Q. Glen, I Need to Have a Contract to Exercise! How Can I Commit to Get Fit?
A. Have you ever noticed when you truly decide to do something, you become relentless about it and pursue it at all costs until you attain it? Maybe you wanted to get a college degree or buy a certain car or travel to a particular place. To decide in Latin (desidre) means to cut off, or to not accept any other outcome except to succeed.
If you are stuck in a non-exercise rut it means you have no power. You know you should exercise but unless you get the momentum going, your commitment has no energy and neither do you. Commitment is your foundation to change. It's the difference between knowing and doing.
The definition of commitment according to Webster's Dictionary is an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; b: the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled. Commitment therefore is your foundation to transformation. So how can you go from knowing to doing? Here are 10 ways.
1. Project into the future and visualize how you will look and feel in three months if continue on the path you are on right now. Then visualize in detail how you will look and feel in three months if you begin a regular exercise program today. Keep the future in the front of your mind.
2. Figure out what matters most to you. If you truly want to have a fit body, cut out thoughts of the old you. The past does not equal the future. You can only affect the present decisions you make. Your body is an amazing organism that responds to both positive and negative stimulus (exercise or sedentary lifestyle) every day. The choice is completely yours. Exercise is not something anyone can do for you.
3. Have commitment in areas that matter the most. If your health and fitness are a priority to you, keep you exercise appointments the same way you would keep a doctors appointment or a parent teacher conference. Know you are worth the 20 to 60 minutes you take for exercise. Keep fitness high on your priority list.4. Catch yourself before you steer away. For example, if you miss one workout, don’t make it two. Immediately plan to get in your next exercise session regardless of life’s events. You will feel so much better if you do, versus the guilt you will carry around if you don’t exercise. When two missed sessions becomes three, the weeks then become months, making it more challenging to build momentum again.
5. Look for evidence that your workouts are working. Notice that you are moving better, posture is improved, you are feeling less bloated, pants are getting loose, energy is up, metabolism is kicking in and you are attaining a firmer, fitter more defined body. Continue to reinforce the positive results by engaging in regular exercise.
6. No matter how far “gone” you feel, get up and get moving! It doesn’t matter that you have not exercised in weeks, months or years or that you had three slices of pizza and chocolate cake for dinner last night. What matters is that every day you have a new opportunity to make improvements in your body. It’s never too late. Even at 90 years old, you can build muscle and get stronger.
7. Commit without judgment. This is not a race or a competition. This is your life. Do your very best each workout and each meal. Discipline is an important success building component. Just the fact that you are getting up and exercising even if some days are not as intense as others is both important and effective.
8. Be true to yourself about your lack of commitment. You are only fooling yourself if you are justifying missed exercise sessions. You make the decision to exercise (or not to) emotionally and then justify it logically. Of course your life is full and demanding, but wouldn’t you be better able to handle all of life’s events in a fit and strong body?
9. When you miss an exercise session, it affects other people! I’ll say that again!!! When you miss an exercise session, it affects other people. When you don’t exercise, the rest of your day, you have guilt on your shoulders. You will then feel guilty or even angry with yourself. Since your mind can only hold one thought at a time, that anger and guilt reflect your actions throughout your day. Maybe your husband, child or co-worker gets to feel or see the end result of your not exercising. Maybe it comes out at the drive-thru or in a bar after work. On the other hand, performing your exercise routine can have very positive effects on your entire day and everyone in it.10. Missing your workout creates darkness in your life. That darkness expands, disempowers and grows. It disempowers you and pushes your energy down. Some people get so far pushed down that they need medication. Coming back to your senses and getting your body moving is always the positive way to turn your body and life around.
You have options to live your life in the present or in a story filled with excuses as to why you are not where you want to be physically. Exercise moves you closer to leading a fulfilled life. Get unstuck today!
Shift your vision to being a person who exercises regularly and feels great most all of the time. Get rid of the blame and the fault and become the cause rather than the effect of your life. Choose to express your good genes and be responsible for your own body.
Life is a conscious choice or an unconscious accident. Bring your commitment to the conscious level. Remember that what you resist persists. Commitment is a matter of choice. Practice, practice, practice. Change how you view exercise and focus on the outcomes and what exercise can bring to your life. When you want to quit, stay! It builds character and will help your body and life transform. Commitment to exercise is a practice. Share it with someone and help them get fit, too.
Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !
Yours in good health