I visualize outcomes and work toward those that I want to create. This is true in my work life, love life and my exercise life. For me, personally, exercise and positive thinking are related, but not just by an “I can do it attitude.” Indeed, an inappropriate “I can do anything” attitude can get me severely injured when it comes to weightlifting, or extreme exercise. When I’m starting an exercise program, I ask myself a key question, “When I get to where I’m going, is that where I want to be?” and I tell myself “I am amply able.” The combination of these two things enables me to embrace the workouts that I want to perform, even if they are particularly challenging.

“Embrace,” is a key word. Exercise programs, are rewarding, but are work. For me it’s hard to commit to an exercise program unless I can visualize the results as being what I want to achieve. My vision of an exercise program may, or may not, match that of any particular Personal Trainer. It’s possible to have a Personal Trainer who wants me to have a body beautiful, sorry to say that’s not what I want. I want a body that’s in good shape. I want to be able to do decide to go on a strenuous hike without concern, or be able to bike for 50 miles at will. I’m not the slightest bit interested in flexing my muscles to impress women. If my exercise program matches someone else’s vision, it’s doomed. At some point in time, I’m going to stop the program either because I resent paying for the training, or because it’s starting to produce results that I really don’t want. On the other hand, if I see myself reaching my true objectives, I have a tremendous amount of energy and determination to invest. That’s why it’s important to me that the goals of my exercise program be congruent with my desires.

One other thing, “When I get to where I’m going, is that where I want to be?” is what I call a constructive question. To glean the advantage of this, compare it to typical destructive questions that I (and many other people) just seem to naturally ask such as, “Why can’t I lose weight?” or “Why haven’t I been successful in the past?” I call these destructive questions because when I ask them, I get an answer—an answer that discourages me from going onto the exercise program, answers like, “You don’t have enough will power;” “You give up too easily;” “It’s too hard to get to the gym three days a week.”

I also mentioned the statement, “I am amply able.” This is one of my treasured affirmations. It appears on January 8th of my book, Relax, Rejoice and Rejuvenate. In the case of a challenging exercise routine, it is important for me to remember that I have the ability to achieve the goals that I have set. When I’m riding a bicycle up a long hill or pushing my heartbeat up to 140 and decide to keep it there for ten minutes, the affirmation reminds me that I have the ability to achieve this goal. When I was a child, I was influenced by a book The Little Engine that Could, which was about with a little engine that decided to pull a train up a mountain. As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged other larger engines, it went slowly. However, it still kept saying, "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can." The engine made it over the grade, but the words always bothered me. Why? Just because I have found that there are many things that I think I can do, that I can’t achieve. This is not being a pessimist. It’s a fact of life for me. I learn my limits by trying and succeeding and by trying and failing. When I tell myself, “I think I can,” I am telling myself that I will give it my best try. When I tell myself “I am amply able” I am stating that I can achieve a goal because I know I have the ability. When I tell myself I visualize outcomes and work toward those that I want to create. (January 28th)

Author's Bio: 

Alan H. Jordan is the author of over 20 books that entertain and empower. This article references two of his books Getting the Answers You Need and Relax, Rejoice and Rejunvenate, both of which are available in Kindle editions that can easily be referenced using an iPhone or Android Phone or other smart phone while exercising. Kindle books can also be read on Kindles and virtually every PC and Mac with a free Kindle app.