Life flows when you’re in the working out zone. It flows so well and so easily in fact that you may sometimes stop to think what all the fuss was about. And you never see the headlights coming until they stop you dead in your tracks.
“Headlights” can be referred to as life itself. It has a way of sidetracking you when you least expect it, taking your perfectly working routine and turning it so all arrows point South. You go down so fast it takes weeks before you can think of making your way back up from whence you fell.
And even then, there is a great distance of rocky terrain to cover between thinking and doing once again.
This happens to everyone. At least every one I’ve worked with as a personal trainer. And it’s 100%, not 1 out of 4 or even 1 out of 99. Everyone stops and starts. (Except for one person I knew, and that was my father. I don’t think he missed a day of working out in almost 20 years. There’s always an exception!)
How to go from 60 to 0.
That’s the easy part. The fall from grace is paved with gold. Time is the Golden Child, the Holy Grail, the Almighty. It brings many to their knees no matter how solid their routine or resolve may be. Time is the great equalizer. If you think you have nothing in common with your neighbor, I guarantee you can both agree that neither of you has the time to work out.
Once out of the flow, no matter how enthusiastic you were to get started — we all possess the early onset energy of enthusiasm — all you need is a few days and one disruptive life event to send you back to 0.
How to go from 0 to 60.
This is the hard part — and we humans are not hardwired to seek out hardships. No matter how desperate we may feel our situation is, assumed discomfort is avoided at all costs. We lament, interspersing “should” after “should” into many of our conversations — with ourselves and with others who will listen — and we delay action to infinity and beyond.
Getting into the flow isn’t an all-elusive endeavor, however. When armed with a realistic mindset, and an ability to work that mindset in your favor, you are destined to be blessed with the ability to weather any storm and end the cycle of starts and stops.
What is a “realistic” mindset?
Progress is a function of time. The more time you invest, the greater your returns will be, hence the greater your progress. Getting in an hour-long run after being away from it for weeks or months is only as good as that hour-long run. When multiplied, however, progress grows exponentially.
Time — the golden child — paired with patience will allow you to see progress.
Patience is Time’s partner in crime. Patience with yourself, and patience with being able to see and feel results will grant you the progress you seek. To have patience, you must engage with a mindset that supports ‘cutting off the fat’. Cutting off the fat is letting go of the excess baggage — i.e. excuses, time sucks, and same old conversations. It’s changing your mindset to one that’s supportive of your quest to be fit and healthy.
Your power is entirely in how you interpret your situation. It’s all in your mindset and how you structure it. You have the power to allow it to work in your favor, to not get tied up in all the same old conversations about the same old changes you’d like to see happen in your life.
I had a client once who hated her unperky butt. She did her best to hide it and would never wear a bathing suit without a wrap. That wrap followed her everywhere when she was at the beach or pool, never letting it drop, no matter the temperature. She wanted desperately to let go of that wrap and feel good in her body so she signed on to do one of my challenges. Her early onset of enthusiasm was high. Super high.
She used that enthusiasm as her motivation, and that motivation was expected, in her eyes, to last all 21-days of the challenge. As per usual, it got her to about day 6. And then poof, she was gone. Well not totally dissipated into the either (like her enthusiasm), she hung on with a few “work is crazy,” “I’m so tired,” “I’m going to start back up on Monday” text messages.
And then poof, she was gone.
It’s all in how we frame it in our minds.
It’s going to suck, but that’s not the part that should garner all the attention. Yet it does for most people. They latch on to that and begin to value a hectic lifestyle as more important than taking care of their health.
Alter your focus. Write out a list of 10 benefits you’ll receive by working out and pick one of those benefits to focus on. That begins to change your internal conversation around exercise. Start to say things like “I know it’s going to take time to see results, but if I’m patient, those results will come.” Don’t go into whine mode when the thought of exercising pops up in your mind. You can stop that in an instant. But for so long you didn’t and forgot you could.
Trying to change conditioned thinking by using the same approach over and over with no success is madness. Yet we do it every day.