So, you’ve been meaning to get to that exercise class, get out for those early morning walks, grab a punch pass at the yoga studio….
Your intentions are good…
Here is your genuinely loving, butt-kicking reminder:
The time is now.
Waiting is not doing you any good and summer has arrived and you are perfectly capable of showing up for yourself. And, and, and…
I recently started an exercise class for my self, a few of my friends, and community members. I got the idea after joining some inspiring classes that pushed me to a new level. Something I love.
Once I pitched the workout idea to my town, there were heaps of interest, mostly moms and women, looking for something to get them going on strength and fitness while not having to travel far, overly commit, nor pay too much money. We’re about a month in and I’m really enjoying creating and leading the classes.
Problem is, not many people are showing up.
So I’ve been asking myself what is holding them back. I’m sure it’s several things: motivation, trouble changing a routine, finding it hard to get up early, feelings of self-doubt and fear that they aren’t ready, or in good enough shape, or can keep up.
It’s easy to come up with reasons not to do something that involves putting yourself out there and being a little uncomfortable. I get it. I hold myself back from things I know I am perfectly capable of because it’s the easier thing to do.
But when it comes to health, there is just no reason not to. None.
I have been super active for quite a few years now. Exercise has become part of my everyday routine, a meditation, an escape, a time to think, and a release. Several things motivated me to get here: health challenges and fear of reoccurring disease, being a mom, struggles with body image, the desire to be strong and have endurance, and awakening my inner athlete. But the thing that truly gets me to continue every single day is that it makes me feel good about myself.
I’m going to say this again: exercise makes you feel good about yourself.
I start my day on a different level than I used to. I start my day feeling strong, feeling like I’ve done something for my body and my mind, feeling like I have some control, feeling clear and calm. Feeling good about your self is SO important. It is the essence of self-worth and self-love. If I can give you one reason to get up and get going, this is it, by a landslide.
I ask you to set aside all those other reasons we know and hear constantly, the ones that are perhaps now falling silent on your ears (it’s good for your health, it will help you lose weight, it will prevent disease and aging and fatigue) and ask yourself this simple question: do I want to feel good about myself?
Yes? Yes! Yes. (I’m really hoping this is your answer!)
Realistic Ways To Get Yourself to Your Workout:
Make it a date: Call a friend and suggest a workout date. Go for an early morning walk/jog/hike, or attend a yoga class together. Plan a second date before the first one’s over.
Line up a reward: Increase your success of new habit formation through extrinsic rewards. Perhaps you can stop in at your favourite smoothie or coffee shop on the way home from the gym, or plan a lunch out following your workout date. Maybe you can reward yourself with a trip to the movie theatre after your first week of workouts or make big smiley faces on your calendar gym days. Find something that is motivational for YOU. After a little while, you will be so satisfied by the endorphin rush of your morning workout that it will be reward enough.
Set attainable goals: Let’s face it, it’s unlikely that you can go from a complete stand still to a full boar 7 day/week workout schedule. It just won’t happen and you may wind up feeling worse about yourself than you did before you began. Find something attainable and doable for you. And start small. The trick is to increase duration and intensity slowly so that your body can adjust with ease.
Find an accountability partner: This is someone who you can check in with regularly to let them know how you are doing and if you are sticking to your plan. If someone is keeping track and holding you accountable, you are much more likely to do what you said you would do. Return the favour and be an accountability partner for them too!
Get some new workout digs: I know, I know, this sounds silly and a little unnecessary, but I’m telling you, it helps. Find a few little outfits (even second hand) that you are stoked to take out for a trial run (literally), and create more incentive to use them. Also, if your runners are decades old, really worn out, or not supportive enough, invest in some snazzy new sneaks you will want to wear.
Make it count: Once you’ve made it out the door, you might as well go for it. Even on the days you’re feeling sluggish, getting your muscles moving, heart pumping, and your sweat on, can really pull you up from a low. If you can feel it, even a little, the next day, you’ll be reminded that you’ve worked hard and will be feeling that much stronger and motivated to go back for more!
Your body will thank you!