“I just want to not drop dead of a heart attack” “I want the energy to keep up with my kids” “I want to see my toes again” “I want to look great for my partner” “I want to live better” I have […]
When Real Life trashes your Best Laid Plans We know it’s good to have a plan. I mean everything has a better chance of happening with a plan behind it. The project at work, the day trip with the kids, the diet, the exercise plan… […]
My good friend, Claire Snowdon, has had this on her vision board since 2013. Can you guess which mountain? I am helping her train for her adventure and we've hatched a plan! This will be The Southey Way’s inaugural adventure weekend and it’s going to be special. I’ve walked and climbed up hills and mountains for charity in the past and learned loads about myself in the process. Now it’s time to help others do the same.
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Putting off starting exercise and finding motivation to continue exercising are two problems that normally go hand in hand. Our mind will throw up a list of excuses why exercise can be skipped or not started. Sometimes these excuses come out as, ‘I haven’t got time,’ or, ‘I’m too tired.’ Sometimes these excuses are born out of fear. Fear of changing, of coming out of our comfort zone.
So how can we deal with the procrastination and motivation issues and make sure these excuses don’t sabotage us from getting fit, strong and healthy?
Make a plan and set some goals: Have an end goal and then break down that goal into smaller, easily achievable baby goals. Decide what needs to happen and when it’s going to happen and put it in your diary as an appointment that is as fixed as any business or personal commitment that you make.
Find solutions to the excuses: Once you have a plan, spend some time imagining all the possible excuses that you can think of as to why you may not stick to the plan. For each excuse, think of a solution, an action that you will put in place to ensure the excuse will not sabotage your training. Write down all the solutions and keep them with your plan!
Get your cheerleaders on board: Find a coach, friend, family member who will be behind you 100%. Tell them your plan! By sharing your plan and goals you will buy into the plan more. Your cheerleader will support you and encourage you along the way and, by doing so, will give you the accountability for your actions. They’ll ask how you’re doing and you won’t want to say that you haven’t done what you said you would!
Have a trigger: Change into your gym kit at work, put your running shoes by the door so you see them, set an alarm for when it’s time to exercise. A trigger will help you not to forget your plan.
Develop the habit: Commit to your plan. Commit to the same days, the same time for your sessions, so that they become part of your normal routine. Success is in the plan and the routine.
Reward yourself: Eventually, the satisfaction of completing your session and seeing your progress will be your reward. But as you start out and build the routine, rewarding yourself for completing your session can be hugely effective. Maybe £1 in a savings tin each completed session, for a reward at the end of the month, or a hot bubble bath all to yourself with no kids barging in – whatever floats your boat that is small and easily achievable and a little bit outside the norm. By this, I don’t mean a huge caramel mocha latte and a doughnut! Beware of food and drink rewards.
Keep a record: Keep it with your Plan. Keep a record, not just of what you have done but of all the positive feelings you have on completing your sessions. These can be re-read on low motivation days to remind you why you want to do the next session, even when the excuses are raising their ugly heads! It’s also really useful weeks/months down the line because you can see exactly how far you have come and the progress you have made.
Just Start: Sometimes there will be those days when you just don’t want to. Like a 2 year old child, you’re tired and fed up and want to throw your toys out of the cot! No amount of practising any of the above has convinced your inner 2 year-old that exercise is a good idea. At this point, you have to be the grown up! Exercise is one of the best medicines for mental tiredness and stress. Put your kit on and do 5 minutes at the very least. Just Get On With It! And as every parent will say to a stroppy tired child when they object – “Because I Told You To!”
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Fear of failure, fear of being laughed at, fear of not being able to do it, fear of not being good enough, not confident enough. There are many reasons people use to not exercise. These are just some. Fear is a huge mind challenge.
This is a good one! In this day and age we all have multiple calls on our time. A combination of work, spouse, children, home chores, social activities all make demands on our time. And by the end of the day the last thing that seems possible is to take precious time out of these tasks to spend on ourselves exercising. It can feel selfish and arduous and something that can happen tomorrow, next week, next month. We all have time if we want it. Time to pop for a quick drink with a mate, a brief shopping trip in our lunch hour, time reading facebook posts or watching videos. Time for our regular TV programmes. The time is there, it is how we chose to spend it that is key. We all know that it is vital that we exercise. We only get one body and the better we use it the more we will be able to achieve, both in and out of the gym. The less health problems we will have in later years. The more we will be able to play with our children, have adventures, and at the very least feel healthier to carry out our day to day lives.
So how can we find the time?
Make yourself a priority: If you are fit and happy in yourself then it radiates out to the people around you creating a positive change in your environment and will encourage you to continue to exercise more. Find something you like to do: Exercise can feel like a chore if you don’t enjoy it. You don’t have to join a gym or run miles if you don’t enjoy it. Try different things and see which activity makes you want to go back and do it again. Find someone to do it with you: Be it a family member, a colleague or someone from the pub. Exercising with people can be a huge motivator to carry on when the time gets tough. A commitment to another person is harder to break than a commitment to ourselves Get some support: Whether it be from a personal trainer, a coach, someone you admire, someone who already exercises regularly. Having someone to talk to about your concerns and someone who holds you accountable to your commitment to exercise is invaluable and will enable you to keep your momentum going Make a plan: look at your daily commitments and see where you can find 30 minutes in your day. Whether is it getting up ½ and hour earlier, stepping away from your desk at lunchtime, whilst the kids are at their clubs, replacing some TV time in the evening. Find a regular time 3 times a week and commit to doing your best for that 30minutes. The benefits of regular exercise are endless and spread throughout our busy lives. Don’t blame time – Find the Time!