Every new year, people like you and me create #health #goals. In the hopes of keeping our motivation in tact, we may spend a lot of money on a #gym membership or on a package of personal training. We think that if we’ve invested financially, loss aversion will kick in. We wouldn’t want to see all the money go to waste, so it will keep us on track. But often we find that our intentions alone are not enough and we not only don’t meet our goal, but feel bad about wasting our money.
So how can we get fit for real?
The problem with the “money solution” to our fitness goals is that it is not specific. If you want to be successful (and by that I mean that you’re able to meet your goals), you need to follow these three steps:
1. Get clear on your why. There are a variety of reasons why people want to get fit. Do you want to lose weight? Would you like to get in shape? Do you want to improve your health? What’s yours?
2. Make it fun. What kinds of activities would you enjoy engaging in that would allow you to meet your fitness goals? Come up with at least 3 different activities. If you have a gym membership, ask yourself if you like to work out with weights or use the machines (i.e., treadmill, elliptical). If your gym has a pool, do you enjoy swimming? Do you prefer a class? This is an easy option. Once you find a class you like, you know that it is every week at the same day and time, so you can easily schedule it in on a consistent basis. If you don’t have a gym membership and want a class option, look for a local dance, yoga, or martial arts studio. If you prefer the outdoors, maybe you could go jogging, hiking, or rock climbing.
3. Create a plan. Once we know what is driving our decision and what activities excite us, we want to think about how to make it happen. This is all about planning. When do you propose to do your workouts? Get specific about it. You know your work schedule and since work takes up the bulk of your time, think about your time outside of work and when you can focus on working out. Mondays can be yoga night while Wednesdays are walk-to-work day. Get creative. If you have flexibility, it’s best to create your #workout #schedule and then plan your work hours around that.
The key to attaining your goal of getting fit is to ask the right questions: why, what, how, and when. In addition, if it’s more fun exercising with someone, ask yourself whom you’d like to workout with.
By making your goal fun, you are increasing the chance that you’ll be #motivated to stick with it. Planning allows you to move from intention into reality. When you start to reap the benefits, both health-wise and in the joy you experience, your commitment to a schedule will be a no brainer.