January is usually the biggest month of the year in the fitness industry. Patrons flood in to start the new year off on the right foot. But, many of those folks run out of steam by the end of January.
Let’s face it—it’s difficult to keep your motivation high when engaging in a new exercise regimen. You may experience soreness in weird places and/or discover “new” muscles that have been dormant for years. For those who are new to exercise, those feelings may come as a shock to your system, especially if you’re getting up there in age like me.
Unfortunately, new routines and old habits rarely mix well and most people become discouraged and lose focus. Exercise becomes daunting and most give up. But it doesn’t have to go that way!
The way to keep going through the tough periods is understanding that it’s not about exercise, it’s about identity and lifestyle. Your identity must be about a lifestyle that includes exercise. If you identify as that type of person, you will be successful in most things that you do. To make your identity transition successful, start small.
Set small, daily exercise goals that are easily attainable. If necessary, make them ridiculously small so you have no excuse not to do them. For instance, something like five squats per day, which you could probably do in your sleep. Wake up in the morning and knock them out as soon as you get out of bed. If you want, do more than five, but never less than five. Then keep a calendar by your bedside and check off that you’ve met your minimum goal for the day. In this case what we’re looking for is “activity results” to start, not “productivity results.” Once activity is consistent, great habits develop and productivity will come.
Another way to make your identity transition successful is to workout with a group. I’ve told all my clients exercise must first be safe, then it must be fun. Enjoying the process is key when starting out. Anything you do begrudgingly will eventually cause some type of burnout. That said, find an exercise that you enjoy that you can do with other people. They’ll keep you motivated and hold you accountable to the point where you may not even realize you’re exercising.
Never give up on yourself. You have what it takes to succeed and be in tip-top shape with ease.