Overcome The Barrier (Part One)
7 Ways You Can Overcome Mental Roadblocks To Getting And Staying Fit.
It can happen to the best of us. We pride ourselves on our fitness. We acquire amazing physiques. We are on top of the world. We win shows and have photoshoots. We might even be featured in a magazine. But then life hits hard and something gets in the way. Maybe it is the death of a loved one, an injury or just a mental pitfall. We lose our focus, our motivation or dedication. We have to restart, but struggle with how.
It is true, a lot of things can stand in the way of your desire to get fit and turn regular workouts into a permanent lifestyle. Fortunately, for each of these problems there are very easy solutions. Here are the first seven ways to overcome the most common barriers to a consistent, successful workout program and become the type of person that gets and stays fit. This article is part one of three. Each part will cover a different issue (lost motivation, wanting to quit and lifestyle pitfalls). Make sure you get all 21 tips so you have a full arsenal to overcome any and all barriers to reaching your goals.
Fitness Obstacle: Lost Motivation
If you are having trouble keeping your fitness plan going, your issue is lost motivation or lack of motivation. With 10 plus years of working in a fitness facility, coaching athletes and as an athlete myself, I can say for most people, not having proper motivation is likely the barrier to starting and staying committed to an exercise and fitness program.
I see this with my clients, friends and family all the time. In my experience, people that are successful maintaining their exercise programs either have a trainer, coach or friend that holds them accountable. Other people gain enough passion for the movement that it is easy for them to not fall backwards into a barrier.
1 – Determine Your Goals
What is it that you truly want to achieve? Are you wanting to display your abs, lose bodyfat, build muscle, look better, be healthier, live longer, be a stronger competitor in sports – or any combination of those things? All of those things require you work for them. Well…until a magic wand has been created. Regular exercise is the path to achieving all of those goals.
2 – Enjoy The Feeling Of Exercise, Or Learn To
It is possible to learn to take joy and satisfaction in working out. Allow yourself to understand all of the amazing things your muscles are doing. Acknowledge the effort you are putting in and the progress too. Bonus side effect, endorphins! The hardest part is starting the workout. But a few minutes in and you will be glad you didn’t skip it.
3 – Accept The Challenge
Training your body in your workouts allows you to train and learn new skills, progress toward new objectives and gain control over your body. Think of each workout as a step towards accomplishing your goals and accept the challenge.
4 – Workout With Friends
Some people thrive in the solitude of their workout times. For others, it is more fun with friends. If you make your workouts social events, you will look forward to them more. Hit a class with friends, meet in the park with family or try a boot camp class to meet new people. This can cultivate a fun and competitive spirit which will likely help you work harder and reach your goals more quickly.
If you are like me, you prefer to train alone. Especially when you have big goals and need a specific training regimen. But that doesn’t mean you can’t train separately and get together with your pals after the workout for either a cool down or a post-workout meal.
5 – Get Yourself A Personal Trainer Or Coach
A trainer will help you put more into your workouts and get more out of them by creating a specific training protocol just for you, while helping you stay injury-free. Even if you only meet with your trainer a couple times a month you are likely to stay on track between visits because you know there is someone expecting you to progress. Paying for those sessions also is making a commitment to yourself to stick with the plan. Make sure you pick a certified and qualified trainer and someone you enjoy working with and that you know loves the work they do.
6 – Get Hyped
Sometimes it can be hard to just get yourself mentally motivated. You feel like you are dragging. I will let you in on a secret…this happens to fitness professionals and athletes on occasions as well. Try to do something that gets your energy up to do your workout, whether it is a home session or a gym workout. Turn on some music that just makes you want to move. Consider having a coffee if you can handle a little caffeine (I don’t recommend pre-workouts as those can have adverse side effects for some). Jog in place, jump up and down, flex in the mirror. Whatever it is that gets your energy flowing.
7 – How About A Game?
Sometimes training can get boring. You need to mix it up. Try to do things seasonally. For example, take up a sport you enjoy and then use your training sessions to focus on improving your skills. You will have the bonus of the element of play in your sessions, which I highly encourage as well as becoming a more effective competitor.
The first step to reaching any goal in any area of life is to get started. Once you start, keep taking measured steps forward until you achieve your goals. Make it clear what your goals are and why you want to accomplish them, enjoy the process or start to learn to, challenge yourself, make working-out a social activity, consider getting a trainer, turn the jams up and get hyped and incorporate play into your fitness program.
These are seven techniques and tips I use with my clients and when implemented correctly results follow. Motivation can come from external sources initially, but to keep yourself going you will need to find intrinsic motivation as well. In the next article we will discuss how to overcome the mental barrier of wanting to quit. Now that we have you going, there is no turning back. Remember this phrase when you hesitate to start. YES! YES! YOU CAN DO IT! BIKINI
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