Often people ask me why they can't just-darn it-do what they say they want to do. I tell them that there are usually two reasons. One is fitness obstacles and the other is fitness blocks. An obstacle is something that makes it difficult for you, like a busy schedule, low energy or no budget for a gym membership. A block is something that makes it almost impossible, like a limiting injury or an impossible work schedule.
The first step in accomplishing your fitness goals is to determine whether you have blocks or obstacles. Blocks are tough. They sometimes require a new work schedule or healing up an injury. But most people are just obstacled.
What do you do when you face a fitness obstacle?
Here are a few tips:
-Figure out a way to get around it. If you have a shoulder injury, find some activities that only use your legs. If you can't exercise before or after work, ask your boss if you can work out during your lunch hour, or take one of your conference calls walking around your office building. Think out of the box and see if you can build exercise into your day, even if it's in five or ten minute segments.
-- Don't wait until the moment arrives to figure it out. Make a plan in advance. If you want to get up at 6 a.m. to do yoga, don't count on your morning enthusiasm to get it done. Plan it the night before by making it the last the on your mind before sleep. Pack your yoga mat and gear and place it in the car so you can grab and go. That's how it gets done.
-- Trick your mind and you can get it to do just about anything, even things you've never been able to do before. Tell yourself that even if you don't feel like it, you'll just try it for a few minutes and then, if you want to stop, you can. Odds are that once you get moving, you'll keep moving.
-- Take the first step. One of the hardest obstacles exercisers face when trying to kick off a new habit is getting started. Taking that initial step, especially when you're unmotivated and unsuccessful is tough. The pain avoidance part of your head might find a million reasons to avoid doing it, but taking action means doing something uncomfortable right now, so you can feel better later. It's just you against the comfort part of your brain and the key is to just get moving.