Overcoming Obstacles to Exercise

February 20, 2013

Air Cav infantry Soldiers compete in company challenge

We’ve almost completed two months of this new year! If you’re not on track with your exercise goals, here are some tips that you might consider.

If you aren’t reaching your goals, it could be because the goals are set too high, you can’t physically meet them, you aren’t emotionally prepared, you aren’t prioritizing your time, or you simply don’t want to succeed. There might also be other reasons or excuses. First determine which category you fall under. Really examine your motivations. Try to be as honest with yourself as you can. You might also want to solicit input from others. How do they see you in relation to your goals?

What to do if you have set your goals too high?

  • This is a common problem. At the beginning of the year, enthusiasm and hope tend to be high. We might overestimate our motivation for change.
  • Parceling goals into smaller sub-goals such as amount of time spent in exercise per day helps improve the odds of success. Try starting with only a few minutes, maybe only 5 minutes in the beginning, especially if you are physically de-conditioned or have physical challenges such as arthritis.
  • Stick with the same sub-goal until you have measured success before progressing on to more challenge. Success breeds success, so if you can feel some measure of success, this motivates you to continue.

What to do if you are physically unable to meet your exercise goals?

  • Determine what your physical challenges are and find ways around them.
  • Swimming, biking, and walking are easier on the joints than jogging.
  • If you have muscle weakness, you might try strengthening exercises. Even though these are not aerobic, the increase in muscle mass gained will help you burn more calories and lose weight. You will also feel more toned.
  • Warm up and cool down are always important to avoid injuries.
  • For more specific physical limitations, consult you healthcare provider to be sure that the exercise you want to attempt is safe.

What if you are emotionally unprepared?

  • There are a variety of reasons that this might be the case: anxiety, depression, stress, etc. Get medical treatment, if these emotions are robbing you of your ability to function in your daily activities.
  • Be aware that exercise helps improve your emotions so having that resolve to “just do it” is needed. For this, you might want to get an exercise partner that can help you stay motivated and encouraged.

What if you aren’t prioritizing your time?

  • There are many reasons for this, the most common is over-scheduling your day or over-committing yourself. It’s okay to say “no” when it is detrimental to your health!
  • For some it is easier to schedule the most important things earlier in the day to be sure that those get completed and scheduling the less important things later in the day when energy levels tend to be lower. Find what works for you and implement that in your scheduling.
  • There are many good books available that deal with time management. Coaching is also helpful.

What if you simply don’t want to succeed?

  • Knowing yourself is key here!
  • A common reason for self-sabotage is fear of success. Is this your reason? What are you afraid of? Dig deep and be honest with yourself. You might also want to solicit the help of someone that you trust and that you feel knows you well. Or maybe an impartial person who can help you to sort through your various reasons for lack of success.
  • Sometimes working with another person who is not succeeding is good because you can see the negative things in the other person that you tend to avoid seeing in yourself. As you reflect on these and are helping the other person overcome their challenges, you can begin to see how those challenges are also holding you back.

These are just a few suggestions. I’m sure you can think of more! Feel free to post your ideas below or to contact me with your questions.

You CAN succeed!

The Ladder of Success

June 13, 2012

What are the steps on the Ladder of Success? I will point out a few. I’m sure you can come up with more!

I believe the first step on the Ladder of Success is vision. You need to have a vision of what success means to you. How will success look, feel, taste, sound, and smell? Engage all your senses. How will success affect your life – spiritual, emotional, physical, financial, intellectual, relational, etc? You need to get a very detailed vision of this success so that you will know when you have arrived. The more detail you can include, the more you can determine the steps that are needed to get there. Some of these steps might be finances, network of influence, talents, etc. Are you starting to get the picture?

Once you have set your vision, the next step is to determine your assets. What are your talents, your financial investment, network of influence, motivations, etc. All of these assets are various steps on your ladder. You might need to climb them sequentially or you may need to go up and down the ladder a few steps at a time until you achieve a level of success that can get you up the next step of the ladder.

You also need to determine your liabilities. What things are you lacking that can cause you to have to lower a step on the ladder or keep you from advancing a step? Some of the steps on the ladder that are assets at one point in your life can be a liability at another point in your life depending on the circumstances. That’s why most people go up and down on the ladder many times before reaching the top. This is not a sign of failure or weakness. It is normal! Very few people are sufficiently gifted or have the assets to make a straight shot to the top! The main reason for knowing your liabilities is so that you can negotiate them and learn from them so that you can overcome them or turn them into assets.

How do you turn a liability into an asset? This commonly requires thinking outside the box, persistence, perseverance, confidence, faith, and stepping outside of your comfort zone. These are all traits that we have at some point in our lives. Learn to read the sign posts along the way on that ladder. Get help from a friend, family member, co-worker,  boss, mentor, or coach to help you see any roadblocks or deficiencies that are holding  you back from going that next step.

Feel free to share your success steps and how you overcame obstacles!

If you have suggestions for future blog posts, feel free to share those here or send me a message.

Until next time, to your success!

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