With the new year freshly upon us, it’s now more than ever that we find ourselves inspired to hit the gym to make exercising a part of our regular schedule. I see the proof of this every morning, where the average number of users I share my local gym with have multiplied since the start of 2015. If history holds true once again, this number will steadily decrease from this point forward -aside from a minor random peak shortly before what many refer to as “beach season.”
What is it that makes working out consistently such a struggle for so many of us? The busyness of life can certainly be recognized as a leading factor, but there are so many other things that we easily make time for.
Through both my own experience and by talking to others, I believe that it’s our choice of motivation that plays one of the biggest roles in determining whether or not we reach consistency.
The End Goal Vs. The Process
We all have that end goal in mind. If we are looking to lose weight, we determine that magic number. If we are looking to pack on muscle, we idolize a particular body type. At first, these goals can be incredibly motivating because they give us something to strive for, but the challenge seems to arise once the initial excitement has worn off.
What once motivated us to keep pushing forward seems to transition into the basis of comparison that makes us feel hopeless in ever attaining our desired results. Setting goals is easy, but recognizing the process involved in attaining them is a whole other story.
Rather than setting an end goal and regularly comparing yourself to it, set an end goal but then focus on the process of getting there. See each individual workout as just that, an individual workout. Give all of yourself to that session and find the fun in challenging yourself to do as much as you can in that moment.
Why We Fail So Often At Making Lifestyle Changes
Through our YouTube channel Joe and I from the CE team recently premiered a new series entitled ‘These Guys.’ Each episode of the series features a very candid conversation about a common question, issue or hot topic.
Episode two of the series compliments the content of this article well as it takes a look at why so many of us struggle to make lasting lifestyle changes. Check it out:
Listen To Your Body
We are all born unique, yet we all seem to want to become Channing Tatum or Kate Upton -or whoever else so many of us seem to physically idolize these days. As admirable as the bodies of certain public figures may be, one thing is for sure: we are not them. And they’ve all gone through their own unique process (whether natural or not) to get themselves to where they are now.
Embrace your uniqueness. I’ve found that the best way to work with my body has to been actually pay attention to and listen to my body. Our bodies are a lot more communicative in voicing what does and does not work best for them than many of us give them credit for. By paying attention to my body’s response both during and after workouts, I’ve been able to quite successfully identify both which exercises work best for me, as well as when my body is capable of taking them to the next level.
It’s also important to realize that listening to your body is an ongoing process. What works well for you one month, may no longer work or be challenging enough a month later. I like to look at my body as something that I have a relationship with. If I want to keep that relationship strong, I need to continually give time and attention to it.
It may be within the confines of our local gym that we burn calories or work our muscles, but the weight loss or muscle building process go well beyond those walls. Just as we should listen to our bodies in regards to what workout methods work best for us, we should also listen to our bodies in regards to what dietary choices best suit what we are looking to do.
Both myself and several other members of the CE team have seen drastically better results from our workout sessions by matching them with appropriate dietary choices. Consult whomever you trust to help you make appropriate dietary changes, then listen to your body to see whether it needs some modification.