This is the time of year when so many of us make new goals or decide we are going to do something new, try something new, stop doing something we think we should drop from our lives. This is the time of year when the gym gets so busy that I don't want to go. (Who am I kidding, I don't really want to go most of the year, I would rather be outside, but I digress...) And, I'm back! For a second there I was dreaming of warm, sunny days and a nice long run!
Any time of year is a good time to start adding more activity/movement to your life. But, since it is the New Year and so many people seem to make resolutions, why not start now?
Even though it is a good time to get started and thousands would be joining you in the quest to start moving more and get in better shape, it is still hard to actually get started sometimes. So for today's post I thought I would share and ask you to share the tips for getting started.
Here are a few ideas I have used for myself and for clients:
1. Do not try to do everything all at once.
This could be the single most important tip for beginning a new workout or eating program, possibly for beginning any new project, who knows. So many times my clients, my friends, and yes, even I make the same mistake of getting really motivated then going out and trying to do 3 workouts a day or hit every class at the gym and try the latest diet in hopes of really getting in shape quickly.
I have learned over the years that when this occurs in January it almost always leads to the February Failures and the March Madness (not the cool basketball March Madness). By the time February gets here you are so worn out from trying to do everything that you begin to fail at all of it and that just leads you right into the March madness-being mad at yourself for not having more self-control, more discipline or not working hard enough. If you aren't careful you move right into the April Apathy where you just totally lose your enthusiasm for your new workout and eating plan. Then you slide right into the May Maybe's...maybe I should get off this couch and do something because if I don't I will be right smack in the middle of June Judgment! Yep, bathing suit season! Goodbye binge-tv watching, goodbye Bon Bons, good bye whatever the latest yummy treat at Starbucks is...I have to really do something now! Hello my ADD and going on and on! Well, I think you get the point, start with something reasonable. Start with Tip #2.
2. Get in the habit of working out/moving more on a daily basis first before trying to incorporate a big workout routine.
If you really struggle with getting yourself moving then just try 5 minutes a day. Find something you reasonably enjoy (movement-wise) and do it for 5 minutes every day or 5 days a week, whatever is reasonable for you to be able to continue. Half the battle is getting started and finding the time. Anyone can find 5 minutes. Wow, look how short I made this one!!
3. Make more movement a priority in your life.
If you don't make time for your health, one day your health may take your time away from you. I heard it said one time that if you don't make your health a priority then eventually your only priority will be your health. Start penciling/typing it into your calendar so it is an appointment. Make it mean something to your daily schedule and don't cancel it for something that is not an emergency. This makes me think of Jim Carrey in the Grinch, "self-loathing, dinner with myself, I can't cancel that again."
4. Start with something you can be successful at. (and don't end sentences with prepositions)
This kind of incorporates some of the other tips, but don't say "I am going to lift 300 pounds every day over my head" if you can barely lift 10 pounds right now. Start with something that will give you a taste of success. "I am going to move continuously for 10 minutes every day" could be more reasonable and also leaves it open for all kinds of activities. Then tell yourself that you will be a little better next week and so on and so on.
5. If you don't feel motivated to workout that day try putting on your workout clothes and shoes.
I first heard this from running coach Jeff Galloway about putting on your running clothes if you don't feel like running that day and eventually you will probably feel like it. You already have the clothes on, you might as well go! Sometimes this is enough to get you going. In the winter I have a hard time because I am so cold I don't want to take off what I have on to put on workout clothes!
Or, just change into shoes you can walk in and just start walking. You have to wash your other clothes anyway, who cares if they get a little sweaty? Find ways to override the reasons you can't do it. Use trickery!!
6. Remember that the best way to keep up with a workout plan in your life is to make it a priority and to make it a habit.
Choose something you can keep up with for life (and adapt it as life goes on), not just for January. Keep doing it until it is a habit. Sometimes a good way to make something a habit is to make a trigger for it. For example, when the alarm goes off, immediately put on your workout clothes. Soon it is a habit, this is just what you do when the alarm goes off. You get the idea. I like to make eating a donut my trigger for going for a run. Just kidding!!! I'm not going to run after my donut, my stomach might start hurting. Ok, really, I am kidding.
There are so many other great tips and ideas for getting started on a workout plan but this gets us started for today. Please share your tips for how you get yourself going when you have been in a slump.
Have a great one!!