Sure, the first few weeks may seem uncomfortable because it’s new, but it’s called routine for a reason, and it will soon, well, you know, become routine.
Springtime. A time of renewal. A time of fresh starts.
This article is addressed to those of us that have joined the gym with the fresh optimism of a 5-year-old waking up on Christmas morning, but by the time we scampered down the stairs it was March and we haven’t been to the gym one time. We’re not going to dwell on the past because ‘fresh starts.’ Instead, we are going to flip the narrative. So let’s get to flippin’.
Keep moving forward.
So you have this gym membership and, you know, it’s been a while. Well, find yourself a routine and stick to it. Keep it simple and doable. If it’s coming to the gym 1 day a week, just do it. Come meet a friend and walk outside before you head into the gym for a short workout. Heck, come meet a friend walk, hit the sauna and have a coffee in the cafe. Start slowly and add a little more every week. Sure, the first few weeks may seem uncomfortable because it’s new, but it’s called routine for a reason, and it will soon, well, you know, become routine. You probably won’t see immediate results, just trust the process and keep moving forward.
Stop making excuses.
#eyeroll Did she just say that? Yes, I did. I said it because it’s the single biggest thing we do to undermine ourselves. Believe me, I get it. My thoughts circle the ‘excuse drain’ every time my alarm goes off at 4:10am for an early morning workout. Any way you slice it that ish be early. But dang it, I get up anyway. Sure, it’s mostly because I’m meeting someone who is counting on me to be there, but I get there. And sure sometimes the excuse is more viable than just ‘early.’ You’re sick. You hurt yourself. A dog ate your homework. Whatever it is, just stop. Every single time you want to make an excuse as to ‘why you can’t,’ think about what the real issue is. More likely than not, its fear of failure stopping you. Acknowledge it, adjust if you have to, but keep moving forward… and if that seems too advanced, just do what I do and find an accountability workout buddy.
Plan for the excuses.
What can I say, I’m a realist. We all make excuses. Things happen that are just too big, or happen too often to ignore and we give in to the pity party. Acknowledge it and regain control over the situation. You may miss some workouts, but if you’ve aced step 1, you’ve established a routine, so give yourself a moment and start back up again next week, but don’t give in to the negative. Be kind to yourself and stay positive. The most important muscle is the one between our ears, so stop making excuses, but plan for them every now and again.
Find your people and have fun.
I find it very hard to swim, bike, or run by myself which seems a little unrealistic while training for a triathlon, but I’m chatty, and it’s just more fun to talk when someone is there listening. If you look around at the gym, you will notice that the people that are consistently there, doing their thing, month after month, year after year, are the ones that workout with friends. Some of my very best buddies were met at Aerofunk circa 2011 and so many funny memories at Shakin’ It and sitting in the sauna after class. It’s what got me to the gym. Was I ‘good’ at these classes? Hell no, but it was fun and got me there. If it weren’t for all my training buddies, I’m not sure… wait… see that?… I was about to make an excuse there… I would adapt and move forward. So put yourself out there. If you do, I can promise you, your people will find you.
Not everything has to be fun.
Sometimes you have to suffer a little to reach those goals. You’ll live and the reward will be that much sweeter.
These may seem pretty simple, but I’m a slow study. I’ve had a lot of starts and stops when setting and working towards my goals in the past, and for a long time, I never took any responsibility for letting them go. It wasn’t until I put everything above together that I was able to set, work towards and reach the goals I set for myself, even if the end result wasn’t exactly what I had planned at first. Now, when obstacles present themselves, I change my perception, adapt and… you guessed it, keep moving forward.
About the Author
Andrea Kay is a longtime FI member, Tri-Athlete, 50k runner and a regular contributor to Fit to Print.