How to make exercise stick
It’s common practice to make a goal to lose weight, get stronger, or push yourself so that you can fit into your favorite pair of jeans.
Some of us workout just so we can eat more food…come on, you know you’ve done it…
…and while this is a good laugh (because it’s true for many us), I don’t think it’s the best way to sustain long term motivation and commitment.
Part of the issue I see is we spend too much time on the “what” and “why”, rather than the “who”.
Let me explain…
We often approach fitness trying to accomplish something, rather than become someone.
What I’ve noticed in training literally thousands of individuals is that the people who stick with it and subsequently have the most success, are those who embody fitness as part of their personhood. They tie their fitness efforts to their identity.
The individuals who see themselves as health conscious, or a well trained athlete, or an active ager – those individuals who have embodied the practice of movement – they are the people who tend to see the results over the long term.
These types of people say things like …
I love the way working out makes me feel
I want to be the best for my teammates (or kids, or grandkids)
Exercising helps me perform my best at work
I’m less stressed and more enjoyable to be around when I’m consistently working out.
I rarely here them say things like…
I need to workout hard today so I can eat a lot of food later.
I need to lose x amount of pounds by ________.
Ugh, I can’t believe what the scale read today…
While wanting to lose 10 pounds before summer, or get faster before next season are important and valid steps in the process, in my opinion, they should come secondary to you prioritizing who you want to become.
Ultimately, if you see yourself as a healthy, active person, it’s likely that your actions will follow.
My encouragement is to spend less time focusing on external indicators of success and instead shift your focus to the positive habits that are helping you becoming healthier. The former will follow when you focus on the latter.