Have you ever struggled with getting off your hmmhmm and getting going with your workouts?

Of course you have.  Here’s my conversation with Traci yesterday on facebook. Can you identify?  Then, I’ll show you five steps you can take to stop the struggle and get going with your workouts.  Plus the giveaway details.

Traci:  I just struggle getting started! Seems like I get really motivated in the evenings when it’s too late to do anything. Then by morning I always have an excuse. I feel like I’m doing good with the eating part of the program – but my exercise is really lacking. So I know I’m holding myself back.  ~Traci C., IL

Lani:  Sounds like the food is working well and it’s moving your body more that’s the problem? You are not alone. Answer this: 1) what activities do you enjoy 2) what do you see as the biggest obstacle here: is it knowing what to do, where to find chunks of time for it, or a simple distaste for exercise? or other? Fill me in!

Traci:  Thanks Lani, time is not an issue at all for me. I think maybe just finding something I enjoy? About 12-13 years ago I was in the best shape of my life. At that time I had several friends that I would go out to the gym, biking, or walking with. But we have moved a few times and no longer have any exercise buddies. So that could be it.

Traci has plenty of company. Research suggests that 50% of people who start an exercise program will drop out within the first 6 months (Wilson & Brookfield, 2009).  In the Summer Survey I recently sent out, this was a common thread – you can’t seem to get off your hiney and DO it when it comes to exercise.  There are as many different reasons for this as there are hairs on your head, yet the solution is the same. It just comes down to motivation.

The root of the exercise motivation problem

It doesn’t matter if it’s a time problem, a location problem, a gear problem, or a _____________ problem (you fill in the blank).  The answer lies in motivation with a capital M.

5 steps to stop the struggle and get started with your workouts

  1. Find the why
  2. Imagine success
  3. Be specific
  4. Set the date!
  5. Get support
1)  Find the why.  This is where you absolutely must start.  Why is it that you want to get healthy, lose weight, get stronger?  Is it so that you can keep up with the kids – or the grandkids?  Is it so that you can get through marketing with spring in your step and easily carry groceries to the car?  So you can look stunning in that dress for the wedding?  Turn back time in your favorite jeans?  It must be something you connect with emotionally, not a ‘should’.  Shoulds don’t motivate, they can just make us feel bad.  Connecting with desire is a whole different animal.
2)  Imagine success.  Self-perception, or being able to connect with successfully implementing your exercise plan, is a big factor in long term success (Trost et al, 2002).  This one can be tough if you have had repeated failures, though not impossible.  The word imagine is operative here.  Couple it with finding the why, and you’re unstoppable.   You create it on the inside first.  Then the outsides catch up.
3)  Be specific.  Now that you have connected with your why, it’s time to be specific about what you will do for your activity.  Make it something you will (not can) take action on within the next 24 hours.   If you’ve been stuck in workout inertia for some time, start with a doable like a 20 minute walk.  15 pushups and 25 squats.   12 minutes on an exercise bike.  But be specific.  Write down your plan on your calendar.  That way you’ll have the pleasure of checking it off when completed.  Never underestimate the joy of the checklist check off.  It builds confidence.  Don’t laugh, it’s true.  Use all the little perks and support you can.
4)  Set the date.  An extension of being specific, now designate when you are going to follow through.   It’s related to be specific, #3.  I just want to drive the point home.
5)  Get support.  Notice that Traci said “At that time I had several friends that I would go out to the gym, biking, or walking with”.   Even if you can find ‘live’ buddies to help you get going,  there are multiple ways to get a virtual workout buddy.  Connect with someone online by email or in a forum, or on facebook.  Heck, you can even come by my facebook page and tell me your plan for the day.   Join a group coaching program, or get an accountability coach.  Time after time, clients who set up a Fast Track arrangement with me, or join in with Booty Camp are the ones who get the job done – there’s something about the accountability with another that fosters your own success in exercise, diet, or whatever your challenge of change.   Once you’ve established a good habit, then you can go it alone.  But for now, one of the best ways to show support for yourself is to hook up with someone else or a team.
Seeking support is in essence what Traci did by posting her concerns.  And the results were immediate.  Take a look at what she posted a little later that same day:

So, I guess just having this chat got me a little more motivated today! I just turned on some music, grabbed my 3 pound weights and jogged in place and danced around the room for about 10 minutes. 🙂   ~Traci

Success!  She stopped the struggle and got started.  She jumped right into step #5, got support, and got the job done.  Now, incorporating steps #1 – #4 will invite longevity to her project.

You go, Traci!  And as a way to thank you for letting me post your episode today, I’d like to offer you, Traci,  the Fit Quickie of your choice.  Please pop over to the Fit Quickies page, make our selection, and then post it below.

Giveaway!  Boot Camp Mind Top 10 Motivational Tools for Health, Weight Loss, & Fitness Success

And to all readers, please post your favorite motivational tool below.  What gets YOU going?  Can you relate to the 5 steps above, or is there an important one you would add to the list?  And just to show how much I appreciate you jumping in with your ideas, we’ll draw one name from the list of replies to win a copy of  Boot Camp Mind Top 10 Motivational Tools for Health, Weight Loss, & Fitness Success.  To be eligible, you must reply by end of the day Friday, July 20, 2012.

Recap:  How to enter the Boot Camp Mind Giveway

1)  Comment below on one of the steps above that you utilize, that inspires you, or otherwise gets you thinking.

2)  In the same reply below,  add  a favorite motivational tool that you use – inspire someone else!


Let’s go!

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