The majority of us want to be healthy. It’s not that we don’t know how, or what to do, it’s that adding something new or different to our routine takes work. If we aren’t in the correct mindset then we don’t put forth the effort necessary to make that healthy change. One of the first things we learn as trainers and coaches is how to assess a client’s “readiness to change”. You’re readiness is measured in 5 different stages and allows us to predetermine the likelihood you are committed to making the change. Once we figure out your starting stage, we are able to formulate a plan to help you on your path to success. The five stages of readiness are as follows:
Pre-contemplation: The person has no intention to change or take action within the near future. In this stage, people are usually uninformed about the consequences of their behavior or they may have failed at previous attempts to change. They may avoid seeking information that would help them change their behavior.
Contemplation: The person intends to change within the next 6 months. He/she is aware of both the positive effects and the negative effects of change. This can cause uncertainty as to which approach to follow and result in procrastination and the inability to make a move to change. This person is not ready for an action program.
Preparation: The person plans to take action within the next month. He/she has usually prepared and has a plan of action.
Action: The person has made significant modifications in his/her behavior and way of life.
Maintenance: The person is not working as hard as the person in the Action mode, but is working to prevent a relapse. The person is confident of continuing to change.
Where do you fall? Anyone that seeks out help from a personal trainer or nutritionist is at least in the preparation stage. If you fall into the contemplation stage, you can start your fitness journey but seeking out advice from a personal trainer or nutritionist who will be able to create an attainable roadmap to start you on your journey to fitness. From there you can move into preparation stage and with the help of your coach, set a date to move into action. Our job as personal trainers and coaches is to guide you from your current starting point to action and ultimately maintenance stages. So how can we do that?
We take your large goals and break them down to smaller stepping stone goals leading you to your ultimate goal.
We help you look at your overall schedule and figure out where you can squeeze a workout in.
We help you lay out your workouts for the week or month and plan around any upcoming challenges.
We teach and prepare you for unexpected challenges.
We can help teach you to fight back against your excuses.
We can be the person who holds you accountable for completing your workouts.
We push you out of your comfort zone to prove to you that you CAN do more.
We can only guide you however. We can’t force you to make the change. The desire has to come from you. In order to fit fitness in to your life, three things need to happen:
Priority: We can’t be with you 24/7 and force you to complete your workouts. The ultimate motivation and drive has to come from YOU. We can give you all the tools and tricks in our arsenal, but if you don’t make your health a priority in your life, it will easily be tossed aside to something else you’d rather do. Find out what drives you and use that to motivate yourself.
Routine: Create your new routine. Without creating a new routine, working out will never become a habit and be harder to schedule into your day. (See Setting Routines Blog post)
Schedule: Add your workout to your personal calendar or daily to do list like you would any other appointment or meeting. You’ll be less likely to book over the time slot if it’s already filled.
Set yourself up for Success
Pick an activity you’ll enjoy
Make it a game: There’s a bunch of fun apps out there that can take your mind off the fact that you’re working out. One example: An app called “Zombies, Run!” Simulates zombies chasing you. You’ll hear their footsteps and breathing speed and slow in interval patterns that trigger you to run faster or slower so the zombies don’t catch you.
Try classes: They are actual scheduled events and provide motivation from teachers and others around you.
Work out with a friend. (just make sure you actually workout and don’t waste too much time chatting)
Make it a competition.
Programs like MyFitnessPal allow you to compete with your friends for the number of steps you do in a day.
Set a goal to run a 5k, do x amount of push-ups, etc.
Join a team sport
You’ll meet new friends and have a commitment you can’t miss out on.
Go for family bike rides, walks, hikes, play a game of tag, etc.
Your pets need exercise too! Take them along on your cardio workouts
Time doesn’t have to be an enemy
Short workouts can be just as effective. Almost everyone can squeeze in 20 minutes somewhere in the day!
Several 10-15min workouts throughout the day can sometimes be more beneficial than one longer one.
Start small and add more as you go
New to working out? Start with committing yourself to just 3 days a week. Add a 4th day as a bonus day.
Add fitness to the most convenient part of your day.
Look at your schedule.
Figure out what time of day will work best.
Schedule each workout like you would any other appointment
Create a weekly or monthly fitness plan and add it to your calendar. That way, if something does come up, you’ll have a visual of the rest of the week to see how you can accommodate changes to your schedule.
See if your employer will allow for some flexibility in your work hours.
Maybe your employer will let you take a longer lunch in exchange for coming in earlier and/or staying later. Or they’ll let you come in late or leave early in exchange for staying late or coming in earlier.
Get rid of the excuses:
If you’re not 100% committed to adding fitness to your life, you’ll always be able to find an excuse to skip your workout. Stay positive and focus on the things you CAN do, no matter how small, to begin to make the change. Be patient with yourself. Change doesn’t happen overnight, adding something new takes time and commitment. Consult with your IronPlate Trainer either online or in person to help get you set up on the right track.