If you’ve ever struggled to maintain a fitness regime to improve your health and fitness, read on!
Does: “I’m going to lose those 10kg in the next 2-3 weeks!” sound familiar?
Do you truly believe you can achieve this?
For some it can be easy, for others … not so. If you have more than an ounce of doubt that you can achieve the goal you’ve set for yourself, chances are you’re more likely to fall off that bandwagon, not reach your goal and get disheartened, become de-motivated and lose commitment altogether.
The following steps are designed to help you get in shape – and stay that way!
Steps to Help You Shape Up
Step 1: Identify what your starting point looks like – raise your awareness.
It’s so important to set your target being highly aware of the things in your environment that will support you meeting you goals – and the things which will not.
Consider what you eat, your work/life balance, other activities you do, your attitudes, and the attitudes and behaviours towards health and fitness of those you spend the most time with.
A great place to start is to write down and describe your attitudes and feelings toward exercise:
- What am I currently doing? Might I need to change? Why might I need to change?
- What am I aiming to achieve when it comes to physical activity and exercise?
- Do I look upon exercise with excitement – or dread the thought of it?
- What do I enjoy the most when exercising?
- What I do enjoy the least?
Step 2: Increase exposure to healthy messages.
Research shows that the more avenues you can find to “expose” yourself to healthy messages, the greater chances of success you will have in reaching your goals. Individuals who put in place positive social support, self-monitoring strategies and a higher self-belief in achieving their fitness goals, are more likely to maintain long-term positive change.
Your brain processes millions of bits of information per second! Unfortunately unhealthy messages bombard you without you being aware. Become aware of advertising, marketing and fast food campaigns that seem oh-so-tempting!
You don’t realise it, but these are all obstacles pulling you away from your goal.
Consciously you can start to make a couple of simple easy changes that set your foundation for positive long-term change …
Change your Behaviour:
- Find a different transit route to avoid or minimise being hit by unhealthy, fast-food messages;
- Spend more time around people you believe are fit and healthy.
Change your Thoughts:
Feed your mind “health wise messages”. Your body needs exercising, your mind does too! Subscribe to reputable newsletters, which encourage and coach you mentally; read a book related to a type of physical activity you enjoy the most.
Now to Increase your Mental Fitness!
There is much research which reports where individuals have had stronger levels of belief that they achieve their goals – their commitment to physical activity has remained constant and on track.
If you don’t sense in your gut and believe in your mind that you can achieve your goal and/or receive a level of satisfaction every time you put in effort, then you are less likely to reach your goal.
The solution is to focus on strengthening your self confidence and resilience:
- Recognise and celebrate (in a healthy way!) every effort and step of progress you make – program your subconscious to associate your efforts with feeling good. Even if you stop for a moment at the end of your run, gym session, yoga, flight of stairs … take a moment to say “Well done, me!” Enjoy the feeling – focus, even if for a split second, on when you notice you are feeling really good during your workout and the rest of your day, mentally and physically.
- Now, would you go and see a dentist about a problem you have with your eyesight? You would not listen to the advice and feedback of someone who practices unhealthy habits over someone who does, would you?! Gain positive feedback from those who are “qualified” to give you that feedback. This will further strengthen self-belief. Such feedback will have a stronger positive impact on you.
Remember: action plus positive emotions and feelings will result in positive action and the results you want!
Author: Helen D’Silva, B Sc (Hons), M Psych (Sport and Exercise).
Helen D’Silva is a Brisbane Psychologist, specialising in sport and exercise. For over 10 years, Helen has worked with clients to help them improve their performance in sport, the corporate workplace, or just to reach their personal goals.
Freecall 1800 877 924 or book Brisbane Psychologist Helen D’Silva online today!