Common themes were things like:
- I just can’t get myself to workout in my apartment.
- I’m good all day long with my eating, but then at night I self-medicate with snacks and alcohol.
- I start working out, but after I miss a day, I feel like I’ve blown it and can’t seem to get re-started.
If any of these challenges resonate, I have a few things to consider that could be helpful.
1. Make Your Goals SMALLER
We’ve discussed this in recent emails, but remember the goal isn’t perfection, it’s progress.
Don’t worry about doing a full workout. Just commit to something small to start building a streak of movement. It could be a walk or just a single set of pushups. Then… keep your streak going and build it up over time! (For ideas, check out some of the short bodyweight workouts on the COVID-19 Resources Page HERE.)
Same thing with nutrition. Don’t worry about eating perfectly at night, just make slightly better snack decisions. For ideas, check out CFP’s Healthy Snacks and Apps Guide HERE.)
2. Identify Your Personal Values
Human brains like to be consistent. If you acknowledge a personal value as really, truly important to you, you’ll want to honor that value. And by linking fitness activities to your personal values, you’ll get more oomph that can inspire you to get off the couch.
Working out because “you kinda know you should” may not be enough to get you motivated.
But working out as an expression of your commitment to your family may do the trick.
We all hold different values and personal standards for how we want to show up in the world. So there will be some variance in the hooks that personally grab each of us. But if you’re a human, you care about SOME things. And it’s likely you can link some of them back to taking action on your fitness.
3. Make a List of All the Benefits of Working Out
Here’s another exercise: take out a sheet of paper and make a list of every single benefit of achieving fitness success. Include eeeeveryyyyything. Some will be high-minded (self-actualization!). Some will be totally-valid-but-not-quite-as-high-minded (to fit in “those” jeans in the back of the closet!). No need to judge the benefits. Just get them all on paper and get them top of mind. Then reference your list on the days you’re not feeling it.
NOTE: You can also use an inversion of this exercise and make a list of all the COSTS of not nailing your exercise or nutrition habits. But I’d encourage you to use this only to jog your brain and to not spend time obsessing about what you DON’T want. Ultimately, we want to use this list to add more benefits that you’re inspired to move towards.
(For many people, identifying what you DON’T want is often an easier way to start. Just make sure you pivot to what you DO want. ;-))
4. Get Accountability
Humans are social creatures. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years at Chicago Fit Performance, it’s that most people struggle to create change on their own.
Part of the reason many of us get stuck is because we’re trying to while knuckle it without any support.
If you’re struggling to get going, consider joining a community and/ or hiring a coach. Making a social commitment can be a powerful way to create some useful pressure to push through your own inertia. This can also include sharing your goals with supportive family and friends.
That’s why I’m so passionate about the benefits of our virtual online HomeBody program.
Free recorded workout taster below. YUMMY. :-)