Sticking with the theme of New Year’s Resolutions I thought I would write another post about why people give up on their fitness goals and provide some solutions for each.
Reason #1- Life’s Hectic
Between work, family and personal time, it’s easy to run out of hours in the day. Using lack of time or a busy schedule as an excuse is just that, an excuse. We determine how we use our time, so if your mindset is that there’s no time for exercise, well, of course there won’t be.
GET RID OF ALL POTENTIAL EXCUSES RIGHT NOW. Think back to how you spent the last week or month. How often were you doing something you didn’t want to do? How much of your time was spent on activities that you think are more important than fitness, such as spending time with family or catching up with an old friend?
Writing down or taking note of where all the hours in your day go (you’ll be amazed at how many hours you spend watching Netflix or scrolling through social media) is an excellent way to highlight convenient fitness opportunities.
For example, let’s say you get an hour each day to eat lunch. Cut that down to 20 or 30 minutes and get your heart rate going for the other half. The rest of your schedule will remain unchanged and you’ll get a midday adrenaline boost to go back to work with.
If you want to get your exercise out of the way before you leave the house or late at night, consider purchasing some home fitness equipment. Even a simple fitness DVD or find a HIIT class you can follow along with on YouTube (Fitness Blender is awesome) — should do the trick.
Reason #2- No Accountability or Consequences to Quitting
Oh you missed all your workouts this week? OH WELL! I’ll start again next week. Another week goes by. Still haven’t worked out. OH WELL, I’ll try again next week. You get the point. If you’re not accountable to anyone other than yourself and there are no consequences if you miss your workout, then you’re less likely to get the job done.
If you find that you let yourself off the hook too easily, maybe it’s time to hire a personal trainer. Or you can sign up for that fitness class you’ve been thinking about trying for weeks. You’ll be more inclined to keep attending classes once you’ve met your instructor and other classmates.
Likewise, when you pay for a personal trainer, you won’t want to waste the money you’ve invested (sometimes money is the best motivator) but more importantly they’ll hold you accountable and keep you on track with your goals as you meet with them weekly and do reassessments monthly.
Reason #3-Unrealistic Expectations / Starting Too Big Too Quickly
If your big fitness pledge is to hit the gym five times a week when you’ve had little to no prior experience working out, you’re most likely going to fail.
Start small and work your way up. Instead of committing to five gym visits a week, start with two visits. On those first few visits, don’t stay that long.
The immediate goal is to leave while you’re still craving more. You can use this as motivation fuel for your next visit, and continue building the habit to the point where you can’t wait to get your next workout in.
All too often people complain about how they can’t stand going to the gym or they get so bored on the treadmill, and with good reason, when you go to the gym without a plan, going to the gym and doing cardio can be quite boring. But if you never take the time to ask yourself what you enjoy doing for exercise, you can’t really blame your lack of motivation on the type of workout you’re doing.
Listen to yourself and what you want. The treadmill (for a lot of people) does suck, so maybe find an outdoor track, or play high-cardio sports like basketball.
There is more that one way to work out. Running, swimming, biking, weightlifting, aerobics, dancing, yoga, and even walking can have great effects over a period of time.
Find what you enjoy, and plan your workouts to reflect that.
There’s no exact way to stay fit, it’s all about understanding your excuses and preconceived barriers to fitness, and stopping them in their tracks. Of course, if it were easy, everyone would be the fittest versions of themselves, but the key to staying committed to your fitness goals is finding a way to get yourself moving consistently (find your sweet spot) and what motivates you to continue improving your physical fitness.