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Five Ways to Pick up the Exercise Habit Again

Five Ways to Pick up the Exercise Habit Again

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class="bigphoto">Get back in the exercise habit

Even people who consistently stick to an effective health and fitness routine can sometimes fall out of the exercise habit from time to time. Getting back on track can be challenging unless ways are found to rebuild a strong desire to start exercising again.

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Here are 5 ways to give yourself the mental kick in the pants that you need to stop procrastinating, get up off the couch, and get back into the habit.

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  • Use it as an excuse to get “me” time. If you lead a life of chaos where it seems like every moment of your time is consumed with work, family, school, or household obligations, use a consistent exercise routine as an excuse to spend some much needed quality time all by yourself. Block off a part of your day where you are utterly unavailable, and tell everyone in your circle of influence to leave you alone during that time. Spend at least 30 minutes working up a good sweat every day, and during that time give absolutely no consideration to anyone or anything other than your own needs and desires.
  • Put away your “fat” clothes. It’s a lot easier to put off exercising whenever we can hide our fat rolls underneath clothes that make us feel like we’re not as out of shape as we really are. Take all of the clothes that allow you to hide your extra pounds and put them in a box. Tape the box up and put it in your garage or your attic, and force yourself to wear clothes that don’t hide the lumps.
  • Make yourself an irresistible offer. The idea of giving yourself a reward for losing weight is nothing new. However, most people choose lame rewards like a nice dinner, or a night on the town. If you want to crank up your motivation to get in shape, don’t offer yourself something that only lasts for a few hours. Promise yourself an entire weekend of frivolity, a shopping spree, or maybe even a new “toy” like a flat-screen TV, or a new dining room set. Make your reward something that you are actually willing to work for.
  • Turn it into a social experience. Misery loves company, as they say, so why not get rid of your own misery with a partner who is in the same boat? You have a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, or a family member who also needs to lose weight, so grab a partner and make a solemn pact to force each other to stick to it. If you’re single, use this as an excuse to find a mate. Don’t “hide” your extra pounds when filling out an online dating profile. Put it out there for all to see that you want to drop 20 or 30 pounds. It’s guaranteed that other people are in your same situation.
  • Take a good look in the mirror. When all else fails, get naked and stand in front of a full-length mirror. Take a good look from the front, turn to the side, and even turn around and look back over your shoulder at your backside. If you need to lose even 10 pounds, the mirror will be more than happy to show them to you. At least once or twice a week stand naked in front of the mirror until you start to like how your body looks from every angle.

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Last Updated on November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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