Peter Benedict, St. Andrew’s College Grad: Top 5 Ways to Get Disciplined About Your Fitness Goals
Peter Benedict St. Andrew’s College graduate, believes that no one is a hopeless case. Having worked with numerous professional athletes who failed to meet standards, he has seen firsthand how sheer determination can begin the process of transformation. Read his tips below for getting disciplined about exercise:
As they say, showing up at the gym is half the battle. So how do you trick yourself into moving and to start working out when that bag of crispy potato chips wants to keep you company on the couch? There’s no one single approach to becoming more disciplined about exercising, but here are some of the best hacks you can try:
1. Create a calendar – What’s so special about marking dates on your planner? For one, you can have enough time to mentally, physically, and emotionally prepare yourself to get moving. There’s also something to be said about seeing an entire calendar with large X marks on it to remind you of how far you’ve already come—indeed, why stop now and snap that streak? Before you know it, the best reminder of your discipline and persistence is seeing the actual results on the weighing scale, for example.
2. Find an accountability partner – Sometimes, we just need a good nudge to spring onto action, and what better way to be prodded than to have an accountability partner who can also double as your own coach and personal cheerleader? However, one caveat to having an accountability partner is that you must find someone whom you respect and will hate to disappointed if you don’t walk your talk. Ideally, they may also be into fitness and exercising as well, so they’ll be equally serious in holding you accountable.
3. Set up a reward system – Think exercise is a chore? A reward system might help. Rewards and incentives are one of the oldest tricks in the book for building up a habit, but be sure not to choose a reward that will offset your gains. For instance, don’t be fooled into thinking that you can eat whatever you please just because you spent half an hour on the treadmill. If you’re going to have such a system, the rewards should also be proportionate to the effort you expend at the gym.
4. Find an activity you actually enjoy – Have you thought of getting into other forms of physical activity besides hitting the gym? As a professional trainer, I’ve met many people in my career who have thrived doing something that they actually enjoyed, whether it’s swimming, Capoeria, or MMA. By doing an activity you actually enjoy, you would have found yourself doing it for the sake of it, even inviting others to join you, instead of being dragged.
5. Make exercise unavoidable – Experts recommend getting half an hour to an hour’s exercise everyday but for busy people who seem to be always on the go, this is already a tall order. One way these people can have more time for exercise is to make it unavoidable. For instance, walking to work, or taking a longer route than usual will help.
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