We've all heard how physical fitness improves self-confidence and helps us overcome obstacles. That's exactly what running did for me when I started this fitness journey. Running helped release the years of pent-up sadness and anxiety after my mother's death over 12 years ago. Oh, that runner's high is real as exercise releases endorphins that boost mood. Studies show that the release of endorphins is linked with the brain’s opioid system (Farrell et al., 1982),it also shows that fitness (endorphin release) increases cognitive function across all the human lifespan.
Confidence that comes with overcoming challenges, like running a 10k or a half-marathon, or even starting to train. Making the decision to start an exercise plan also improves your ability to trust in yourself. Setting and maintaining fitness and health goals will help build a sense of accomplishment and resilience, and setting maintainable habits will provide the discipline you need. Not just motivation.
We know that exercise (that's PLANNED movement) can improve your mood and increase your self-esteem and confidence, but how do we start if we've been sedentary our entire life?
Making the Decision to Start Exercising.
I often tell my clients that the first step is following someone who inspires you and emulate them. I know, it sounds so cheesy, and it may be a little dangerous for people that suffer from comparisonism, but finding someone to inspire you to change is often the small step needed for a push.
Next find what you like to do, even if it's walking. If you can't think of anything you like that involves movement, what did you like to do as a kid? I loved to ride bike! Skate? Play basketball? I suggest that you start small, and add this movement 20 minutes daily.
Setting Goals- Finding Your Why!
It's just me, sounding like a broken record. If you've read my other posts, you know that I am a FIRM believer in digging deep and finding WHY you want to change. Most of us don't even remember what our values are, let alone go all in to see how they've changed as we've matured. Finding out why you want to change your daily habits is life changing. It often leads to changing your behavior patterns and the results are your actual metamorphosis.
If you haven't grabbed my FREEBIE 5 Words to Finding Your Why: A Cheat Sheet When You're Stuck find it below!
After you've downloaded the guide and completed your deep dive we're setting goals. What do you want to accomplish that is attainable in the near future? Setting goals that you can actually accomplish is a bit easier than you think. I've been there, wanting to lose those last 10lbs, or get faster, or to control my appetite just a little more. I know where I failed, I didn't set these Specific, Measurable, Relevant and Time bound goals. In last year's blog Motivation is Temporary, Doing This Will Get You the Results You Want! We discuss how to set up goals so you are able to achieve them.
Change Your Habits
Changing your habits is easier than you think. First, you need to analyze what the behaviors you want to actually change are. Figure out what makes you perform that behavior. I love popcorn, and I know exactly what triggers the craving for it. Sitting on the couch with my girls, watching a Marvel movie and the feeling of peace that comes with it. It's the need we have to change an uncomfortable feeling for a positive one.
Next, tie that behavior to something you already do. When I started my health and fitness journey 7 years ago I needed to wake up earlier to fit exercise in my life. There was no other choice. I made it a point to look forward to my coffee every morning and made myself become excited for my morning solitude. I successfully tied my WAKING UP, to COFFEE and a WORKOUT.
Finally, reward yourself. I know this sounds so silly, but GET THAT OUTFIT! Buy yourself those adorable Gymshark or Lululemon sets. Yes, you can wear it, and yes you look GREAT.
You've done the work, you finished all the steps listed above. Now, we just keep going. We push through the hard days, even if it's a day that you skipped your workout. You acknowledge and move on. As your favorite online coach, I am here to remind you that you are human, you're busy and life loves to throw wrenches is beautiful laid out plans.
If you find that you fall off the wagon after you've reached your goals, grab an accountability partner. Enlisting your family, friends and even hiring a personal trainer and COACH can help you push through.
Staying consistent will lead you to your end goal, and possibly the transformation you've been craving for so lone. Remember that any change worth making is a deep transformation. Physical fitness is more than just LOOKING the part, it's a deep self awareness and connection to yourself that will make you successful. Exercise not only increases your endorphins that will help regulate your mood, but the results are long lasting as it supports the positive mindset that pushes you to achieve the goals you set out to accomplish.
Also, remember that you are not alone! If you need an accountability partner, I'm offering 23% off my SIX month online program, Metamorphosis. Click below and check out my plans!
Hope you crush all your goals this week!