Exercise for Success: How to Keep Going No Matter What

Personal Development

How many times have you wiggled out of your exercise routine?

It’s either been too rainy. Too cold. You’re a tad bit hungry. You just need a few minutes to finish watching that Netflix video. You can’t go running because you haven’t finished this very important project. You simply are just bored.

Regular exercising is one of the most common personal aspirations, worldwide. Millions of people plan to exercise regularly, but millions of people are simply unable to keep with it. They start, they get bored or distracted and they stop.

A common motivational advice for getting into a regular exercise regimen is to simply force yourself to do it. But “forcing” usually doesn’t have long lasting effects. You will quit soon.

Try these uncommon strategies

Create Convenience to Eliminate Inconvenience

Although few would admit it, many can’t exercise regularly because it’s simply inconvenient. For example, you found out about a really cool gym that is close to your house but it’s a 1 hour drive from work. If you work in a day job, from 9 to 5, five days a week, you may have a hard time hitting the gym. Even if you tried to go after work, you will most likely find the arrangement too tiresome to keep up with. It’s inconvenient for you.

Seemingly minor inconveniences such as hating to pack your gym gear in the morning, having a hard time finding parking space, or having to endure running with a workout friend who’s always talking about himself, can derail your motivation to exercise.

What’s important is for you to zero in on the inconvenience or problem. Eliminate the inconvenience by solving the problem. If you hate packing your gym bag in the morning, why not do it in the evening before going to bed. When you wake up the next day, nothing will prevent you from going to the gym.

Stop Going Against Your Own Nature

Your personality and preferences influence your capacity to keep up with your exercise goals. If you prefer to exercise alone, don’t force yourself to be in a group workout session. Maybe working one on one with a personal trainer is what will help you keep the momentum. If you are more of an outdoors person, you will hate spending 2 hours, 5 times a day in the gym—soon, you will quit. Why not spend most of your exercise time running and training in the great nature. Let go of the idea that there is a right and wrong way to exercise. Do what resonates with you, depending on your exercising needs.

Don’t Let Perfectionism Derail You

Often, it is the lofty goals that hinder our progress. It is not that there is a problem having big training goals- if you can have the opportunity to run a marathon, why not? But don’t dismiss the small races in between. It is so much better to take that 30 minute running session than wait until you are ready to run a marathon. Smaller goals are much easier to achieve than the loftier ones. If you constantly set demanding training goals, you will most likely never have the time to pursue them.

Being Mindful of Your Thoughts

Exercising is very much a mind game. Your mind can literally talk you out of a running session; indeed, it can talk you out of not starting that exercise routine at all. This might sound very abstract but try to be the observer of your thoughts when exercising. Be in touch with what exactly you are thinking. Once you see negative or derailing thoughts for what they are, you will be able to get up and exercise anyway.

The state of your mind and your specific circumstances can derail or boost your motivation to exercise. Often, all you need to do is identify the problem, and replace it with a convenient solution. Usually, it is a seemingly minor inconvenience that keeps you from keeping up with your exercise goals.

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