What three motivational words can you say to yourself that will put your exercise program in overdrive and make your fitness dreams come true?
"I Want To!"
Too often we approach our fitness routines with the thought "I have to," and it produces a counterproductive attitude toward our fitness program. Say both phrases out loud (if you're in a public place you can wait till you get home … or not) and pay attention to how it feels within your body. "I have to" produces dread and a "heavy" feeling. "I want to " produces an extra pep in your step and a joy associated with whatever you want to do.
How I used this phrase to help me.
I'll be honest, getting myself to work out is not difficult at all. I just set a plan, follow it, and adapt along the way. It's one of the reasons I became a personal trainer; it has pretty much come easy to me. But there are goals I have had that have really challenged me mentally and emotionally. In fact I am going through one right now.
Back in February I threw caution to the wind and hired a French teacher to, well, teach me French. I knew French back when I was a wee tike but lost it when we moved to the States. And ever since I could remember I have wanted to relearn it. So I started doing my research, looking for a teacher, and I found Sabine. Born in France, she has a PhD in French studies and is a teacher … DING DING DING! I stalked her down and got her to meet with me, and after a nice chat I knew it would work. So even though I was still trying to build my business, take care of a baby, and learn a new city, I committed. I told her I would be with her for at least a year, and we got started.
(PS There are a lot of really good teaching points in this last paragraph about achieving your goals. You might want to go back and reread it.)
This French teacher is kicking my butt!
I was so gung ho those first couple of classes, and I was feeling really excited about finally being able to speak French. And then I got hit smack in the face with reality. I remember it really clearly, that feeling of being overwhelmed and all the negative thoughts flooding into my head. "There is no way I can learn all this." "You'll never get this." Etc., etc. I continued because I do not like to quit, but I was trying to power through these thoughts and feelings. I "had to" do this! Push Push Push!
Then the thought came to me, "I want to do this," and I felt the calmness that came with it. Done. I don't question things when they are this clear. So I started to approach learning French in this manner, and it has helped me tremendously. Do I still get frustrated and impatient? You bet I do! But I don't let it become me. Because I "want to" I can now relax, have fun, and consequently learn more efficiently.
What's running in your head?
Do you "have to" go work out? Or do you "want to"? If you "have to," you are fighting yourself and it will make accomplishing your goals exponentially harder. If you "want to," you are enjoying the process and it will allow you to get to where you want to go quicker. So add a little " want to " in your life.