There are all kinds of books, videos and seminars these days aimed at helping people get into shape. I have sat back and listened to all the nonsense that people are being fed. I’ve heard the infomercials and seen the books on diet and exercise. It’s all good information, but at times it’s too much all at once. I think everything you need to be successful at getting into shape can be condensed into three steps. Notice I didn’t say “easy steps” because they aren’t easy. They can be quite difficult at times, but that is the reality of the game. Follow these steps, hold them close to your heart, and you will be successful at forcing yourself to exercise.
The first step is setting a goal. Determine what it is you want to accomplish. It can be to train to finish a marathon. It can be weight loss to a certain weight. It can even be just to stay healthy. Your goal is whatever it is you want to achieve. But make it an attainable goal. Too often people set goals they cannot hope to reach and then, when they fail to achieve those goals, they become disheartened and give up. Set a goal you can reach, reach it, and then set a new goal you can reach. By doing this, you will consistently achieve success and maintain your motivation to continue.
Step two is establishing a support network. No one has ever accomplished anything entirely on their own. There is always a support network there to help you stay motivated and on track to accomplish your goal. This can be family members such as your spouse or parents or even siblings and children. This can also be friends, mentors, teachers, or coworkers. Whoever it is that you can trust to help you reach your goal can be a part of your support network. Your network doesn’t have to be limited to a few people. You can include anyone and everyone in your network. The more support and encouragement you have the better you will do and the more fun you will have. Finally, make sure you include your support network in your goals. They need to know what it is you wish to accomplish and how you intend to go about doing it. This way they can check up on you and help keep you on track with your goals.
Step three is holding yourself accountable. Now that you have a goal and you have a support network to keep you on track with that goal, you need to hold yourself personally accountable for reaching your goal. Your support network can’t be with you twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. So you have to be your own referee during the process. You have to hold yourself to your goal. There will be times when it’s easier to just say, “I’ll do it later,” or, “I’m too tired right now.” These things happen to everyone and you should expect that. But you need to push past that feeling and force yourself to do it. Make sure you don’t fail. This step can include involving your support network as well.
If you are able to follow these three steps, even if you are only sometimes successful, you are that much closer to getting in shape, staying in shape and meeting your goals. Exercise is one of the most difficult things to get started with, especially in the modern age of laziness. But you can do it. I believe in you. Once you get past the brick wall of self doubt and uncertainty, you too can enjoy exercising as much as I do. Good luck!