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Stopped In Your Tracks for an Exercise Plan?
What is your physical activity plan?
Or maybe the questions are:
- do you SCHEDULE for exercise
- are you AFRAID of making a plan
- does your MOTIVATION quickly evaporate
- what are you THINKING AND BELIEVING about yourself
- are you DOING IT ALONE
Let's look closer at these questions to help keep you moving ahead, rather than getting stopped in your tracks.
Do you schedule for exercise
How do you keep track of ALL the stuff that happens in your life? I'm guessing it's jotted down - on a wall calendar, day-timer, online calendar, etc. Those appointments for haircuts, your work schedule, your kids' soccer schedule, the dentist appointment, a lunch date with a friend, committee meetings, movie nights, vacation dates, etc. etc. The things you can't or don't want to forget - some things you will be excited about (lunch with a friend) and others not so much (i.e. dentist!). All important - just like exercise. Not everyone is going to train for and run a marathon but it's old news, keeping physically active at every age is vital for health. Getting exercise in the schedule indicates its importance to you and you can check it off your schedule when you show up!
Afraid of making a plan
Fear shows up regardless of what new plan we set our minds to. You can be afraid of not following through and then feeling embarrassed that you're 'a loser'; scared of how your desires might evoke negative responses from those around you; fearful that exercise might hurt; afraid you might get hooked on exercise! Really - you can even fear being successful at something you wish for! You can choose to either let fear stop you in your tracks, or to have faith in yourself that you can change. Make the plan, exercise in spite of the fear. Face it down - one day and one step at a time - and you will be the winner.
Does your Motivation quickly evaporate
Motivation is a wonderful thing - it helps us show up for exercise and basically the whole lot of life! Affirmations, quotes, scriptures, etc. you post on your mirrors and fridge are great ideas BUT don't rely solely on these for motivation. Number one: know WHY you want to exercise and be active. Whether it's because you want to play with grandkids, go hiking with your spouse or a friend, be able to live longer in your own home, feel physically well, sleep better, etc. Write it down. Number two: just do the activity regardless of feeling motivated. i.e. If it's going for a walk, tell yourself you can turn around and come home after 15 minutes. The odds are good you'll want to keep going, and if not you'll have walked for 30 minutes! Key point: action=benefits=motivation. Along with the affirmations post that sequence-formula that gets the cycle going.
What are you thinking and believing
"I would love to but I could never do it." "I don't have what it takes because I have zippo will power." "I am too out of shape to do physical activity." If you have told yourself these thoughts, have written them in a message or in your journal, and have said them outloud - please count with me - that's three ways these thoughts have been reinforced through your physical senses. Multiplied by however many zillion times they have been repeated, these negative thoughts become a very set belief pattern that influences behaviour. Don't beat yourself up - we all have challenges with our thoughts and beliefs. It takes work, but we can change the way we think!
One way is to choose what we are going to think and meditate on. For me, it's applying the principle from the Bible to "dwell on what is good in my life - not on what's wrong; ruminate on faith-filled thoughts - not on the problems. Not denying that there are difficult, uncomfortable things, but intentionally renewing the spirit and the mind."
Doing thought-changing exercises like this one is also helpful:
- the problematic thought
- what is the verification for this thought to make it true for you
- what are the consequences of thinking this way
- what are the reasons how this thought could be distorted
- what would be different if I wasn't thinking this thought, and how could I think differently?
Are you doing it alone
Research supports that we have better results (that would be success!) for making changes when we do it with others. Being in community provides accountability, a cheering squad, an empathetic ear, and a place to say "I did it!" To link with others focused on vibrant health and wellness, I invite you to come over and join my FB Group, Community for Vibrant Inspired Living. It's a safe and fun place with opportunity to learn - even (especially) while doing some hard things!
Why don't you jump over to the group here now? We're in a 13-Day Move-into-May challenge. It's not too late to start!