It’s a new year and like with most years, many folks are gearing up to make working out and eating healthier a priority. But come February or March, 80% of gym goers who resolved to start the new year off working out stop going to the gym.
Why? Let’s start with the mind. One may THINK they have their mind made up to have a physically active lifestyle by simply stating, “I’m going to make this the year that I lose weight” or “I’m going to start training for that marathon” or “I’m going to __________(fill in the blank).
Thinking that one is ready to make changes may be due to guilt from indulging in holiday treats and feasts. There is nothing wrong with being motivated to take action after feeling guilty. It’s good to keep in mind that it is going to take more than a little guilty motivation to remain consistent.
The reality is, it takes preparation. Preparation to be consistent. Consistency to form healthy habits. Habits that lead to real results because they become a part of your daily, weekly, or monthly routines.
Will it always be easy? No.
Will you want to give up before you really get deep into whatever it is you are aiming for? Likely.
But with the right mindset, you can overcome whatever it is when it gets tough on your body.
In order to overcome the barriers, let’s start with mindfulness. Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity, and without judgment.
We often go throughout our day and life doing the opposite of being mindful-operating on autopilot.
Mindfulness brings us into the awareness of our present situation. Mindfulness can come with the practice of meditation, or simply taking moments out of the day to focus on your breathing.
When mindfulness is put into practice, the preparation has started.
PreparationWhy do I need to prepare for something I already know how to do?
Well, we often find ourselves able to physically do something but then one day, we wake up and don’t feel like doing it. This is a great time to check in with yourself and see why you are not feeling it that particular day.
There should be a plan in place when those days come, to keep you going. What are you going to tell yourself? Are you going to still commit to being physically active even when you don’t feel like it? Are you going to modify your activity?
Mentally having a plan in place can help you combat those days of not being motivated. This can look like having a daily affirmation, meditating, and being conscious of what your body is telling you. This all simply means being present.
Take caution in just jumping into something without being in tune with what is going on with your mind and body. There is a true connection with the mind and body that play a role in how well we respond to our environments.
Start with the mind and the body will follow.
In addition to being mentally prepared, make sure you are physically ready and that you have the right sports bra. Check out Are You Ready?
If you have prepared yourself well, you will find that remaining consistent is not as challenging as it may have initially seemed.
Even on those days when you do not feel like getting out of bed, going to the gym or doing your home workout, once you have built up a routine by remaining consistent, you will find that you will still put forth the effort to put one foot in front of the other.
The main thing to remember when it comes to consistency is to do something, even if it’s a modified workout.
Let’s take it back to being prepared. If you have already planned out what you are going to do on those days when you do not feel like working out, you are setting yourself up to be consistent no matter what.
For example, if you normally get up early in the morning to do your cardio workout but wake up one day and are not feeling it, remember that on those days, you would choose to do pilates instead. You are still moving your body and you are remaining consistent.
Do not be hard on yourself. Take time to check in with yourself so that you do not exhaust yourself or completely give in to NOT doing anything.
Consistency is what leads us to health habits.
Now that the mind is right with some planning, and consistency is in place because of the planning, healthy habits are within reach!
Doing something without thinking about it is called a habit (autopilot!). Doing something that is good for you is called a healthy habit.
Everyday we wake up and do our morning routine without thinking about it, which is a habit.
In the beginning of forming new habits, there will need to be some thought that goes into it. Perhaps everyday for a few months. Some habit building may take more than a few months, others may take less. The important thing to remember is that it takes time to build habits.
It takes starting something in order for those habits to form. Deciding that you want to do something is the first step! Which starts where? In your mind.
The Mind +Body Connection
The mind is very powerful. Everything we do begins with our mind. We can convince ourselves one way or another how important something is. We can also change years of thinking a certain way by being conscious of our thoughts.
Taking time to embrace one’s thoughts is a skill that can be learned. Having the right mindset is everything to conquering your goals and is a great foundation for life.
Now go out there and make some healthy habits! But before you do, find out what your workout personality is.