How many times have you attempted to lose weight, get into shape, or just start exercising? I am sure like many people on earth, you have started, maybe stuck at it for a while, but stopped. It is common, according to a 2013 study, 80% of Americans do not get the minimum amount of exercise recommended (Which is 1-2 hours per week).
The problem that many people have is that they decide to start exercising, they go to the gym 7 times per week, they drastically change everything in their life, and it lasts for 2 weeks. If this describes you, don’t be disheartened, you are more than capable of regular exercise, all we need to do is dig a little deeper. So let us walk through a few simple steps you can take right now to get you on the path to regular exercise, and that you stick on it. Oh and take out a pen and paper now. I’ll wait.
This is the fundamental building block to achieving anything. Exercise isn’t always easy, and many times you will not want to do it. If you have no solid reason why you should exercise, you will start to skip training, this will eventually lead to you stopping all together.
So why do you think you should exercise? Because the health authorities recommend it? Because you “feel you should”? We need to do better than that.
You Need A Reason
With your pen and paper you need to write down 3 reasons you need to exercise. Dig deep. Could it be that you have children? By not exercising you will be able to enjoy their company less throughout your life. Do you have low self-esteem? Exercise has been proven again and again to improve your self esteem. Are you concerned about your long term health? Exercise reduces the rates of thousands of illnesses. Whatever things are hugely important to you, write them down. Take your time.
Now, take this list and do some thinking. What would happen if you don’t stick to these goals? Think about 5 or 10 years from now. How will your life be affected by the decision to not follow through with this? Write those bad consequences down, imagine them vividly.
Don’t let the “what ifs” get you down. Now we are going to do the opposite. Imagine what you will be like in 1 year if you commit to exercising. Imagine 5 years, 10 years. Write it all down, visualize it. Realize that can be your reality.
We’ve created the right reasons for you to train. This should help motivate you when you can’t find it within you to exercise. Write them out every day, repeat them out loud, think about them. These reasons need to become tattooed into your brain. It takes more than just the will to succeed. These motivations need to be transformed into habits. Let’s see how we can do this.
Be Honest With Yourself
Next you need to honestly appraise where you are in your health right now. What are your measurements? How far from your ideal physique are you? What is your fitness level? Are you out of breath walking up the stairs? Be specific.
Take all of these points, now write what you are going to change them to. What will you look like in the mirror? How many centimeters are you going to reduce? How much will you be able to walk/run? Which activities will you be able to do that you struggle to do now? Be specific, and again, visualize these things.
You are not going to drop 6 sizes in 2 weeks. So let’s make clear that you goals should be realistic, but exciting. First, pick a goal for 1 year from now. Secondly, pick a goal 28 days from now. Choose a maximum of 3 goals. The less you have, the easier it is to focus on it. Every 28 days, you are going to set a new goal for the next 28 days. This will keep your progress moving fast.
How are we going to achieve these goals? Firstly, you need to find something you can do everyday. The best suggestion is walking. If you have time, walk for 30 minutes before breakfast. Or take a walk in the evening. But make sure that you add something in to your schedule that happens every single day.
Secondly, you need a proper training routine. This doesn’t mean that you need to train 7 times per week. To start with, why not train 2 times per week. It doesn’t have to be much, but exercising twice per week is the important thing.
Find Something You Enjoy
If you hate the gym, don’t go there. If you hate basketball, don’t play it. Choose something that you know you can enjoy. If you hate all exercise, then pick something you don’t hate that much. Do you enjoy the great outdoors? Try hiking! The trick is, if you get in to a routine of simply doing some activities, in time you will be able to attack much harder and more demanding training. Check out some of these articles for inspiration.
And We’re Go
Start now. There is no point in starting at any other time than now. Write your lists, and start moving. This is not hard. You have small goals that you can hit, and you have a long term vision that you are working toward. Prepare for the hard times. You will have times when you cannot face training. But when these times come, repeat this process:
• What is my long term motivation for training?
• What goals will I be not hitting if I don’t train?
• What will happen to me in the long run if I don’t train?
• Remind yourself of what you have planned for yourself, be true to it.