I’m going to ask you to play along with me here.
I was chatting with someone the other day who was complaining about exercise. How much she hates it. It sucks. Shouldn’t have to do it. So I asked, “Why do you feel that way?” Her response was, “’cause its hard.”
So, here’s how you can play along:
Raise your hand if you or someone you know has ever said, “I know I should exercise or [blank], but I really don’t want to because it’s hard!” The [blank] can be any exercise activity such as weightlifting, biking, or jogging. Ok, so let me see those hands now. Wow, there’s a lot of hands out there. Yep, I see yours and yours.
This applies to many of the things we hate doing in life — cleaning, driving the kids to 5 different ports practices a day. Of course, I picked exercise for a reason, because most people hate doing it more than anything else in the world. I can count on MULTIPLE hands how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I hate exercise,” or, “I don’t what to have to exercise.“ To be honest, I sometimes do, too.
Let me give you an example. Many of my clients have heard me say I hate running. (I hate it with a passion.) But, I’ve heard others say it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. To the point they think it is the miracle cure that’s going to instantaneously burn off fat and get you into optimal health. (It’s not the only way.) But, sometimes, if you want to reach your goals you have to do it.
I ran a triathlon recently. Something I had on my bucket list for years. It involves swimming, bicycling, and in case you didn’t know, running. And, when you feel like you HAVE to do something, it’s going to be EXTREMELY hard to stick to your training plan.
If your mindset is that you hate something, it’s far more likely you’ll avoid it, quit and fall back into old habits. That applies to any type of exercise, or exercise itself. So, if you say, “I hate [blank],” you are going to find so hard that you’ll quickly give up. By ascribing to this kind of mindset, you are essentially limiting yourself and preventing yourself from ever having success. So stop setting yourself up for failure.
You have to work on changing your mindset into one that inspires change; that If you do well, then the skies the limit. You can achieve all your goals, cross some things off you’re bucket list and then some, but you can’t stay in that “I hate [blank]” mode.
It’s not an “if” but a “when”
Let me ask you this question: Whenever you’ve given up, how’d that work out for you? Did you feel good about it? Did you feel like you accomplished something? Or, did you feel like a failure, and beat yourself up?
Focus on the long-term goal. There’s a reason why you hate doing something. Besides being hard, maybe you don’t see the results quickly enough. Maybe you feel judged negatively by those around you. Don’t let those doubts creep in. Stop thinking of exercise as “a chore” and think about it as a means to improve your health and be happier. Results can take time. You’re not being judged. And, in the long run, you will be obtain your goal.
If you stick to it
You’ll be more likely to stick to it if you focus on the positive, and not the negative. Embrace the difficult, because when you overcome it there is no greater feeling in the world. Maybe you’ll find that not only do you not hate it anymore, you look forward to it.
Dan Romand is co-owner and operator of Full Circle Fitness-NY in Albany and Saratoga Springs, where he is a certified personal trainer. You can often read his personal health and fitness article in TheSpot518 and on our website www.thespot518.com.