“Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self-assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.”
– Eric Zorn
January 1st arrives and so many of us resolve to lose weight, eat better, decrease stress, save more money. Telling ourselves, “This year will be different.” A month or so has passed, and if you made resolutions, by now you will have experienced one of the following scenarios:
1) “I’m on track and doing well! Hooray for me!”
2) “I’ve been pretty good at sticking to my resolution(s) but I feel like they may be slipping away…”
3) “Resolutions? They’re long gone… Who sticks to them anyways?”
Why is it that some people seemingly breeze through the change process while others struggle? When it comes to starting and staying with fitness, for many it is a challenging proposition. The Canadian Community Health Survey (2000/01) suggests that while the proportion of people who are active in their leisure time has grown, obesity rates have increased, and upwards of 60% of the Canadian population are sedentary – or engaging in insufficient activity to maintain optimal health.
We all have the best intentions to do better for ourselves with health and fitness, so it can feel like failure when the results don’t come. When motivation starts to drop – fear not. An energy injection is as easy as 1, 2, 3…
3 Steps to Getting Back on Track When Motivation is De-railing You
1) Research your Roadblocks
If you looked back on all your ‘failed’ attempts at exercise would you notice a pattern?
Do you plan to exercise first thing in the morning ignoring the fact that you’re not a morning person? Do you plan a ‘5 minute’ couch break before your walk, even though you know the couch will trap you indefinitely? Do you religiously sign up for the step class at your gym even though you don’t really like step and you’re not sure the gym is the place for you? Do you keep your exercise plans to yourself even though there are people around you that can help? The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. Unfortunately, many of us go with what we know, and when it doesn’t work, rather than make a different plan, we berate ourselves and throw in the towel. If you pay attention to the patterns that stop you, you can strategize or plan ways around them. If you ignore them, they will continue to get in the way of your success. Do your research and make adjustments for your success.
Here’s a tool that can help!
Download my Barriers to Physical Activity Questionnaire under ‘Just for You’ at www.michellecederberg.com. The questionnaire is a simple tool to increase your awareness around what stops you from exercising. It also asks you to write down your top 3 barriers and strategize ways around them. Think, write, do…
2) Re-energize your Goals
The first step to success, whether it’s in fitness, career, or finances, is realistic goal setting. When you set your fitness goals what sorts of expectations are you putting on yourself? If you find your motivation dropping, look back on your goals and ask yourself the following questions:
Were my goals realistic to begin with?
It’s important to choose your goals realistically, and frame them within your current level of fitness and activity. For instance, a realistic (and healthy) goal for weight loss is a pound or two per week. If you have set a goal to lose 20 pounds by your best friends wedding two weeks from now you’re setting yourself up for failure and frustration. Think ahead. Even at a healthy 2 pounds of weight loss a week (which can be on the high side) you can plan to reach your goal in 2 ½ months, and it could take as long as 5 months if you moderate your weight loss to one pound per week. The good news is, if you make your plan and stick to it you WILL reach your goals.
Am I attacking my goals through activities that I enjoy?
Your chance of success increases greatly when you choose activities that are meaningful to you. You’re more likely to get to your workouts and complete them if the outcome is something that you value. Try something new. Re-visit a lost passion for dance. Take your beloved dog on walks through neighborhoods or parks with lots of hills and stairs. Check out sport clubs in your city, and get back on the volleyball court for the first time in ten years. Remember… do your research! Think carefully about an activity that would really fire you up!
Have you picked a good time to exercise or a great friend to exercise with?
I’m fully aware that some of you simply do not like to exercise. That doesn’t negate the fact that your body still needs it and your mind will love you for it. If you can’t seem to find fitness that fits for you, there are two simple things you can do to improve your chances of getting to the workout you despise. The first is to choose a workout time that has the least interruptions and/or the highest energy levels for you. The second is to exercise with a buddy. On a bad day your buddy will suffer with you, making sure you get there and at least have fun getting caught up on gossip while you’re getting beaten down with your weight routine. Your buddy will hold you accountable when you try to bail out, and your buddy will be there to celebrate with you when the results start to come…and they will.
3) Beware your Inner Censor.
What do YOU say when you talk to yourself? Our days regularly start with an internal dialogue (or self talk) that we use to describe ourselves to ourselves. This is effective if the thoughts we feed ourselves are positive and empowering: “Today is going to be a GREAT day! I’m alive, healthy, and happy, and I AM going to the gym JUST BECAUSE I CAN!” Your subconscious brain believes what it hears most often, and the strongest message always wins. Unfortunately, according to behavioral psychologists, as much as 77% of self-talk is negative, or works against you, and it takes as many as 20 positive statements about yourself to counter-act even one negative personal statement. Choose today to start talking to yourself with more kindness and support. Congratulate yourself for every effort at exercise. If the amount seems insignificant to you, remember that every effort adds up, and it’s better to do a little than nothing at all. Eventually your positive attitude will resonate in many aspects of your day, and before you know it you’ll be loving yourself and your efforts to be more fit in 2010!
A great tool to get you on track in 2010, my GOT TO IT Accountability Journal BUY NOW
Michelle Cederberg – “Your ‘Getting to It’ Guru”
Michelle Cederberg leads the industry for life balance, health, and stress management programs, resources, and tools that actually conquer procrastination, fatigue, and loss of motivation. Her expansive education and experience combined with her unique products, platform skills and messaging will ensure individuals and corporations understand that “It’s not the doing that’s tough, it’s GETTING TO IT!” and she helps you figure out how. With a Masters in Kinesiology, a BA in Psychology, and a specialization in Health and Exercise Psychology, Michelle combines mind, body, and practicality to inspire change! She has built her career since 1990, as a college educator, personal trainer, fitness coordinator, author, and business owner. As a professional speaker, she shares her experiences in a humorous and realistic way with delighted audiences across North America. Michelle knows her energy has fueled her business success! Today, through her products and presentations she motivates you to take small steps toward BIG changes, so you can actually GET TO the good things – even with a busy schedule!
To book Michelle to speak at your organization please fill out a booking request at www.michellecederberg.com
Corporate/Group Keynotes and Seminars, Fitness Coaching, Workplace Wellness Consulting