Ladies does this sound like you:
- You want to be exercising but aren’t?
- You know you should be exercising but aren’t?
- You tried gyms, yoga, Pilates, online courses, DVD’s?
- You discovered you’re not into gyms, yoga, Pilates, online courses and DVD’s?
- You are sick to death--absolutely sick to death--of the shame and guilt of not exercising?
And yet you know you should be exercising. You may have serious health issues; perhaps your doctor has told you that you must exercise. You go into workout plans with the best of intentions, ready to make the changes you know you need to make. But somewhere along the way you get derailed. You run out of time or money or both. You discover you really don’t like the exercise you’re trying. Whatever the reason, you simply can’t force yourself to keep going. And then you end up right back where you started--knowing you should be exercising and feeling ashamed and guilty that you’re not. (And maybe secretly wondering if there’s something wrong with you because you just can’t seem to stick to your plans.)
First, I want you to know there is nothing “wrong” with you! We women are so incredibly good at shaming ourselves and making ourselves wrong! Our negative self talk is our absolute worst enemy! Getting derailed from an exercise plan is caused by multiple factors, one of which is not planning ahead for obstacles. When you don’t plan ahead for obstacles, they knock you off course and therefore you end up right back where you started, thus the all too familiar cycle begins again!
So let me reiterate: there’s nothing wrong with you! You just haven’t found your fit in the exercise world. The simple truth is that exercise needs to fit you and your life, not the other way around.
In order for any exercise plan to truly work it needs to fit you and your life in these Eight Ways:
1) The decision to try the exercise. Your decision must be based on wanting/needing to change. Most of us get this far. But your decision needs to be backed up by willingness to take action and to suspend judgment of yourself. Your exercise plan needs to support you in this because suspending judgment of ourselves is really really really hard! It’s a big obstacle so your plan also needs . . .
2) A way to overcome obstacles. Planning ahead for what could derail you is really critical to your success. Did any of the workouts you’ve tried help you anticipate and plan for obstacles like sick kids, travel for work, last minute changes in schedule? In addition to having a way to overcome obstacles your exercise plan really needs . . .
3) A connection from your personal values directly to the exercise itself. The more of your values an exercise aligns with, the more you’ll feel that it’s your unique fit in the workout world. If you have a list of reasons stating why you’re working out and those reasons are deeply meaningful to you and your life, you have the “glue” that leads to success. A good plan will help you make and deepen this connection. What that value based connection needs to be super charged is . . .
4) Accountability! We women are THE BEST at putting everyone and everything ahead of ourselves. A successful exercise plan will utilize this female trait to our own advantage. When we are working out with and for someone else we are so much more likely to succeed. This collaboration creates a powerful accountability to each other’s goals and success. If you felt that other workouts you’ve tried were competitive or that you were being judged on what you could or couldn’t do--no wonder you didn’t connect with them! So collaborate and be accountable to something bigger and better than you’ve experienced before. Once you’ve partnered up you need . . .
5) A plan to follow for at least the first 66 days. It takes two months and a week for a new behavior to become a habit. Without a clear plan to follow for that time, your obstacles are going to rear their ugly heads and try to derail you. But when your personal values are aligned with your workout and you’re accountable to someone else’s goals and you have a clear plan for you and your partner, you’re going to succeed!. Make sure that your plan has a solid . . .
6) Commitment! Now that you know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, who you’re doing it with and how long you need to do it, you have a clear concept of what you’re committing to! This is really powerful and well defined. Have your other workout plans been this clear and defined? The next thing you need is . . .
7) Time! You now give yourself 66 days to turn your new exercise into a healthy habit. And the great news is you know that going into it! No surprises--hooray. But the last thing you need, the thing we ALL really need and deserve is . . .
8) A coach! You deserve support and guidance from a coach to whom you can turn when you hit snags or have questions. A coach is someone who leads by example and has already gone through the change you’re currently undertaking. Someone who has literally walked the mile in your shoes! Your coach can be the difference between success and failure because true support means being fully and deeply understood and valued as you go through the process of changing. As you know, change can be hard and having a coach gives you that extra edge. You deserve to be inspired, motivated, celebrated and empowered every single step of the way by someone fully in your corner!
I’ve watched too many wonderful women just like you become discouraged and disheartened by their inability to make daily exercise a healthy habit in their lives. You now know why that goal can be so daunting and you know why it’s not your fault! Today’s “it” workouts don’t offer exercise solutions that truly fit us and our lives. We know we need to care for ourselves but at the same time we must care for the choices we’ve made in our lives: children, careers, spouses or significant others, care-giving for parents, volunteering, home owning etc. Our all-important self care needs to fit seamlessly into the lives we’ve created.
That’s where walking come in! Did you know walking is the ultimate multi-tasking solution for women and that a brisk daily walk is all the exercise you need to improve your health and quality of life immediately? I believe we women deserve happy, healthy, long lives and I believe our self care can and must fit the lives we’ve created--starting right now! So I founded One Million Women Walking!
To learn more about One Million Women Walking and what walking can do for you, get my free report The Truth About Women Walking. Regardless of whether you become a walking woman or pursue another form of exercise, make sure your workout truly fits you and your life. Does your workout include the Eight Ways you learned about in this blog post or does it fall short and put you back in the cycle of feeling guilty and ashamed of yourself? Please don’t let that happen ever again! You deserve the happy, healthy, long life you’re dreaming of right now-- today!