Do you have trouble getting motivated to exercise?
Do you wish there was something you could do about it?
Do you think its your willpower that just doesnt measure up?
What if there was a way for you to develop your willpower?
What if I could give you a few little secrets that you could use to create motivation and put to use to reach your fitness goals? Well if youre willing to supply just a little bit of desire and a little bit of effort, Ill teach you how to develop an unstoppable motivation and willpower that your friends will envy.
The key to your success is a simple five letter word… and that word is habit. This is our number one goal! Yes! Our number one goal is to create the habit of exercise and our improved fitness will be a by product of accomplishing this. How are we going to do this? We are going to break this down as far as necessary. And you will be the one who determines just how far that is. What do I mean by that? Well virtually all exercise consists of either steps or repetitions. Think of your favorite exercise. Is it walking? Then it can be broken down to steps… (or time spent) right? Is it push ups? Then it can be broken down to repetitions. Get the idea? So if we are to succeed at creating the habit of exercising, technically we only need to take “some” steps or to do “some” repetitions on a regular, consistent basis.
You might be thinking, Don, come on now… how is taking a few steps or a few repetitions going to help me reach my fitness goals? Stay with me for a minute. Most people who fail at reaching their fitness goals, fail because they lack motivation. And the reason they lack motivation is because their holding the wrong picture in their mind. You know the one… that one long grueling workout that seemed to last forever? If were going to hold a picture in our mind of an entire grueling workout, most of us are going to be whipped before we start.
I begin by telling myself that I am going to do “one set” of my favorite exercise (the bench press) and then after giving myself two or three minutes to recover from that set, I will then ask myself if I want to do more. Nine times out of ten I do! And if I dont I can still feel good that I did that set and strengthened the habit of exercise. Surely anyone can do a “single set” of their favorite exercise and create the habit of doing so. Make the goal creating the “habit”… not the workout!!! We can always increase the steps, the reps, the number of sets, the exercises and the time spent anytime we want to! And I encourage you to do so… whenever you feel like it!
We need to keep in mind that not all workouts have to be maximal. Start each workout with just one set of your favorite exercise. Wait 2 or 3 minutes and while youre waiting, praise yourself for accomplishing that set. Youve just included some exercise in your day. Doesnt that feel good? You have taken the first step to creating a habit… a very good habit. And each time that you do this you are strengthening that habit. Now, ask yourself if you feel like you want to do more. If not… stop. If so, repeat.
Many people get to the gym and turn around and go home because they just dont feel up to working out that day. But many of us have found that if we just submit to doing a set or two of something, we begin to feel like doing more.
Denis Waitley is one of my favorite authors and to paraphrase something I heard him say is that habits begin like flimsy cobwebs at first and are strengthened day by day to become like unbreakable cables to shackle or strengthen our lives. What happens is once you get started, you will begin to feel the endorphins rush and most of the time you will “feel” like doing more. I kid you not! Its amazing! It works for me virtually all the time. Try it!

Here is a poem that I read many years ago that I found to be very profound and seems appropriate for this article. I hope you enjoy it.

Who am I?

I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.

Half the things you do you might just as well
turn over to me and I will be able to do them
quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed –
You must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want
Something done and after a few lessons
I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of all great men;
And alas, of all failures, as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine,
Though I work with all the precision
Of a machine plus the intelligence of a man.
You may run me for a profit or run me for ruin –
It makes no difference to me.

Take me, train me, be firm with me,
And I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I? I am habit!
– Anonymous