If you’re not working out then today’s article is for you.
One of the most important but often overlooked steps to developing the exercise habit is getting your mind right. How many of you have gotten really stoked to start making big changes to your health only to fall of the wagon two weeks later? Maybe even a couple of days later for some of you. 🙂
What are some of the things you can do right now to help set you up for long-term success, because that’s what this is really about. Sure, we all want to see progress right away but more importantly – keeping up that progress for the rest of our life.
So, my question to you is are you ready to get started?
HOW DO YOU DEFINE WORKING OUT?
If I asked a lot of you to define what working out is your mind might automatically jump to you in a gym lifting weights, knocking out a few reps on a machine, and sweating it up on a treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike.
Yeah, all of that is definitely working out but it’s also so much more.
The definition of working out is going to be different for everyone.
- If you live a pretty sedentary life working out might be a walk around the block with the dogs.
- Maybe you’re not one for the gym but Yoga is your thing. A great beach front Yoga session might be how you define working out.
- Training Ju-Jitsu for an hour could be your definition.
- A long trail run in the hills.
- A totally tubular surf sesh brah! (Yup. Bringing back tubular).
- A crazy Crossfit WOD.
- Waking up at the crack of dawn to train for your first triathlon.
My point here is that there is no one way, no best way, no perfect way to workout. There are millions of people who have created a healthy lifestyle, body, and mind for themselves using all kinds of exercise techniques.
I like to think of working out as more movement on a consistent basis so that I am living a healthier lifestyle. Yoga, surfing, rock climbing, Crossfit, running, swimming, dancing, gymnastics, lifting free weights, bodyweight training, and hiking all fall under that definition for me.
One of the first things I ask people to do as part of the Limitless365 Fitness Program is to define what a living a healthy lifestyle means to them.
So take a moment and do that for me would ya?
Consider the following:
- What does a healthy person do every day? What are their actions and behaviors?
- What time do they wake up?
- What time do they go to bed?
- What kinds of food are they eating and how much?
- How do they talk to and treaty themselves and others?
- What sort of things do they do over the course of the day?
Your definition might change. You could become a Yogi that loves to lift heavy weights on occasion. You might be someone who body builds but decides to tackle Ultra Marathons. Or maybe You haven’t worked out in years and getting started in the gym is a workout for you.
WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORKOUT?
There has to be a reason you want to workout – Some sort of purpose. Simon Sinek likes to call it discovering your why.
- For Ami it was lowering his Cholesterol and making sure he was healthy to play with his son.
- Matt met the girl of his dreams and knew that if they were to have a life together he’d have to start living a healthier lifestyle.
Many reasons for working out are related to the self.
- I want six-pack abs
- I want to run my first 5K
- I want to look good naked.
There is nothing wrong with those being your reasons for wanting to workout, but in my experience and in the examples above I’ve found that the most motivating reasons, the real “why” if you will for working out has to do with things outside of the self.
Look back at other times in your life that you successfully created change. What were your reasons? I’m willing to bet that they served a greater purpose than just you.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
I’ve received a ton of emails like this.
I want to build lean muscle, lose some body fat, improve endurance and enery levels. What’s the best way for me to accomplish this?
I usually respond by asking them to rank the following in order of most important to them right now to least important.
- Improved health
- Improved endurance
- Increased strength
- Increased muscle mass
- Fat loss
- Increased power
- Weight gain
Which ever one they rank first I suggest focusing on that one goal and nothing else until it’s accomplished.
Trying to tackle too many things at once is difficult. Focusing on one thing at a time is a more effective way to meet your goals.
This is an important step to take because often our actions and behaviors and be counter to what we actually want to accomplish. If you’re number one goal is to build more lean muscle and add a little body weight but are running miles on end, achieving that goal might be difficult. They counter act each other.
I’d like for you to get clear on what your goals are for working out. Use the list above and rank them in order of most important to least important.
Now take a look at how you ranked them. Which one is sitting on top? That’s where you’ll want to spend your energy.
If you’re reading this article it’s probably because you’re not working out or are very inconsistent. I suggest that increased health becomes your primary goal. This one will lead to fat loss, endurance, and building lean muscle simply because you’ll be moving more now.
IDENTIFY LIMITING FACTORS
I want to repeat that. LIFE HAPPENS ALOT!
- Stuff is going to come up.
- Work is going to ask you to stay late.
- Your kids are going to get sick.
- You might sprain an ankle.
- A family outing, the holidays, or a birthday party are always right around the corner.
My point is that there will always be something that is going to stand in the way of you working out.
Let me repeat that…
There will always be something
Identifying limiting factors that are keeping you or might keep you from staying consistent with your workouts is important so that you can be prepared.
What is keeping you from working out consistently right now?
- Confused on where to start? Use this.
- Don’t want to embarrass yourself? Try these in the comfort of your own home.
- Want to lose 10 pounds before you start? How about getting started to facilitate that 10 pound loss.
- There’s an event coming up so after that you’ll get going? There’s probably going to be another event after that one so you might as well start right now.
Take a look at your schedule or just sit and think for a bit. Is there anything in the next week, month, year, or five years that might mess up your workout routine?
Any people in your life, work obligations, other responsibilities that might interfere?
CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
One of the biggest reasons people don’t start working out (or are inconsistent) is because their environment makes it difficult.
- Commuting back and forth from work takes up time
- Driving back and forth from the gym takes up time
- Responsibilities of being a parent, husband or wife, or student takes up time
If you’re not working out make it easier on yourself by changing your environment.
- Wake up a bit earlier to get in a run or try this, this, or these bodyweight workouts you can do at home.
- Pick up some used dumbbells so that you can lift at home.
