Starting a new fitness routine
Building a (new) fitness routine is a big commitment. For some of us going to the gym and regularly exercising is like breathing. It is part of every day life, and it isn’t a choice we make but rather a necessity to our life and happiness. Others view exercise as a chore; something that needs to be done in order to stay in shape and be healthy. And there is a third group who would like to get into shape but have no concept where and how to start the process.
This post is for those ‘beginners’. I would like to help you to get started living a healthier and more wholesome life with exercise and a suitable fitness routine. Everyone can choose to live healthy, but there is no universal solution to it. You need to find the plan that fits you and your personal goals. In my experience a few things can get in the way of getting started. In this post I write about limiting beliefs, how to apply a positive attitude, and how to develop healthy habits that actually stick. If you know what can prevent you from starting your new routine, you might proactively avoid those things:
1. Focus on the learning and development
Exercise is fun! Enjoy whatever you do without expecting to compete with the best in the class or win the race. Sport helps you to feel and look better but don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself about how you think you should look after a month in the gym. Enjoy the process of learning and improving as well as how those endorphins make you feel.
2. Fear of failure
Failure is good. It means that you are trying and you are most probably learning. Failure makes us stronger and gives us strength to work harder to achieve our goals. If you want to loose 8kg by the end of your first 2 months, and you only lost 6kg, that is not a failure. It is a huge success but a slower one than you anticipated. In fitness there isn’t actually such thing as failure. You can only win. To avoid disappointments (and to feel like it is actually a failure) set attainable and reasonable goals. These goals should motivate you and give you a healthy drive without feeling pressured and stressed about delivering results.
3. Overachieving and expectations
As I said just now, if you set your goals unreasonably high, you will either physically hurt yourself in the process or bruise your ego and your soul. Instead of setting a few big goals, aim for lots of small ones. Measure your improvements on a daily basis, focus on small tasks every day. It will help you to continuously move forward without aiming for a high hanging fruit that is not within your reach (yet).
There is no better time to start a new fitness routine than now. Don’t wait for the perfect weather, for feeling most energized, for finding the best soundtracks for your run. The best you can do for yourself is to start as soon as possible instead of waiting for the perfect circumstances. Procrastination easily feeds in to excuses and you’ll most likely stay glued to that couch, and feel as miserable as when you started thinking about that life change.
The hardest step you need to take is the first one. Once you start your new exercise routine you just have to keep going. Consistency will help you succeed and reach those goals you set yourself. Whatever you do, if you stick consistently to your routine, you will build a habit (without a habit you won’t get far). You just have to continuously show up and stay consistent.
There are plenty of those and when you don’t want to do something, there is always an excuse ready to use. Here are just a few: I am too tired, I have too much work, I need to clean the house, the fridge is empty. Pulled my back last week in the office lifting the take-away lunch boxes. I don’t have enough money to buy a gym card, I don’t look good enough to wear those gym clothes. Don’t know anyone, I don’t know where to start, I worry people will laugh at me, I am too old, I am too young, I am too weak, I look fat….
This list is excruciatingly long and covers all bases when you need them. If you believe in these excuses, you might never leave the comfort of your couch. I can tell you that you will miss out big time on a lot of good things.
Obviously if you are not ready to get going, you will always find an excuse. What you can do is proactively make a promise to yourself that even if you don’t feel at the top of your game, you will do your best. And that will always be enough. Just do your best! You might be in pain, you might have an empty valet or shy to start in a new club. However, you just have to get started and you can always take small steps.
7. Distracting messages
You switch on the television or go online and there will be plenty of brands telling you that you can only succeed if you buy this fat burning program, or do that kind of detox, or buy these gym outfits, or those shoes. In reality you can do well without any of those. The most important thing is that you focus on your goals and those goals only. If you can afford the pretty running shoes and the new gym outfit, sure go ahead and do whatever inspires you. But just because you have the most up-to-date outfits, doesn’t mean that you can replace the actual exercise with these steps.
8. Impatience and greed
You decide to start a new routine and 2 weeks later your scale is showing the same amount. You cannot believe that you had kale smoothie for breakfast, broccoli and lean fish for dinner, and exercised 4 times a week and nothing happened. If nothing changed in two weeks, it never will! Wrong attitude! As I mentioned before, you are building a habit and it takes time to see some changes. Some of us react quickly and start shedding those kg’s, as well as start to feel better. Others take longer. The most important message here is to be patient and aim for small achievements. If you consistently stick to good habits, sooner (or later) it will show.
Starting a new fitness routine can be somewhat intimidating, scary and even unnerving. I can assure you that starting a healthier, happier life brings only positive developments to you. If you are not sure where to start your new fitness routine, reach out to me, I would love to help.