This is where we not only need to start training the body but also our brain. Too often when people start exercising they focus on the body and don’t pay any attention to ensuring your brain, and attitude, develops and changes to incorporate your training regime.
If you have trouble sticking to exercise and a healthy life then pay attention. You might think that some lucky people “Just LOVE exercising and it’s easier for them but you weren’t born like this”, or “Some people are just annoyingly motivated or even a little crazy” but there are actually some simple explanations to these attitudes and you are able to take benefit off these as well.
What is it and is it some mystical power that you are either born with or not? Well for exercise it really is about internal vs. external motivation. The difference between exercising so you feel and look good for yourself vs. looking good to impress others. If you remember anything then please remember this. Those people that are driven and even run in the freezing cold are driven by a NEED to exercise as they exercise to feel better and know if they don’t they will feel horrible. Cue head exploding due to amazing insight… not quite?
Well how do you get this? It’s incredibly simple yet difficult. It’s about finding what motivates you internally.
Focus on EVERY good bit and really concentrate on remembering these, while consciously ignoring the difficult parts. When you feel good MEMORISE CONSCIOUSLY those feelings and thoughts. Close your eyes and feel the after workout glow, the slightly sore but good ache as you feel muscles work that haven’t before. This almost feels like you are memorising timetables again but consciously focussing on these cements them into your psyche. When you are doing those exercises that you don’t like, instead of saying in your head (or out loud) that you hate these, say to yourself (or out loud) I am going to feel awesome afterwards. When you are trying to get out of bed, instead of thinking about the hard part of actually getting out of bed, think about the coffee on your way out, or having that amazing breakfast knowing you deserve it.
Ignore the bad and concentrate on remembering the good. This will mean over time your brain automatically associates exercise with great things and you won’t always need to struggle with motivation and ultimately you will be addicted to health and fitness.
To make this a bit more personal, 5 years ago I was without realising, eating Hungry Jacks or Maccas 8 – 9 times a week (yes I know that is more than once a day and is disgusting) and drinking a LOT of beer and whiskey. I fell off the wagon a lot, and still sometimes do, but by focussing on the bad when I do, I like the bad less and less and the good more and more. Exercise helps regulate my emotions so as soon as I get stressed, grumpy, lethargic and emotional then I know that a good exercise session fixes that instead of bad food. While I don’t want to do it at the time, I focus on remembering that awesome feeling and ignore the actual getting to class drama. This leads me onto the second super important thing.
Making new decisions are more difficult than going with decisions you have already planned. Decide what you want to do before you have to do it! Make these decisions when you are motivated and then book them in so it is a plan. Make a date with yourself! This means that if you don’t exercise you have to consciously make the decision NOT to exercise as opposed to having to make the decision TO work out. It is much easier to say you are going to work out 3 times a week at the beginning of the week, or even the week before than having to wake up and make that decision then.
Our monthly passes are designed so that you can commit to a month of exercise – so when you buy them, book the sessions in straight away. Hold yourself accountable. Then if you need to change a session you can’t back out at the last minute without waste and losing the session. You have to plan ahead to change a sessions and find a class with availability – so it will really make you think about it before pulling out of a class due to having to wash your hair/vacuum under the couch or another excuse.
So plan your next month of exercise this week and start training your brain to be the person that you want to be, revelling in the good and ignoring the bad. The only thing between you and that Instagram sensation is your decisions and actions!