start exercising at the start of a new year just because that’s what everyone else does! However, if you are thinking about introducing a bit more exercise into your life, here are five steps that might help…
- START – Whatever your starting point, even if it’s as small as a walk around the block that you wouldn’t have done without CHOOSING to, remember that it’s better than sitting on the sofa. Everyone has tough days in exercise but even if you feel like you’ve not done much, not gone far or been especially slow; it’s better than sitting on the sofa. Start small and build up, there’s no rush but to start is the most important step.
- ACCOUNTABILITY – You don’t need to post your resolutions or fitness goals all over the internet or inform every WhatsApp group that you’re apart of. Although you might think that telling everyone will force you do keep it up, it can actually just fill you with shame or embarrassment if there’s a ‘blip’ in your training. Having said this I would encourage you to find a couple of people to discuss your hopes with. It can be really helpful to have just one or two people that know what you’re hoping to achieve and how you’re planning to do it, people who understand your approach and who will ENCOURAGE on tough days but not SHAME you if you skip a day…
- DAY BY DAY – Something like exercise can seem so big, especially if you’re trying to start from absolute beginnings. Everyone knows their dream end goal but the reality is that there’s a whole lot of middle ground between now and then. So try to win the day. If you don’t, or you can’t, acknowledge it but when you wake up the next day it’s a fresh slate. Start again. Lots of small wins soon add up!
- MINDSETS – This is a biggie. Every athlete that you hear speaking about their training or successes seem to have this indestructible mindset. They set goals, they work hard, they achieve. Simple right? You have to acknowledge that their mindsets have been worked on for years and most importantly, had to start somewhere. Some days you just need to go and do your exercise because thats what you’ve committed to do but everything in you will fight it – and sometimes you might lose that particular battle and not bother. This is where you need to pull the old saying “you may have won the battle but you will not win the war” out of the bag and remind yourself of the previous point. Acknowledge your choice to skip your training, don’t beat yourself up, carry on with your day then tomorrow, it’s a new battle that you can WIN. Choice is such a gift, and I encourage you to fight those battles when you just don’t feel like it but be kind to yourself if you just cant. One blip isn’t the end; Start.Again.Tomorrow.
- DO IT FOR YOU – It can be so easy to slip into making commitments or resolutions just because it’s what everyone else seems to be doing. The key is to do it for yourself. For some people this point will be obvious and seemingly unimportant, but for others it’s the most essential. Only in making choices for yourself will you be realistic; you need to know yourself, your habits, personality and deep emotion surrounding exercise. If the thought of starting to exercise seems enormous and intimidating, make choices that you’re comfortable with and start. You can build from there and make the task ahead of you as small as you need it to be to keep going.
Remember it’s a process, and if you want to make improvements that will hang around long term that you will need to adjust and make changes. Be kind to yourself, push yourself and surround yourself with people who want you to win.