by Michelle Manningham
Five Ways to Get Started and Stay Committed ~ The busy professionals guide to getting back into shape
When it comes to starting or re-starting a fitness routine, people often waste all of their energy on the excitement of the idea of getting back in shape and preparing to get started that they have no energy left for the reality of it. Once they realize what it takes to get back into shape the excitement dwindles as fast as their hidden candy stash.
But it can be done and it can be a lot less painful than you think. I am a busy professional who works 40-50 hours a week. On top of that, I am also launching a my own boot line and doing consulting work yet still find time to make fitness a priority. If I’m not healthy, everything else suffers. Over a decade ago, I suffered, and now I want to share my tips on taking those first steps to a healthy lifestyle – the 5 ways I got started 15 years ago and have never stopped.
1st Step – It’s already a part of your DNA
Think about where you are in life right now. You get up every day, you drink your hot cup of joe in the morning, you go to work, then you go home and handle all of your responsibilities and family commitments. You already have consistent habits in your life. Fitness is no different, however, you must mentally make it non-negotiable. Some can’t find motivation until they find themselves in the hospital with a heart attack or high blood pressure. The best time to start is in your mind. Make the commitment that you will make fitness a part of your regular routine as following through with commitments is already a part of your lifestyle.
2nd Step – Put it on paper
I am quite old school when it comes to calendar planning and time management. In a world full of technology, I still write everything down on an old-school paper calendar. Before I go to bed each night I set a specific time for my exercise routine the following day. I exercise first thing in the morning before my brain has time to process what is actually happening to my body. Type it, write it on a sticky note, jot it down on the back of your hand or paper calendar, just commit it to paper and make it happen.
3rd Step – What the heck do I do?
Some people don’t begin because they have no idea where to start. The gym seems so intimidating, the machines are too confusing, and some feel they will just humiliate themselves in a class and end up doing nothing. If you are just starting back into a fitness routine, commit to something you know you can do first. Walking, jogging, elliptical, a few crunches on your living room floor. It doesn’t have to be extreme, it just needs to be consistent. You may need to park yourself in a class so you feel motivated to work harder than everyone else. You know where you are at physically. Plan and exercise accordingly.
4th Step – Accountability
If you are blessed enough to have a friend who would like to share in this journey with you, then here is my tip: Find one who is in better shape than you are. There is nothing worse than two people excited to start a journey and by day 3 one is sending a “we’ll work harder tomorrow; I am sleeping in” text at 6:00am. Don’t be intimidated to ask for help. Maybe even someone who simply texts you on the days you have scheduled to exercise to make sure you followed through. Your health and life are worth being accountable to. Your family and friends deserve a healthy and happy you!
5th Step – Every step forward is progress (unless it’s a step in poop)
Eyes forward so you can be careful where you step. Sometimes it’s as simple as not stepping foot in a Taco Bell, or not stepping within sniffing distance of Auntie Anne’s pretzels. Self-discipline is one of the most difficult traits to acquire and I assure you that people are NOT just born with it. They have trained themselves, or rather, re-trained themselves to develop certain behaviors that lead them to their desired results. You are the same way. Avoid the things you know are going to detour you from staying consistent. It is not a matter of making ridiculous life choices that require you to become a vegan who only washes her clothes with essential oils and sprinkles fairy dust from the earth goddess. It’s just a matter of making a conscious effort to live balanced and healthy. I still splurge and enjoy a delicious desert from time to time, but a desert is a lot more enjoyable when you can fit into your pants. Work hard, set goals and reward yourself along the way.
Michelle Manningham – Entrepreneur and marketing guru, Michelle has travelled the U.S teaching business and marketing strategies.