4 Steps to Get Back Into a Workout Habit

 Photo by Sojourner Society / Bethany Michaela Jones.

Photo by Sojourner Society / Bethany Michaela Jones.

Well, it's 6:30am and I'm typing to you from a black (faux) leather chair in LaGuardia Airport. After an insane travel day yesterday that included a "2 hour" journey that turned into 4, then the worst traffic that my cab driver had ever seen since he started the job in 1998... I missed the flight I was supposed to take to Vancouver to spend a long weekend with my grandma.

So here I am, Round 2, getting ready to get going!

I don’t know about you, but between work, friends, family, and for me lots of travel, it seems like 2016 has been seriously busy... and has flown so far. 

That said, let’s jump right into today’s topic, one that's been coming up a lot lately and is one I know we’ve all struggled with: how to get back in the gym or doing physical activity when you’ve stopped for a period of time, whether that’s weeks, months, or even longer.

Knowing you should be doing something – whether it’s working out or any other behavior – but feeling uninspired to is super frustrating. Irritating, even.

It sends you into rumination mode. It burns energy.

And ultimately, it means that you don’t reap the joys of moving, letting go, and having the pleasure of being in your miraculous body.

Luckily, re-building (or building!) your workout habit requires what accomplishing anything else in life does: transforming your mindset.

Thought patterns and habits are malleable, which is proven by the fact that (as an exaggerated example) some of the world’s most “successful” and influential people – think Oprah, Tony Robbins – faced tremendous hardship early on, coming from “nothing,” and harnessed the power of their minds to embody their visions and create massive impact.

Translation? It’s totally possible for you, along with anyone else who wants and resolves to, to work with yourself, mold your mind, and will your way to a consistent workout routine that you love and sustain the majority of the time. :)

So, here are those 4 steps for shifting your mindset and getting back into a workout habit!

  1. Accept that you’re in the rut. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but acceptance is always the first step in change. You need to make peace with the present in order to move on from it because otherwise any actions you take towards change will still be loaded with those old beliefs... and nothing can transform. How to accept? Journal, journal, journal. Unload about what's bothering you, what makes you feel bad about yourself, getting as honest as possible. Honesty breeds release and gets at the core of what’s real – always love, never fear and defect – allowing you to eventually see yourself in a new light. And once you can see a new way, you realize that you aren’t a bad person for finding yourself in this rut. Then…
  2. Make the clear, marked decision to move your body consistently. Grab that journal (buy one if you need to!) and write out a clear sentence declaring your intention to start moving regularly again. Brain to words, pen to paper makes it real. This step is important because otherwise, the reinstated habit just remains a thought rather than a goal with inertia.
  3. Fall in love with the work that it takes to get fit. Nothing comes for free, and the more we wish for that, the greater the distance we create between our goal and where we are. Giving yourself up to that higher intention and doing the work that it takes to get there can feel like an honor if we allow ourselves to be humbled and transformed by it.
  4. Find a way you love to move, do that 3-4x/week for a month, then build from there. Maybe it’s dance, yoga, tennis… for several of my clients recently, it’s been rock climbing. The point is to get moving in a way you’re pulled to so you reconnect with how satisfying it feels to move. Once you create that structure for yourself, you can start to add in other movement modalities that you know would benefit you.

And at the end of the day? Not every workout day will be exciting, and that’s okay.

Some days, you WILL need to drag yourself to work out and move your body even when you don’t feel like it. (Usually, those are the days when you get into the swing of things and are SO glad you showed up.)

And that’s part of living this lifestyle – deciding to do what’s best for you long term even when it’s not your first choice in the moment, unsexy as it may be.

The rewards of cultivating that outlook are immense, and spill over to every area of your life.

If you have any thoughts or a-ha's that you want to share after reading this post, leave 'em in the comments. I'd love to hear what you think!

Til next time...

Love and light,
Valerie