Identify Your Personal Vision for Being Fit

So you’ve decided to commit to regular exercise.
How come?
Your answer to this question is a key to your success.
If you were to get exactly what you wanted out of keeping your body moving on a regular basis, what might that be? A healthier body? More energy? Strength? Weight loss?
Get really clear on what you are aiming for, and make sure it sounds and feels good to you. This will greatly increase your chances for success.
Key: Instead of thinking in future terms, ie “ I want to be fit and strong. I want to be slimmer” Describe what you want in the present tense:
“I am fit and limber. I am fast. I am strong. I look great in my clothes. I am healthy and radiant. I have a lot of energy. I am confident on the trails.”
Create your own description of what you are moving towards, and let it energize you.
After all, it’s not just about the habit of exercise because it’s good for people. What makes it important for you specifically? What is your vision of a fit lifestyle? Get clear on this and claim it as your personal right.

Going for Benefits Will Help You Maintain Your Goal

There are so many benefits to an active lifestyle, and some of them will appeal distinctly to you.
Start off on the right track by identifying why this commitment is important to you personally. Grab a piece of paper and a pen and make two columns:
Column 1- If I do
Column 2- If I don’t
List all of the things you expect to gain if you do exercise regularly.
List what will happen if you don’t.

Keep this sheet posted where you will see it daily. Remind yourself of what is important to you about this commitment and it won’t be as easy to slough it off. Take it one step further by using a pad of post-it notes and writing one benefit per sheet. If you are artistic, draw little pictures of you enjoying the benefits. Post these benefits around your office, your washroom, or wherever you will be reminded most, and your motivation will be sustained.

Create Grand-Scale Accountability –Tell People.

There’s nothing better to lock in a commitment than accountability. You may have made this promise to yourself, but if you tell others about it, you are more likely to stick to it and save face.
Once you have identified your vision for fitness, share it with people who want to see you happy. Tell people about what your choice to make this change is all about, what you are moving towards. Share your vision for positive change with others, and invite support.
Prepare the people who are in your daily life (work or home)by informing them that you will be making a change. Change can disrupt the people around us, so give them a heads up, and explain why this is so important to you.
Be sure to keep others focused on your progress, rather than pitfalls. Asking others to help you ‘stop’ doing something can create a breeding ground for rebellion and resentment, however, share a positive vision with the people who care about you, and they will be naturally inclined to encourage you, rather than ‘police’ you.
Remember: encouragement and positive feedback add fuel to the fire of momentum. If you are feeling good about your progress…share it with someone who cares about you!

Make Room for Your New Habit.

Habits take time to develop. Creating a new habit takes repetition over a number of days, and because it is something you aren’t used to, you will need reminders.
Welcome your commitment to regular exercise by making time and space for it. This isn’t just something you are throwing on your to-do list. This is a departure from your regular routine, and its going to take some resources to sustain.
You will need to set aside time. Time to set and review your goals, and of course, the time for exercise. You will be more successful if you treat exercise like your number one priority everyday and slot in special times for it and protect those appointments like gold.
Make physical space for exercise in your world. Designate special spots in your home or workplace to house your runners and other gear that aren’t hidden away (out of sight= out of mind). If you are exercising outdoors in wet weather, have a designated drying area, and keep your gear and clothes in a place that will remind you to get up and go. If it helps to post signs, pictures or other visual reminders, then do so. Surround yourself with as much as it takes to keep you focused on this new habit, and soon enough it will become second nature to you.
For the first little while, it is the consistent reminders that will help to instill the tendency into your brain. Experts have concluded that it takes 21 days of repetition to make a lasting change. Arm yourself for the 30 day challenge with reminders and your new habit will become a part of your lifestyle!

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise: It’s All in the Presentation

After the initial excitement of a new commitment wears off, it’s all too easy to slip into old, comfortable patterns. A secret to staying motivated is to stay connected to the positive benefits of your goal. Sometimes getting out for your workout can seem like a chore…but if you describe the activity by its results…you are far more likely to sustain your valuable new habit.
Which is more energizing…. “I am going for a walk/run/ride/workout because I have to”….or “I am creating more joy in my life through movement” ? It’s all in how you frame it.
You made the choice to commit to yourself, and the choice came from a positive intention. What was that intention again?
After deciding on what you would love to get out of exercising daily, find a way to describe your daily commitment in a way that reminds you of what you are getting out of it: i.e. “I am off to go get my energy fix”…. “I am getting my upper body ready for the best biking season ever!” …”I am just heading out to make sure I look hot in my favorite dress next month”
You are in charge. Instead of taking about what you ‘have’ to do….talk -about what you are choosing to take charge of in your life.

Resign Yourself to a Bit of Discomfort, Yet Stay Committed to Comfort

Making a change involves stepping out of your comfort zone. As the famous saying goes, “All things are difficult before they become easy.” If you aren’t used to exercising, some of the things you will try may be uncomfortable or awkward. However, there is no need do something beyond your ability and make it really uncomfortable! Becoming an active person is a balancing act of stretching yourself while staying true to your body’s limits.
Acknowledge yourself for the willingness to give new activities a try, all the while keeping your ‘feelers’ out for what you enjoy most . Once you find your groove in fitness, whether it be walking, yoga, running, swimming, biking, cross-country skiing or a combination that feels just right for you, then you’re set. From that point on, it’s about stretching beyond your comfort zone a little each day…challenging yourself a little to go further, faster or harder, but also knowing when simply getting out there and doing it was an accomplishment for the day.
Your comfort zone will fluctuate each day. Some days you may be too tired to go that extra mile, whereas others you will be energized and up for a challenge.
Finally, acknowledge that until this becomes second nature, there will be discomfort and unfamiliarity. The simple act of doing something you aren’t used to is a stretch in itself, so give yourself a chance to get used to your exercise routine as you navigate your way through this month of instilling a new healthy habit. Over time, the discomfort will be gone. Guaranteed.

Author's Bio: 

Lara Williams is a Vancouver-based Life and Success Coach and Motivational Speaker for get on with it Coaching. www.getonwithit.ca She specializes in helping clients eradicate bad habits for good.