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  • rebeccachidley

How to get started (again)...

For many people exercise habits come in peaks and troughs. We commit and find a good routine for a length of time (until we reach the peak). Then we experience a setback or a change of routine that means we lose the consistency or maybe stop all together (the trough). Although the temptation is to view all of our exercise habits as straightforward journeys of progression this is rarely the case.

Where you finished in comparison to where you are (re)starting - acceptance...

Take a look at the image above. Where did you finish the last time this habit was a part of your routine? The chances are many of us were at a peak. For example:

  • Completing the half marathon you had been training for and then losing motivation.

  • Going to the gym 3 days a week before changing jobs.

  • Playing a sport before your child's hobbies became the priority in your schedule.

Take a look at the image again. Now think about where you need to restart - the chances are you need to accept that you are in the trough and explore ways to rebuild the habit (i.e. start from scratch). For example:

  • Get back to shorter runs or even all the way back to walk / run combos or the couch to 5k rather than expecting to jump straight back in to the longer runs you were doing for your half marathon training.

  • Find 1 day a week that you can commit to going to the gym, stick to it and build from there, don't expect to immediately commit to the 3 days that you were doing before.

  • Do you need to find another activity, day of the week or even club to help you build your love of sport around your child's hobbies and commitments?

Be aware of burnout and habits not being sustainable...

One of the reasons we find ourselves experiencing big peaks and troughs in our exercise habits is because we do too much too soon or increase our commitments to a level that is not sustainable, some of us we even experience burnout as we have taken on too much and are mentally and physically exhausted.

When building your exercise habits focus on:

  • Consistency - what can you commit too week in week out? - there is nothing stopping you from increasing slightly on weeks that you can or decreasing when you need to but just be mindful of the impacts of both on you consistency.

  • Enjoyment - there has to be an element of fun or a clear benefit that motivates you to keep it up (e.g. connecting with other people, getting outside, headspace away from work)

  • Long term - we often look for quick fixes or quick wins. Focus on the long game to make sure your exercise habits are sustainable!

Remember if you get the balance of these 3 things right then you will be able to stay disciplined and motivated for longer periods of time.

This is likely to reduce the number of times that you have to start again!!


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