Getting Back to Me: What to Know Before You Exercise

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The red light is the reminder. Same trigger, same sequence, every time. The bottom line is this: it might be nice to tell yourself that you're going to change, but getting specific makes it real and gives you a reason and a reminder to get back on track whenever you slip up. Soon is not a time and some is not a number.

When and where, exactly, are you going to do this? You might forget once, but what system do you have in place to automatically remind you the next time?

For more on how to develop a sequence for your habits, read this. It's not the individual impact of missing your schedule that's a big deal. If you miss one workout, you don't suddenly feel more out of shape than you were before. Don't have enough time to go on vacation? Give yourself a mini—break and drive to the neighboring town. Individually, these behaviors seem pretty insignificant. But it's not the individual impact that makes a difference. It's the cumulative impact of always sticking to your schedule that will carry you to long—term success.

I've been on many teams throughout my athletic career and you know what happens when you have friends, teammates, and coaches expecting you to be at practice? You show up. The good news is that you don't have to be on a team to make this work. Talk to strangers and make friends in the gym. Simply knowing that a familiar face expects to see you can be enough to get you to show up. This is especially true after we slip up and get off track from our goals.

Getting started

Anytime we don't do the things we want to do — start a business, eat healthy, go to the gym — we come up with excuses…. I don't have enough time.

I don't have the right contacts. I don't have enough experience. I need to learn more. I'm not sure what to do. I feel uncomfortable and stupid. Because you can. The truth is that most of us start in the same place — no money, no resources, no contacts, no experience — but some people the winners choose to get started anyway.

How I Reduced My CELLULITE - Tips, Food, Exercises & What Actually Works!

It's not easy, but I promise you that your life will be better if you choose to feel uncomfortable and make progress, rather than complain and make excuses. Shift your focus from what is withheld from you to what is available to you. It's rare that your circumstances prevent you from making any progress. You might not like where you have to start. Your progress might be slow and unsexy.

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But you can work with this. It's so easy to get hung up on doing things the optimal way and end up preventing yourself from doing them at all. Plus, I have a book club meeting every Tuesday and we always have ice cream and I don't want to be the only one not joining the group. Maybe I should try something else?

In fact, eating healthy one day per week is better than none at all. Make that your goal to start: eat clean every Monday. Good habits are built gradually. Start slow, live your life, and get better along the way. Progress is a spectrum, not a specific place.

How to Start Exercising and Stick to It

Furthermore, if you haven't mastered the basics, then why make things harder for yourself by fretting about the details? Master the fundamentals now. You can optimize the details later. If you think that you need more motivation or more willpower to stick to your goals, then I have good news. You don't. Motivation is a fickle beast. Some days you feel inspired. Some days you don't.

If you want consistent change the last thing you want to rely on is something inconsistent. Previously, I've written about strategies for overcoming a lack of motivation. For example, focusing on your identity instead of your results or setting a schedule instead of a deadline or developing a pre—game routine. Another great way to overcome this hurdle and get back on track is to design your environment for success. Most of us acknowledge that the people who surround us influence our behaviors, but the items that surround us have an impact as well. The signs we see, the things that are on your desk at work, the pictures hanging on your wall at home … these are all pieces of our environment that can trigger us to take different actions.

When I wanted to start flossing consistently, one of the most useful changes I made was taking the floss out of the drawer and keeping it next to my toothbrush on the counter. It sounds like a silly thing to focus on, but the visual cue of seeing the floss every time I brushed my teeth meant that I didn't have to remember to pull it out of the drawer.

With this simple environment change, I made it easy to do the new habit and I didn't need more motivation or willpower or a reminder on my phone or a Post-It note on the mirror. If you want to hear more about my riveting flossing adventures and how to stick to small healthy habits , read this. You just finished that last rep, knocked out that last mile, or completely exhausted yourself busting out pull-ups.

Now, you want nothing more than to collapse on the couch, have a bagel, and veg out.


  1. What’s keeping you from exercising?.
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You just burned a bunch of calories, so you deserve a treat, right? Well, maybe. The list of foods to avoid is long, but it definitely includes candy, pastries, fast food — pretty much anything that common sense would tell you to avoid. That can mean doing some simple yoga moves, stretching, using a foam roller carefully more on that in a minute , or even just taking it easy on the treadmill for 10 or 15 minutes. This will help you get ready for the next workout in short order by reducing recovery time. This point rings especially true for all you runners out there.

In fact, Active.

Barriers to fitness: Overcoming common challenges - Mayo Clinic

With so many flavors of Gatorade, Powerade, and all other kinds of sports drinks, developing the habit of having one after your workout is easy to do. Yes, your body needs salt and vitamins post-workout, but there are better ways to nourish yourself. So avoid these drinks, and just stick to water to rehydrate. It can be tempting to get your lounge on after a hardcore sweat session, but try to resist the urge. Even if you have no choice but to go directly back to your desk after a lunchtime workout, just be sure to stay somewhat mobile.

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