I would like to share with you five simple steps to get yourself out of a psychological rut when you’re feeling defeated, tired or simply overwhelmed with fitness progress. We all struggle to get back on a fitness program when fall off even if for a couple days. One thing I can say with certainty is that I have observed throughout nearly 20 years working as a fitness professional: Overcoming these feelings does not require a high-level or complex psychological pattern solution.
…one thing you control is how you react to your situation.
With modern fitness programming, it comes down to simplicity of execution. The more direct and clearly defined a process is for people with a busy schedule, the easier it is to adopt them into a daily function. I like to avoid over-complicating processes because they become prohibitive. Meaning that people will be less likely to sustain best practices that can improve or enhance their fitness levels if we remove practical application. Here are super simple steps to walk yourself through when you feel defeated, tired or tempted:
- STOP AND ACKNOWLEDGE: The first step is an objective and thoughtful reflection of the events surrounding your feelings of defeat, frustration or lack of motivation. Stop and acknowledge how you are feeling so you can be objective about what’s happening in your life and the conditions that may influence your feelings. By pausing for a moment and summing up your situation, you will be mindful and gain a better perspective for decision making. I also recommend you identify any obstacles that may hinder you and come up with sustainable strategies for overcoming situations or life events that can interfere with your personal fitness and well-being.
- SET MICRO GOALS: Make a quick and attainable goal for the moment or that same day and then go accomplish it. Something simple like a plank for 60 seconds or 10 push-ups, these are good micro goals because they take less than 1 minute and the act of doing a quick exercise changes your state. Not to mention you can find 60 seconds somewhere in your schedule to create a small success. It’s also important to remember that in fitness, success is cumulative. This means that even what would be defined as a moderate or small success absolutely compounds and adds to your collective accomplishment.
- ENJOY THE JOURNEY: Remind yourself that this is really a journey and not all paths are smooth and easy going. It’s ok to have bumps along the way because that makes each milestone a super success and gives it meaning. For example, don’t focus on the 50, 60, 70 or even 80 lbs you want to shed but focus on the 2, 5 or 8 pounds. Take it one step at a time and suddenly, the rough patches of the journey are not so hard because they are what make it worth it in the end. That’s why is “accomplishment” when you get to the top. Keep in mind, mountains are climbed one step at a time.
- RECOUNT YOUR SUCCESS: If you know that a workout will be missed and it’s unavoidable, be careful not to get frustrated or down on yourself. Instead, resolve to make up that workout as soon as you can. Keep a positive mindset by reminding your psyche of the big picture and reflect on how great you have been doing. Recount how much stronger you are in a plank or how the once heavy weight not as challenging because you are getting stronger.
- CONTROL YOUR REACTIONS: Remember that one thing you control is how you react to your situation. It is hard and takes practice to master your responses or feelings but project to the next day. In the morning, will you feel better or worse if you make the wrong food choice or decide to skip a workout? I will tell you that for most people, it’s not the act of having a soda or skipping workouts that start the cycle of failure…it’s the next day when the regret kicks in or they feel like all the previous work was for nothing. Some people even say at this point, it’s just too hard to change so they miserably stay in their comfort zone. But it’s a trap, not a comfort zone. So fight it and get free! Start the next day with even more determination and it will pay off.
In conclusion, fitness activities and nutrition management are not easy in our modern world of technology and a nearly endless supply of food. We have to be even more vigilant than ever before and involve the power of our minds to the endeavor of wellness. For more information or help, please visit us at CACFit and we would be happy to help you on your fitness journey!