Did you go to the gym this week? Last week? Yes, you probably have a full-time job that keeps you busy, as well as friends that want your attention and possibly even a wife or husband and a couple of kids who need you at all times of the day and night. Does all this lead to you not “finding” time for your exercise or making excuses why it’s simply impossible?
Even if you are busy – that doesn’t mean that you are focused. There are always small opportunities for attending to your mind & body during the day. The key to maximal productivity could actually lie in slowing down and making time for taking care of yourself. Here are some tips for starting and sticking with an exercise routine, no matter how busy you are:
1. Know your goals
What are your top priorities? What’s important to you? The best way to achieve your goals is to first be clear about what they are. Identify the things you want to change and get really clear on the underlying priorities driving your choices. Make sure that starting now, your choices are working towards your goals.
2. Get support
The old adage goes, “It’s not what you know but who you know.” That wisdom applies here too – when you have a sturdy support system you will feel better and less afraid to fail in your effort. We all need the ability to share our thoughts, feelings and doubts as well as the company with which to celebrate successes.
3. Forget perfection
We all have faults. We all miss workouts. We all drink too much coffee sometimes. Stop expecting perfection from yourself and accept that any long-term plan will have some moments of weakness. The goal to achieving long-term success is flexibility and staying on track by allowing yourself a little wiggle room
4. Quantity over quality
Making huge changes in our lives or habits too quickly can be a recipe for failure. Our brains are wired to resist change and therefore any significant alteration in diet, schedule or behavior is best undertaken slowly and incrementally – rather than quickly and too intensely. You’ll do better in the long run if you set small goals at first and complete them.
5. Do what comes naturally
There is no right or wrong way to be more active. Why set yourself up for boredom, frustration and failure by comitting to a form of exercise you hate? Find an exercise or workout that feels good and keeps you as interested as possible, whether it’s yoga, Pilates or outdoor fitness.
6. Ignore the numbers
People, for some reason, believe that they must measure their weight loss or lifestyle changes in numbers: pounds, calories, time, etc. However, these numbers often don’t reflect the effort one has put into a goal and are not really valuable. Instead of numbers, find other ways to judge how well you’ve done in achieving your goals. You should strive to make your exercise more meaningful than a number on a scale.
7. Feel the results
We all know what it feels like when we make a mistake: awful. Inspire more “better behavior” in yourself by taking note of how you feel after a great workout, healthy meal or anything else that reflects your commitment to your goals. To help you win the psychological battle with changing old habits, begin to soak up the feeling right after you’re done exercising. When you allow yourself to relish the good feeling, you’re more apt to make a good decision again in the future.