Becoming successful at anything is a stressful journey filled with failures and setbacks. Fitness is no different. But that doesn’t need to happen. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to make exercise, maybe the best stress reliever, work for you.
If you don’t like the mode of exercise you choose, you’re probably never going to even get started. Don't worry about it not being hard enough, or long enough. Something is always better than nothing. Choose activities you’ll enjoy and complete.
As you progress and fitness becomes part of your lifestyle you’ll be surprised what activities you’ll be willing to try and even the ones you thought you could do, are now possible.
Focus on the investment, not the cost
Too often we focus on the “cost” of something, that is, working out will take up so much of my time. I can do something else…
Instead of focusing on the cost of working out, focus on the investment in yourself that you’ll be making. Think about all of the aspects of your life that will improve with regular exercise. Regular exercise results in improved sleep, more energy, weight loss, increased muscle mass, stress management and heightened self esteem.
Having realistic, short term, goals are one of the absolute keys to success with exercise. Achievable, short term goals, allow you to constantly “move the goalposts”, as you’re rewarded for your consistency and effort with constant, measurable, improvement.
Make it an Appointment
Plan out days and times and put them on a calendar. Treat exercise like any other appointment.
This gives you accountability and allows for control of your schedule. Just like any other appointment, sometimes you’re going to need to reschedule or miss it all together. But it’s no big deal because you’ll be able to see if and where you can reschedule your exercise into your day.
Have a Backup plan
As long as you’ve planned for the unplanned you’ll be able to achieve a little of you had planned. You could take a walk/ run at lunch, run up and down the stairs in your building, do a bodyweight circuit in a park nearby, etc.
Keep in mind half of having a backup plan means making sure you have the equipment. It doesn’t take much more than a small duffel bag with a change of gym clothes a towel and some. While your original plan for the day may have to be cancelled, you’re still able to get some good exercise.
Accept the less than Perfect
Too often on the road to success we get caught up in perfection and become paralyzed by our own parameters of perfection. We waste time searching for that ‘perfect something…it is important to act; adjustments can always be made later.
Instead of getting caught up in the complications of perfection, focus on simply doing. If you have limited time, utilize it effectively. It is better than doing nothing.
“One is always greater than zero”- Gary Vaynerchuck
Maintain a log. It allows you to measure your progress. Once you start to see the numbers creep up and the results become obvious, you will motivated to more hours of effective exercise.
Make it a Habit
Many people believe that it takes 21 days to create a habit. Unfortunately, that’s probably too short. It takes longer. It may a take a couple of months. You have to be patient and not give up. Not only does this time-frame help exercise become a part of your identity, but it’s also long enough that you to be able to see and experience the changes in your body.
Bonus Tip: Try to Workout First Thing in the Morning
There is quite a bit of debate on the optimal time of day to workout. The best time to work-out is whenever you can. But, working out first thing in the morning does give you the advantage of getting it done and out of the way before the mundane routine of the day begins.