Let us face it. When it comes to fitness, it is actually easier to plan than to implement a program.
Put simply, it is simpler to fantasize, dream or even set fitness goals, but when it comes to the rubber meeting the road, it becomes very difficult too quickly. I know it sounds depressing. I know that this is the case for most people, but the truth is starting a fitness program and actually going through with it is all in your head. I know that is kind of a bold claim to make, but really, it is all mental.
It is All Mental
What makes fitness goals a near impossibility for most Americans? It is not like these people are incapable of getting fit. It is not like they are completely out of money, and they do not have the financial resources to get fit. It is not like they do not have the physical space for it.
The main reason why a lot of people can only dream of setting fitness goals but not actually following through with it is because they do not allow themselves to believe it is possible. They think that they do not have time. They think that they just do not have the schedule that would allow them not only to set a fitness program, but actually benefit from it. Not surprisingly, a lot of people set fitness goals a few follow through, but the vast majority end up failing. That is right, they start a fitness program, and they stop after some time.
It does not really matter whether you stop after a few weeks, a few months or even after a year and a half. What matters is that you stopped, and the most frustrating thing about all of this is that it is all in your head. You never allowed yourself to succeed. It is all mental because you allowed your perception of how much time, resources and willingness you have to get warped out of shape. You start believing in all sorts of unrealistic distortions of just how incapable you are of starting and finishing a fitness program.
Stop Giving Yourself Excuses
The reason why most Americans do not allow themselves to succeed with their fitness goals is because they simply do not allow themselves. Either they think that fitness is for other people and not for them, or they just feel that they do not have the time or resources. In other words, it is all about their perception. Now, if you were to change your perceptions by taking the steps I am going to outline below, you can start making cracks on the wall of your comfort zone. The more cracks on your comfort zone, the softer the walls become and the easier it would be to push against your comfort zone until you are able to achieve things that you did not think were possible. Just pay anything to the following.
Take Baby Steps
I do not care whether you are only going to walk 10 feet or around the block or a mile. Just get going. It does not matter if you walk at a leisurely pace or you are jogging. Just get going. It does not matter whether you buy special equipment or unique outfit, just get going. Just do it. I do not want to sound like a sportswear commercial, but if you want to be successful in anything, just do it.
Take those baby steps. It may seem like it is not much of anything. It may seem like it is a waste of time because you only walked 10 feet, but believe me, as long as you are consistent with those 10 feet every single day or every other day, eventually you will make progress. In fact, taking those initial baby steps is progress in of itself. It is definitely better than zero steps, right?
Get Used to Your Rhythm
Now that you are taking those baby steps, pay attention to how you perceive your activity. Do you see yourself settling into a rhythm? Do you have certain preferences? Pay attention to these patterns so you can repeat them over and over again. The whole point here is not to wear yourself out. It definitely is not about walking 10 miles in a day. Instead, it is all about finding what is comfortable for you so you can stick to that rhythm day after day, week after week, and month after month.
Stick to Your Fitness Routine No Matter What
Now that you have identified your rhythm, just stick to it every single day. As long as it is comfortable, stick to it. Now, if this means that going only around the block is convenient to you, then stick to that. The key here is not to get ahead of yourself. The key here is not to overexert yourself. Figure out what you are most comfortable with and stick to it. You need to develop a routine. The more routine your daily physical activity becomes, the less mentally intimidated you get. You look forward to it. It is not a chore to you. It is not a hassle. Do you see how this works?
Scale up only after It has Gotten Easy and Routine
This is the secret. Now that you have established a rhythm, and you are sticking to your daily exercise program regardless of how brief or low intensity, once it feels very easy, and you can do it pretty much automatically over a long and extended period of time, the next step is to scale up. This does not necessarily have to mean something dramatic. Maybe you were walking around the block once. It will not hurt you scale it up to walking around the block and a quarter at a time. As soon as you get used to that, walk around the block one and a half times; and then once you get used to that, walk around the block one and three-quarter times. Do you see how this works? Keep extending the distance or intensity based on your comfort level.
The last thing that you want is to shock yourself. You do not want to go from jogging 1 mile a day to 3 miles a day. I can almost guarantee failure. Seriously. It is all too predictable. Your body and your mind are going to put a fight, and eventually your body and your mind will win. After all, most human beings are creatures of comfort. Most people are scared of change and our bodies, believe it or not, will put up a fight.
So, do not get ahead of yourself and overexert yourself. Instead, just take baby steps. Keep scaling it up as long as it is comfortable. Do not feel like you are in a race. Do not feel like you are in a rush. Just keep scaling it up based on how comfortable and easy the routine has become.
It is simple to understand the power of routine. You have to do the activity in such a way that you do not feel intimidated by it. You might even reach a point where you look forward to it. Regardless of what you do, you need to turn it into a routine.
Aim for Sustainability and Consistency over Intensity and Flash
The final word is simple. When you have started a fitness program, and you have implanted it, always aim for sustainability. In other words, aim for it to last. Do not look at your fitness program
as something that is very intense but is gone in a flash. That is not going to do you any good. Instead, implement it in such a way that you can continue doing it over a very long period of time.
This way, you can tap the power of momentum. What is momentum? It is the point in the process where stopping your activity takes a lot more energy than continuing. Once you reach that point, then you have become unstoppable. Regardless, all of this begins with just a few baby steps. Take those baby steps to better fitness today.