People need to reach rock bottom to realize something has to change.
And rock bottom could look something like
- A heart attack
- Being extremely overweight and not being able to get up off the floor
- Drug addiction
- Chronic pain
Then realization the pain of not changing exceeds the pain they’re experiencing now dawns on them. Not only that, they might have to experience this again and again before it sinks in.
Because who doesn’t like to procrastinate and not change?
And when it comes to health and fitness, people can reach what they think is rock bottom and then keeping failing further because they have no idea what to do or where to start.
Or they tried before and got nothing.
Or they got hurt and fell back into old habits.
Regardless of what happened, fitness didn’t stick.
If this sounds like you, stop and read this.
Hopefully, among these 6 suggestions, you’ll find a tip that resonates with you. Something that will make fitness stick for you.
Exercise is a fantastic stress reliever. When life is out to get you or you feel overwhelmed, working up a sweat beats punching a hole in the wall.
However, to take this up and notch and to make fitness stick, train with a friend. Have you heard the saying misery loves company?
Training with a partner helps makes exercise more enjoyable and keeps you accountable. A study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise said exercise adherence is related to having support. So, knowing your friend has your back can help you stick to your fitness plan. (1)
2. Replace your bad habits with better ones
The best way to change your bad habits is to replace them with new ones. When you create a habit, your brain creates new neurological pathways allowing you to more easily use those habits.
But why do you return to your old habits so often? It’s because the neural pathways established as a result of the habits, you develop never get deleted. Those pathways are always there for us if we need to go back and use those same routes again.
Since those existing pathways never get erased, the best way to change existing habits is to replace them with new ones.
Steps to take to change your habits
Start small– Most people want to create big change as quickly as possible. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight start with drinking a glass of water before each meal
Get hooked on your habit- That’s the point. It takes a little while to make it a habit to stick. Don’t worry if you miss a day. Just don’t miss twice. The only way to fail is to quit.
Celebrate your small wins- You have to enjoy the journey Even if you walked for an extra 10 minutes or did an extra rep in the gym, give yourself a pat on the back.
Design your environment- Make it easier for the habit to stick, not harder. For example, if you want to go to the gym, pack your bag the night before and make it one of the first things you see when you wake up and get moving
Surround yourself with supporters- If you’re trying to lose weight but your partner is still pigging out on ice cream, do you think it makes losing weight easier or more difficult?
3. Find your why
There’s a quote by Zig Ziglar that goes “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” After going through countless client assessments and hearing the same generic responses such as,
“I want to lose weight.”
“I want to feel better.”
“I want to look better.”
“I don’t recognize the person in the mirror anymore.”
This is an okay starting point, but it doesn’t really tell you or me anything. The question is why do you want it? When you find your why, you have some real skin in the game that can sustain you through tough times.
Ask yourself the 5 whys to get to your why. Here is an example
Why do you want to exercise? – To lose 20 pounds.
Why 20 pounds? – Because I’ll get down to my old high school weight.
Why is that important to you? – Because I want my energy and bounce back, like when I was in high school
Why is getting your energy back important at this time? – My wife is about to have a baby.
A baby, fantastic news. Why will losing 20 pounds help? – Because I want to be the best help and role model for my child.
Boom. Now you do the same.
4. Ask for help
With Google, there’s no need to ask a real person for help. Although this is all fine and dandy, sometimes there is no substitute for real world advice and experience. Because you cannot go through this life without help
This could involve asking the trainer or the front desk staff at the gym about an exercise or diet question. They might have had a client or member who has faced the same problem as you.
It’s frustrating not knowing an answer to your question and may lead to banging your head against a brick wall or you give up entirely.
Because when you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
5. Put some skin in the game
When you invest in yourself, you’re less likely to back out and revert to your old behaviors. This could involve buying
- A good pair of training shoes
- Workout clothes. When you look good, you feel good
- A trainer for a few sessions
- Basic equipment when you cannot make it to the gym
This helps you stay on the straight and narrow when you’re first starting out and then you’ll be less likely to throw in the towel. The only towel you want to throw away is the sweaty one from your training
6. Make fitness fun
Exercise is a reward for the body and never a punishment.
Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way as me. Go to any gym and witness all those unhappy sweaty people on their torture machines of choice trying to burn off last night’s indulgence.
Rather than continuing down the path of punishment, put enjoyment back into your fitness. According to Michelle Segar, author of No Sweat, enjoyment is the best motivator for exercise.
“Logic doesn’t motivate us; emotions do,” says Segar. In other words, people who exercise for enjoyment stick with it more than those who do so for medical reasons.
When you enjoy something, you’re more likely to do it again and exercise can be one of those things. However, it may take a little work. 😊
If exercise has become a chore or you need some extra oomph, contact me here and I can give you a few suggestions.
When you make fitness stick, your health is the winner. And no matter what personal obstacles come up, if you use these tips, you’ll like what you see in the mirror better.
Go on and flex. You know you want to. 😊