If you’re considering a fitness reboot, I have good news and bad news.
We’ll begin with the bad news. Starting a new fitness journey is hard. Restarting a fitness journey is even harder. You go into it knowing the challenges ahead, aware that progress is really slow, and with a nagging feeling that you’ve already failed at this.
But, all of that can actually help you restart in a way that gives you a much better chance of success. That’s the good news!
The tendency when considering a fitness reboot is to think you need to double down on your commitment so you can grind it out when it gets hard. Or worse, you try stoking up the excitement so you feel motivated.
Neither approach works. You can’t grind your way through fitness for long…and those emotions won’t last long either.
The better approach is to acknowledge that hard days are ahead and progress will be elusive and use that to try something different.
BUILD A FIRE
Have you ever walked into a room that has a fireplace with a roaring fire already going. Every now and then, someone will add a big log, adjust the embers, and then step away. It all seems so effortless.
Our previous home had two fireplaces. I got pretty good at building a fire that would last for hours. The key was starting small. Those big logs weren’t even in the fireplace when the first match was lit. I needed something very small to get the fire going and then carefully added slightly larger pieces until it was strong enough to throw on those big chunks of wood.
Fitness is much the same way. You can’t begin by trying to light the big logs. It won’t work…no matter how much you double down on your commitment or approach the task with lots of excitement.
The key is starting small and staying with it until it catches. In other words…you begin fitness with a very small commitment and stay with it until it becomes a habit. As your fitness capacity grows you gradually increase what you’re doing. Eventually your fitness fire is burning strong!
A DIFFERENT APPROACH
If you’re thinking about a fitness restart, aim small…like a daily ten-minute walk. Do this every day for 90 days. That’s long enough for most people to create a fitness habit. After 90 days, consider extending your daily walk to something longer.
Starting small allows you to build your fitness capacity gradually and on those days you “don’t feel like it” that ten-minute walk will feel much more doable. Remember, you’ve tried this before. You already know how challenging those “I don’t feel like it” days can be.
ARE YOU READY?
To help you get started and keep going, check out the podcast, Walking is Fitness. There’s a new ten-minute episode every day that’s recorded while I’m walking. This podcast can give you a little boost of motivation on those days when you don’t feel like it as you’re creating a new fitness habit.
You can FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE where you get your favorite podcasts so each new episode is waiting for you when you’re ready for your daily fitness walk.
(You can check out recent episodes HERE)
Fitness is hard. Restarting fitness is even harder, but since you know what’s ahead let’s use that to help you enjoy fitness success!
Happy holidays to you! I sure enjoy the podcast and tend to “save” multiple episodes for my walks. I started out at 20 minutes (small log) and over the past summer and have worked up to 70 or 80 minutes (for me, a big log). During my walks I discovered a great tennis instructor and added twice weekly tennis lessons to my fitness program. I’ve utilized the neighborhood Little Free Library, heard coyotes howling at dawn, watched birds and hawks and hummingbirds, seen gorgeous sunrises, hot air balloons and watched new homes being built. I’ve managed to do sketches and watercolors of the other walkers I encounter after I get home. Thanks for putting so much effort into the podcast and exploring so many aspects of walking for enjoyment and fitness.
I listened to your podcasts before and enjoyed them so much. For a time I couldn’t find them anymore. So I am so happy to be able to begin again walking with you. You are such an inspiration. Thank you so much.