My kids and I were going through some old pictures back in my Mom’s house one time and I can never forget how suddenly, out of nowhere, Shae and Keon, the middle and the youngest of my kids, started laughing out loud. I didn’t really knew at first what they were giggling about but it surely was funny to them. Well imagine my surprise.
The critters were actually looking at a picture of mine back when I was in sixth grade. It showed a skinny-thin, dark-complexioned version of yours truly posing a la Hulk Hogan, wearing only cycling shorts in what looked like a swimming trip with the family. It brought a smile to my face seeing how pathetic I looked back then. You can almost see my ribs through my really thin frame. I can’t imagine having the nerve to flex my “muscles” in front of the camera even if I looked like I was suffering from malnutrition. I looked so pathetic my kids are having fun at my expense. They probably can’t believe that their daddy, who is now out-of-shape, actually didn’t have a big tummy back then. Well, those were the days.
Exercise has always been my weakness. I’ve tried numerous times to put myself on a plan but after a few days or weeks, I give up. In come the excuses that I will start telling myself and they are the following:
1. I only get to sleep long seldom and since today is such a great day, cold weather and all, I’ll just do it tomorrow.
2. After a long day of work, I deserve a considerable amount of rest. Will do it tomorrow.
3. I deserve to be happy so I should do what makes me happy (sleep, video game, movie, internet)
4. I don’t really eat too much so no need to exercise.
5. I don’t have time.
6. I tried exercising before but nothing happened so why bother?
These are just some of the ridiculous things I come up with to discourage myself from working out. I used to play basketball back when I was young, even won a couple of individual awards back in the day, but I still find excuses not go whenever my friends invite me on weekends or even in company-sponsored leagues.
I admit it, I’ve become lazy when it comes to physical activity. I’d rather lie in the couch and have a CSI or 24 marathon instead of running even for just 30 minutes.
I’ve changed my ways and for the past month, I am proud to say that I’ve managed to exercise at least four times in a week. I am still working on having it done on a daily basis so wish me luck!
So how do you push yourself to exercise? Here are a few tips you can try:
1. Begin with your “Why”
We all have our reasons for exercising. Some would simply love to lose weight, some would like to fit into their favorite clothes and display their killer physique, others just like to stay healthy. Whatever your reasons are, it should be strong enough to make you resist going back to sleep or wasting your time browsing through the internet.
My main motivation is my family. I know I mentioned this in one of my blog posts already but the Ultimate Warrior‘s death was one of the driving force behind my new-found mission. I was deeply touched by the way his daughters showed their love for him in the Hall of Fame ceremony and I can’t imagine how they will go on with their lives growing without a father.
I don’t want that to happen to my kids. Warrior was a health buff and at 54 years of age, you can still tell that he takes care of himself and that he does work out. If someone as health-conscious as he was can succumb to heart failure, what more for someone like me who doesn’t watch what he eats and is too lazy to exercise.
2. Make it a commitment
When you enter a relationship or a commitment with a girlfriend or a boyfriend, you will do everything in your power to take care of that commitment and prevent it from falling apart. You make time for each other, you stay faithful to one another, you treat each other with respect and always let each other feel the love.
This goes the same with exercising. If you made a commitment to exercise daily, you have to find ways to fulfill this commitment. I love listening to Michael Hyatt‘s podcast, This is Your Life. In one of the episodes, he mentioned some of his routines in the morning that helps him meet his daily goals. Everything from getting his running gear ready and laid out to having all the lights in the room turned on so he can prevent himself from getting back to bed.
If you don’t trust yourself meeting your goal, you have to help yourself by making the conditions around you conducive to your goal.
3. Make exercise a habit
According to motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, a task can become a habit if you will do it for 21 straight days without miss. If that is your target, you can start by making exercise part of your daily routine first. Making it part of your routine will make it easier for you not to miss it because it becomes part of a regular procedure. Constant repetition makes the activity more mechanical.
4. Enlist an accountability/workout partner
Sometimes we need someone to always be on our ears, egging us to get up, lace up those shoes, and start working out. This is especially important to those who hasn’t perfected the art of discipline and who requires a bigger amount of persuasion.
My wife has been helping me meet my exercise goals as of late. She even critiques my inability to reach my toes when I do yoga but that’s fine. We need an accountability partner who’s brutally honest and won’t hold anything back instead of someone who sugarcoats all the time.
5. Read Blogs, Self-help books
Information we find in blogs or self-help books will be a big boost in motivating ourselves to exercise. Knowing the detailed benefits of working out gives us that extra push to get rid of the excuses and take action.
An even bigger benefit of reading are success stories. Knowing that someone has done it before, seeing their before and after picture, how they did it, and what it has done to their lives should be motivation enough.
Do you have other ways to get yourself to exercise regularly?
I’d love to hear from you by leaving your comments below.
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