Motivational words from That Girl Co Founder and personal trainer Christina Howells.
We all know exercise is good for us and I bet most of us can list at least five benefits, probably more. We start up yet again, but before we know it a few things get in the way , or we don’t get the results we want as quick as we want, or maybe we are never truly present in the exercise session functioning on autopilot making it so easy to simply stop as we never really owned that moment. Quitting an exercise regime or never starting one are both our choice and how our body is right now is a result of that choice. It may sound a little harsh but at the end of the day it is all on us but the best part about that is its opportunity to makes changes that will reflect in your future. I like to call this the ‘battle conservation’ between the present self and the future self.
Lets face it starting an exercise programme is way easier than creating a consistent exercise lifestyle. It very easy to be motivated in the present moment, but this is often not enough for developing an exercise habit. First and foremost we need to address our “exercise mindset”
If your belief is “exercise makes me feel good’ then your mindset is “exercise makes me feel good” which in turn has a considerable effect on your motivation to exercise and your well being. If we have a positive attitude to exercise then we are more likely to have a positive result and remain consistent right?
It’s the same if we have the mindset that “people that exercise are gifted” then our belief is that “I don’t have the ability” which then leads to avoidance of learning new skills which eventually results in giving up in the face of failure. The actual “gifted person” does not see themselves as gifted, they know achievement comes from practice, what they put in is that they get out and the likely reason they have adopted an exercise lifestyle is because they enjoy the process rather than simply focus on an outcome.
It starts with commitment.
Until we commit there is always going to be hesitancy, the option to back away, change our minds, simply if we don’t fully commit ourselves then we won’t really ever move forwards. As we probably have already experienced in work or in our relationships inconsistency and neglect will have a negative impact. The same goes for neglecting our wellness and exercise which eventually affects our long term health.
When we choose to commit then providence moves too, have you ever noticed how all sort of things occur to help us on our journey that we would have never had our eyes open to before. It’s like the mental fog is cleared and we can begin the process and live the process as now turning back is literally not an option.
How can I help myself
Choosing activities you enjoy is also crucial as your surroundings and the activity can have a huge impact on your adherence. When you find an activity you enjoy be consistent with this. If you have joined a group or have a coach and they add something new, take gradual consistent steps and enjoy the process of learning at your own pace, rather than avoiding challenges embrace them, become resilient.
Booking an appointment with yourself Is key to developing a habit, and involves making your well being a priority , this means your ruling your diary rather than your diary is ruling you. Each week I recommend putting your exercise sessions in your diary and keep these appointment — once in the diary it stays in the diary! If you don’t take of your well being then your soon not going to be able to make anything else in your diary.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
I totally agree goals are important but often they our outcome goals which are short lived and often blur the process as we become way too focused on what we don’t have i.e.if the goal is weight loss and we are sitting there with our list of can’t haves then what do we focus on? These very things right? The outcome goals takes over, and in turn dominate your thoughts and may even motivate you to some less healthy strategies to get your results.
Instead of taking on a huge goals how about setting your self ”performance goals” these are all about what we are going to actually do rather than what we want to achieve in the future .The Focus is now on forming healthy habits that will eventually still lead you to your outcome goal.
Let’s say you’re trying to lose weight, then your performance goals for the week ahead may look something like this:
I will walk 4 miles 4 mornings this week and put the days in the diary I will work on my basic exercises techniques twice this week
I will increase my green vegetables at two meals each day
I will eat from my healthy foods list 6 days a week
Each small change you make to your daily and weekly routines with repetition will have an impact on your life, rather than thinking about the end point and will still take you there in the long term. In fact, I challenge is there ever an endpoint, enjoy the process and see where that leads you.