1. Commit to a set amount of time and keep moving the whole time. When I first decided to start a regular workout routine, I had it all planned out perfectly: I went out and bought the right clothes and workout tools, started a workout journal, and wrote out a detailed workout plan. By all appearances I was ready to kick my workout routine’s butt! The reality– two minutes into my 25 burpees, I thought to myself “this is not going to happen today”. Confronted with a similar feeling the following day, I decided that the most important thing is to keep moving in some way… even if it’s a made up move. In the beginning, the most important thing is to establish the habit of exercising for a set amount of time each day– no matter how many calories are being burned. Thirty minutes a day is a great starting point. As you go along you will push yourself to do a little more each day and quickly work your way up to the workout plan you aspire to. Keep moving throughout the whole time you set aside… even if it is literally just turning your head side-to-side or clinching your cheeks (you know which cheeks I’m talking about.. haha!). Don’t stop moving!
2. When mapping out time to workout, include at least 15 minutes of rest afterwards. This is especially important for those of us who choose to exercise in the morning, before work and/or other obligations. When you’re starting out with a new workout routine, you may feel sick afterwards . If you go right into your morning routine, you’ll notice that you feel like crap. In turn, you’ll begin to associate working out with feeling like crap– leading you to not want to workout. Don’t do this! Map out time to sit and rest after working out with the same importance as the workout itself.
3. That feeling of sickness you have after working out will fade away. Nausea, headaches, and other aches and pains will likely show up during, immediately after and hours after you begin a new workout routine. Science says is caused by a redirecting of the blood flow in your body along with the destruction and growth of new muscle fibers. It’s also worth considering what you’re doing before and after you workout; for example, if you’re eating beforehand, try going without food until after the workout. Or,as mentioned above, if you go right into another activity, try giving yourself some rest and relaxation time afterwards.
4. Consciously think about working out. Many of us go about our lives in “robot-mode” for majority of the day. It happens for good reason. Being conscious is often uncomfortable and scary when you’re not accustomed to living that way. Conscious awareness holds us accountable for living our best lives. Before I get too off track(click here to read more about conscious awareness), this factors into your workout routine because you have to train yourself to anticipate working out. When you realize it’s time to workout RIGHT BEFORE it’s time to workout you’re likely going to let out a deep sigh, curse out the invisible exercise gods, and ultimately arrive at the executive decision, ” I’m just going to have to skip today.” Carve out a space in your mind to remember that you are going to be working out “today”. Actively think about it throughout the day until it has a ‘house’ in your brain on the same block as the “I’m going to shower and brush my teeth” house, the “I’m going to go to work” house, the ” I’m going to figure out what’s for dinner tonight” house… etc. Figure out ways to help yourself remember throughout the day until it becomes automatic.
5. Have Compassion for yourself and your weaknesses. Don’t confuse this with allowing yourself to lean on excuses. Holding yourself accountable does not equate to attacking your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. As Brene Brown points out in “The Power of Vulnerability”, reject the behavior not the person. Talking down against yourself will never serve to inspire, it feeds self-doubt and attracts the same behavior that incited the bad feelings in the first place. If you get off track, start again… every time. The universe shifts in your favor in real time, every single time you take a step in the direction you desire. Your chances are unlimited.
6. Time will move forward whether or not you choose to do the same. Something I like to do for all aspects of my life is create a list that I call “The choice is mine”. I grab a piece of blank paper and some markers; at the top of the page I write out the word “Choices”. Underneath that I write “Where could I be in 1 month?” I then draw a line down the middle of the remaining space on the paper. On the left side I list where I could be if I do nothing and remain in the same place I am at the time of making the list. On the right, I create a list–corresponding to the items listed on the left–describing where I could be if I take action in the direction of my goals. The list on the right may not be the end point of my goals since I create it on a monthly basis, but it’s a map that clearly outlines the real changes I can make to improve my life.