Success is defined as achieving a desired aim or purpose, what you succeed at is directly related to what you focus on. Your personal measurement of success may come from your business, your family, your friendships, or any other accomplishment that’s important to you. One of the most elusive goals can be physical fitness or success with exercise.
Over the past 25 years and hundreds of clients, we find some common elements with those that get the results they want. Here are the top five ways we’ve observed to increase your success with exercise.
1. Schedule the time. We’ve found that many of our clients schedule the time they’re going to exercise. If you put something in your calendar, you are likely to stick to it. It sounds so simple but an appointment with yourself is a decision to make yourself a priority.
2. Buddy system. A great way to gain commitment is to find a buddy, ideally someone who’s close to your age, weight, height and size. If you find someone who’s too advanced then you run the risk of getting frustrated and quitting. If you find someone below your current level, you may get bored. Having a buddy helps you keep going on the days you might not want to exercise. Having a buddy who’s similar to you can help you push each other forward without doing something too crazy.
3. Make it fun. Exercise does not have to be at the gym, running solo or attending a group class. Find an activity you love to do and go enjoy yourself. It may be golf, dance, swimming, biking, hiking or some other personal interest. What we see is easy, if you’re having fun then you’ll want to do more. Keeping active is critical to success with exercise.
4. Start at the right level. If exercise is too hard then you’ll find a way to avoid it or stop it all together. If a program is too easy, you’ll get little results and lose your motivation. Exercise at a safe and effective level increases your odds of keeping at it, seeing results, and sticking with it for the long term. Start with what feels comfortable today and raise the bar slowly over time.
5. Track your exercise. Using an Activity Tracker has become so easy and effective we ask most of our clients to purchase one. Several of our clients well into their 80’ and 90’s use them and enjoy the concrete measurement of their efforts. Trackers can be a wonderful source of external motivation to do a little more each day.
Success with exercise gives you a multitude of benefits. Exercise helps you sleep well, reduces stress, gives you energy and reinforces self-management skills. Our clients that see the most success with exercise embrace the little things to make exercise a long term habit they enjoy.