Sabotaging Your Fitness or Personal Development? Look Here
Sometimes the dog really does eat your homework or a flat tire messes up your morning. But more often than not we are the ones to hold accountable when it comes to the disruption of our fitness routines.
I have experienced a variety of issues when it comes to getting back into consistently working out. I complain about the time of day, the weather conditions, how my stomach feels, etc… Seriously, I am GREAT at coming up with a creative excuse to avoid the painful situation of working out. And I would wager that you experience the same thing. Most people have trouble consistently working out or working out to the level that they think they should be working out (whew, that is another blog post all together).
So why do we do it? Why do we mess up our new years resolutions within a month of setting them? Why do best laid plans get put aside for laundry or other household duties (another excuse of mine).
I believe that at the root of our avoidance is something completely normal and rational; we avoid things/situations that make us uncomfortable.
I do it, you do it, all of us do it to a certain degree, and if we consider evolution and what has kept us alive (staying warm when it is cold, staying cool when it is too hot, etc…) it makes sense. But unfortunately for us, our bodies don’t quite know the difference between discomfort for the good of our health and to the detriment of our health. So we avoid being uncomfortable by sticking with the things that feel good for our systems. This way of operating works to keep us alive but does not necessarily enable us to operate at a higher level. Honestly, this is no way to be, my friends, and it is no way to get better at anything. Our bodies even have a way of doing this when we are working out consistently, which is why trainers and instructors have to be careful to not train the same movements repeatedly; this is known as a function of homeostasis. We try to achieve equilibrium as a way to stay alive. So don't get me wrong, homeostasis isn't a bad thing, our bodies stay healthy and functioning because of it. However, it can make us kind of boring.
How are you showing up in the discomfort?
Side note: We do this with our personal lives and goals as well, we avoid the things that are difficult or hard because they make us uncomfortable. *shamefully raises hand*
Therefore, I have written down three things that help me achieve my goals even when I do my best to self sabotage:
- Make sure what you are doing is what you WANT to be doing. If you are in a space where you need to constantly motivate yourself; you are in the wrong place my friend. Do you love team sports? Sign up for an indoor soccer team. Do you need someone to tell you what to do? Take a group fitness class. Listen, don't make the mistake of pursuing a fitness endeavor just because your friend on Instagram pays for a digital membership. I know Kayla Itsines has motivated so many men and women to change their lives through her BBG program, but dang that type of working out is not for me. The number one thing I consider when taking on a new personal training or coaching client is "what will enable this person to be compliant?". Every person is different and it is unfair for me to treat each client the same. Your health and fitness goals vary depending on what lights you up and encourages you to move your body. So do the thing that will encourage you to change.
- Get an accountability partner. Whether it is strangers on the internet, a friend, or someone you pay; ask for help from someone who will be invested in your improvement. This may be the most important of the three. We are our own worst enemies, yes.. but the perfect antidote to that dynamic is another human who is willing to hold you to your best.
- Never miss two days (or times in a row). This is a powerful way to keep moving even when you slip up. I have employed this with our 30 day challenges, if I miss a day of the challenge I just pick back up the next day and avoid letting myself get caught up in skipping for long periods of time. Misses, slip ups, and avoidances are inevitable. Even when you have all of the right pieces of the puzzle in place! Course-correcting quickly is key.