We have all been there to that dark place where motivation is lacking. With the limited time and energy we have after a day at work, exercising could very well be the last thing on our minds. When that happens, we need a plan, for besides a life devoted to work, it is important for us to cultivate the motivation to stay active.
The famous motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said “People don’t tend to wander around and then suddenly find themselves at the top of Mount Everest.” Those moving aimlessly through life are unlikely to end up suddenly traveling to fulfill that lifelong dream of adventure or run a marathon.
You have got to start somewhere somehow.
Today seems like a terrific day to do so.
Have a Plan
You have to start somewhere so the first step is to have a plan. Break your overall goal into a series of sub-goals and thereby creating a step-by-step process that helps remove the apprehension and hesitation often associated with trying to achieve a life change. Sit down with a pen and a piece of paper and start writing down what you hope to achieve through, for example, the fitness routine you’re embarking on, the goals you hope to achieve and the specific steps you will take to get there.
Announce Your Plan
Tell your friends, family and colleagues about your fitness goals. Though keeping your promises to yourself helps ease fear of failure, it also makes it too easy to avoid changing your life and to drift back into old habits and routines. People are likely to stick to their views and promises if they go public. Telling others about your aims to be healthier, fitter and better than you are now, also helps you achieve them, in part because friends and family often are the ones who will provide you that much needed support when the going gets tough.
Constantly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your fitness goals e.g. clearer skin, more energy through the day, relieved stress. Have an objective checklist of how life would be better once you’ve achieved your aim. Have post-it notes with your goals written on them on the door of the refrigerator.
Ensure that there is a reward attached to your plan, something small and not in conflict with the major goal itself. For example, don’t go on a binge of chocolate bars to celebrate a week of healthy eating. Make it something significant to look forward to and to provide a sense of achievement.
Write it Down
Express your workout goals in writing. Make your plans, progress, benefits, and rewards as concrete as possible to significantly boost your chances of getting out of the fitness rut. Keep a goal diary. Write down steps to achieve the goals. Review at the end of the day to see if you achieved the goals for that day. Write down the things you did well and you did not manage to accomplish.
Achievement locked in. Now for step two. If you did not manage to fulfil the steps you set, ask yourself, were the steps achievable? Why were you not able to lock in the achievement? From there, modify and develop the plan for the next day.
From Theodore Roosevelt,
Because there is no effort without error and shortcomings; but who actually does strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement.
The first step is always the most difficult to take but believe that once you do take that first step, the rest will follow.
This article is inspired by 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman.