In It for the Long Haul.
Starting a workout program can be intimidating, nerve racking, and feel overwhelming at first.
Succeeding with that same workout program and turning it into a lifestyle can be even harder.
During my years as a coach I’ve noticed that most people quit working out because they failed to understand and address the non-physical issues with being successful in making exercise a life long habit. It’s usually not the exercising itself that makes them decide to quit it’s the issues they don’t address before they start.
A. Physical: The physical issues are the most popular and usually the first type of goals/reasons we think about when we start on a FITness program. The physical issues are things such as the type of exercises/program, your health, your fitness level and nutrition. Most people have at least a vague idea of how they think they want to exercise and know their general health and fitness level.
Everyone wants to look better. That is a great thing! Wanting to improve your physical body is tangible and relatively easy to determine at the start. I believe you need to be selfish with your physical goals because that is going to help you in the beginning when you don’t want to go workout. Being selfish will help you do things your brain doesn’t want you to do in the moment i.e. workout!
Knowing you need to workout and suddenly deciding to start some form of exercise without planning can unwittingly set yourself up for failure because you haven’t seriously addressed the other two areas below. Decide how much you’re willing to change your eating habits if needed. Balance and moderation is simply all it takes for the vast majority of people.
B. Psychological: The psychological is the hardest out of the 3 areas to figure out. This area deals with things such as figuring out your real motivation, willpower, discipline and goal setting issues. Most people don’t realize their true motivation. I hear all the time:
“I want to lose weight”. “I want to tone up”.
That’s not a real motivation. My follow up questions would be:
Why do you want to lose weight?! Do you want to lose weight for health reasons, or would you be happy looking average, or do you want to look “hot” in that bathing suit?…or all three?
Goals don’t mean a thing until you can give the reasons (i.e. motivation behind it) why you want to achieve the goal. The more you find your true motivation(s) the more efficient you’ll exercise. It doesn’t matter how much willpower, discipline or how good someone is at following through on set goals if you don’t have your ‘why(s)’, reasons or true motivation you are asking for trouble down the road when it gets tough and life gets in the way (because it will). The reason why this is the hardest part is because it may take some real soul searching to find these things out about yourself but it’s crucial for success.
C. Logistical: Logistical is the X factor is most everyone’s success rate with their health and FITness. The logistics have to do with the outside factors that you have control over. Where are you going to workout, the types of people you workout with, the time of day, days of the week, and other things but the biggest issue of all is scheduling. This is the area where you set yourself up for success or failure.
We can make this area very simple or very hard on ourselves. I’ve seen it way too many times where someone comes to me and says, “I just don’t have time to workout.”.
The key to success with this area is pre-planning. Why? Because when we look into the future with a calm, responsible and focused approach we think clearly and we can plan accordingly. Usually our first plan is the best plan. If we wait until the day of or the last minute we are usually rushed to make a decision. And with our rushed decision and fatigued emotions we take the easy way out and end up doing something we want to do (slack off) instead of what we are supposed to do.
When you can address all three of these issues turning your FITness into a lifestyle is no problem.
Then ‘its on to the next’.
Repost from “Why Do People Quit” June 2012.