Maintaining Your Commitment to Exercise
Here are some steps you can take to maintain your commitment and focus to exercise and sports.
Self reflect. Think about ALL the raeasons and benefits of starting and maintaining an exercise and/or sports fitness routine. What’s most important to you? Looking good? Having more energy? Avoiding injuries? Socializing through sports? Improving business relationships and contacts? Now, list all the negative consequences if you didn’t exercise or stopped your program. Getting fat? Clothes not fitting you? Loss of energy? Decreased sex drive? Embarrassed going out? Increased risk for injuries and health problems? Increased stress? Keep this list on your cell phone or an index card that you regularly review.a
Identify obstacles. Anticipate the kinds of situations and thoughts that might de-rail you and take steps to prevent them. Are you a procrastinator and tend to put things off until tomorrow? Does that turn into several days, a week or more? Develop and stick to a routine that works for you. It might be starting the day off by going for a morning jog or walk BEFORE you turn on your computer or have breakfast.
Create a “can do” mindset. Rather than focus primarily on results like losing 10 pounds in a month or winning the club tennis ladder, focus on the process of the joy of competing and working or the satisfaction that comes with knowing you are doing something good for your body and health regardless of specific results or outcomes.
Train with others. Working out, biking or whatever tends to be more fun and rewarding when done with others. By knowing your partner or team is expecting and counting on you to show up and participate, you are more likely to follow through even on days you may not feel like it.
Set long-term goals. Clubs and facilities make participation easier when they have teams and or programs that meet regularly each day or week for a fixed term or season. At a local swim club, swimmer’s can join a “50 mile club” and log in the laps they complete them on route to becoming a member of the “club”. The incentive to train and social recognition adds to the benefit of the activity and encourages regular and ongoing participation.