Mind Diary


January 24, 2015

Recently, I came across an alarming statistic on the number of people who give up on their fitness resolution.  It is estimated that new exercise “intenders” will abandon their workout routines within two weeks of their New Year’s resolutions. There are potentially several reasons for this but I may have a theory on this.

We all agree that the transition from being sedentary to exercising is a tough one.  It is also a known fact that the first 10 minutes of the exercise routine are the most challenging (for many of us).  Your body experiences early fatigue and it is a struggle to reach a sense of steady-state rhythm, to find your groove.  It is probably one of the primary drivers for people to become disillusioned and not look forward to exercising. 

How does one get over these first tough 10-minutes and not give up?  What tips and tricks can help you push through the tough part? Here are three simple things I do to keep myself focused and motivated.  You may have to figure out what floats your boat but this might help you generate some ideas for yourself.

Utilize accelerators, not inhibitors

An accelerator provides you the momentum, energy and drive you need to get past those first 10 minutes – leverage your accelerator to move forward.  For me, music is a great accelerator.  It blocks out the negative thoughts and keeps my mind from focusing on the feeling of discomfort and fatigue.   Choosing to listen to my favorite music propels me into motion and helps keep me there.

Set an output-driven goal, not one based on perceived limits

I need something to measure against… something that lets me know that I am making progress and working well toward overcoming those crucial moments.  Over the course of time, I have figured out the number of steps that will get me past the hard part.  With that in mind, I push myself to get there. Instead of letting my body tell me that I am tired, I let proven data lead the way.

Focus on the gain, not the pain

Most importantly, I constantly remind myself about the purpose of this activity. MY short-term and long-term gains are my biggest motivators.

Anyway, this is what is working for me about 4 weeks into my current exercise program, and I am still going strong (full disclosure, I didn’t wait for the official New Year to begin to start my exercise program).  It will be interesting to see how my program will evolve as I become a more proficient exerciser.