- Eat at your desk and use lunch breaks for exercise.
- Leave some equipment at the office.
- Use post it notes all over the house to serve as reminders to workout today.
Look back at those limiting factors. Are there a few people in your life that are making it difficult for you to workout? You might have to spend a little less time with them or tell them about your goals and ask for their help (or to join you).
Can’t afford a gym membership or a trainer. Take a look at where your money is going. Are you capable of canceling cable or at least cutting back on some of the services you are currently subscribed to? Do you have subscriptions or memberships to things you don’t really need? Are you buying a $5 coffee from Starbucks everyday?
Ask a personal trainer if you can book one or two sessions just to go over proper form and technique.
The Limitless365 Fitness Program has 6 different levels of workout routines, plus tons of bonus workouts with exercise demos to remove confusion and doesn’t cost a butt load.
The point is to remove barriers to getting started. Make it easier on yourself by simplifying the process.
Motivation comes in like a Lion and goes out link a Lamb. It hits us heavy and then quietly starts to fade.
In a survey I sent out a few weeks a go I asked the Limitless365 community what is one big reason you’re not consistent with your workouts. One of the biggest responses I got was this…
“I’m just not motivated.”
Motivation is very fleeting. It comes and goes and you’ll often have little control over it. Sure, there are things you can do to help bolster it a bit.
But eventually that mojo will fade. It’s inevitable.
Instead of focusing on being motivated all the time, try focusing on being consistent – just showing up.
Consistency is something that you can control. You have a choice every day to workout to not. You can decide to go on a walk instead of watching TV. You can decide to wake up 15 minutes earlier and practice Yoga. You can decide to skip out on happy hour and get in a workout instead. You can decide to that doing the laundry is more important today than going to the park and doing a couple bodyweight movements.
One way you can practice more consistency is by paying attention to the way you talk to yourself. Listen for when you say things like “I have to do this, “ “So and so needs me to do this,” or “I’m supposed to or should be.”
There really is not much you HAVE to do. Realizing you have a choice is a very powerful thing.
Next time you catch yourself saying “I have to” try changing it to “I choose to.”
- I choose to workout.
- I choose to prepare my healthy meals ahead of time.
- I’m choosing to working late instead of heading to the gym.
DO NOT GO ALL IN. DO NOT CHANGE EVERYTHING AT ONCE
A huge mistake I often see is what I like to sedentary to superman. It’s when you haven’t been working out and all of a sudden you get super motivated for whatever reason and decide that 60 minutes in the gym everyday, running, and eating perfect is all of a sudden something you can handle.
Like a flick of a switch. It’s just that easy right?
Make working out easier on you by trying to make one change at a time. If you haven’t been working out at all 10 minute walks every morning to start your day is a great place to begin.
Instead of trying to figure out the perfect workout routine how about just working on squats and push ups every other day.
Prove to yourself that you can be consistent and build momentum. Build off of tiny success.
GO ON A FITNESS DETOX
One major problem for not working out isn’t a lack of information. There’s actually too much out there.
The really problem is Analysis by paralysis. To much information coming in and not enough action going out.
For the next 7 days I want you to go on a fitness detox. Stop reading blogs (including mine), magazines, and asking others what they’re doing for their routine.
Instead pick one thing that you feel will contribute most to developing the exercise habit.
The key here is to pick something that you are 100% confident you can do everyday for the next 7 days. If you’re not 100% confident that you can do it then pick something else or shrink the change so much that you get to 100%.
- Confident you can work out with weights 3 times per week M,W,F?
- Confident you can go on a 15 minute walk every night after dinner?
- Confident you can jog a mile every morning at 5AM before work?
GET STARTED NOW. GET IT RIGHT LATER
There’s plenty of time to perfect your routine later. The most important thing is to get started today. I don’t want to beat a dead horse but I will. If you’re not working out consistently don’t worry about finding the perfect routine.
Put all your energy towards moving more during your day.
- Parking further away from the grocery store.
- Using the stairs more often
- Doing 20 squats and 10 push ups every 60 minutes at work
- Try the DMV workout.
There’s enough information and resources out there to help you get it right later. Instead, I dare you to just get started today. Double dog dare ya!
HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW
L365 has been fortunate enough to have some pretty inspiring people come through. I was looking back at some of their advice for others that are trying to build healthy habits and this is what a couple of them had to say.
Matt just got started. He could only run 2 minutes when he first started but he didn’t let that deter him. He ran those two minutes, walked until he caught his breath, and then ran another 2 minutes. Matt was consistent and developed a habit:It didn’t matter if he could only work out for 5, 10, or 15 minutes. He made it a point to just show up daily and get the job done.
Brianna creates time for her health.She plans her day and makes sure that her health is a priority. She’s decided that waking up earlier to prepare meals for the day is one way for her to stay committed to her health. Now she’s making more of her own meals versus eating out all of the time.
Brianna also creates time to exercise but more importantly she emphasizes more daily movement in to her life. She’s not a huge fan of the gym and that’s cool, you don’t need to be in order to improve your health. She participates in activities that let her move more and have fun daily. Whether it’s a walk, bike ride, or some other fun active she enjoys; daily movement has become a priority for Brianna and a key player in her improving her health.
If you’re reading this article it’s most likely because you’re not working out, are very inconsistent, and probably a little confused about what to do.
Here is how you can get started working out now
Take a look at your schedule. Where can you fit in 10 minutes every day this week to be more active? Once you’ve figured it out do one of a few things.
- Use these 10 minute workout ideas to help you get started today.
- If those feel like too much then schedule in a 10 minute walk everyday this week.
- Grab a one week calendar and cross off everyday that you get in at least a 10 minute workout.