Today I’m happy to feature a guest post from Aileen Pablo. Enjoy!
Here’s a truism about life that most people ignore when creating fitness goals: there are always going to be curveballs.
Sure, you can plan to hit the gym for an hour every single day, but what if you get so bogged down by work that it becomes a choice between your job and your workout? Or maybe you were on the East Coast during the recent storm that saw some people lose power for a week. Think you’d still be able to stick to your fitness goals? Sometimes the messes we face are more personal, like dealing with breakups, illness, or even depression that makes us want to give up on exercise and just lie in bed.
That’s why it’s important to remember the truth of the first sentence above. Things in life are always going to be messy in one way or another, but that doesn’t mean that your fitness goals have to fall by the wayside. You simply need to redirect them – and yourself.
Let go of mistakes. When many people get going on a fitness regimen, they are incredibly diligent about not letting themselves stray. They eat only what they’re supposed to eat, attend every scheduled gym session, and avoid cheating at all costs … until they slip up or something gets in the way. One mistake and suddenly the dam has broken and they might as well just stop trying.
Hopefully when you read that description, it sounds just as foolish as it actually is. Whether these “speed bumps” are in your control (“mistakes”) or caused by an outside source (“curveballs”), things are going to make you stray from your original plan. Having the ability to accept that reality and bounce back is how healthy people stay even-keeled and fit.
Make a new plan. You wanted to lose 10 pounds by the end of the month, but you haven’t been able to go to the gym for a week. That sucks, but it doesn’t have to make you throw up your arms and quit.
Instead of bemoaning the fact that you’re not going to meet your original goal, try creating new ones that you think you can meet. Maybe go for losing five pounds and eating as healthy as possible when your schedule prevents you from working out.
Be flexible. You say you don’t have enough time to get to the gym every day like you wanted and it’s ruining everything? Well, who said that all exercise had to happen at the gym? Find other ways that you can exercise that don’t involve that intrusive daily commute.
You could do “big” things, like going for a run in the morning instead of reading email, or smaller things, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and doing curls while you read paperwork on the job. The point is that there are many ways to continue working on your fitness so that it fits more easily into your busy schedule.
Use it as a distraction. If you’re dealing with something troubling in your life, trying to add 20 pounds to your shoulder presses or get under a six-minute mile might stop mattering as much to you. If that’s the case, forget about the numbers, but keep working out so you can lose yourself in the routine and escape from the things that are bothering you. When your goals are “to stop worrying about this crap,” it can be a whole lot easier to convince yourself to strap on those sneakers and get out there. Chances are, you’ll be happy that you did.
When all is said and done, fitness comes down to listening to Nike’s good advice and just doing it. Redirecting your exercise goals so that they fit your life and world is a lot better for you – body and mind – than simply giving in and giving up because something isn’t going the way you planned. Good luck!
About the Author:
Aileen Pablo is a health and fitness blogger from Open Colleges,one of the leading providers of dietician courses. Aside from blogging about food and nutrition, Aileen is also fond of writing topics about education, business, and interior design. If you want to contact her, drop a line at aileen (at) oc.edu.au.
Photo Credit: Victor1558