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If I had a penny for every time Ive heard someone say, But I dont have the time!

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Author: Marjorie Geiser

 

Wellness Movements


9 Strategies for Combating Procrastination to Improve your Fitness and Look Great!
By Marjorie Geiser

If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard someone say, “But I don’t have the time!” I’d be a multi-millionaire! There are a lot of strategies for getting things done, and tons of strategies to ‘just do it’ when it comes to your health and fitness, but the big issue is many people just don’t ‘do it’. They procrastinate. Some people can’t even use the excuse that they don’t have time!


Here are some strategies to help you combat the procrastination that has prevented you from achieving your fitness goals.


1. Self-talk. If you have been struggling with how to change your fitness habits and just can’t get past the ‘doing it’ stage, first you have to look at what you are telling yourself. Are you saying you just can’t do it? Are you saying that no matter what you have tried, nothing works or nothing sticks? The first step is to change your opinion of what you are capable of! Start telling yourself that you’re already there! Write down on paper that you are already doing the activity and include how you feel about it. If necessary, write down this goal and put it on post-its around your house. An example would be, ‘I am walking 10 minutes every morning and feel incredible!’


2. Visualize yourself doing the activity you would like to do. First, do you know  what you would enjoy doing? Sometimes people think that ‘fitness’ means going to the gym or walking or lifting weights. Maybe you don’t like  any of that! What do you like? Maybe you really like to swim, or play tennis, or you would like to start hiking or take a Tai Chi class. Once you have the activity figured out, close your eyes and see yourself easily and happily doing it. Creating this picture in your mind will prepare you for making it a reality.


3.  Vividly imagine  the feeling you’ll have when you have done it. I love how accomplished I feel after a workout, especially when it’s a hard one! Sometimes, though, I have to follow my own advice beforehand and, literally, “Just do it”, because I can start to justify all the reasons not to. You know; no time.. So, imagine how you feel after taking that hike or swim, or whatever. What do you notice? Imagine what you feel in your body, about your sense of accomplishment. Creating the emotional feeling of actually doing something you’ve wanted to do will help spur you into taking action.


4. Talk to yourself  as if you were a friend. If you had a friend who really wanted to start exercising but kept putting it off, what would you tell him/her? This technique will help you step outside of yourself and view the situation objectively. Maybe something new will come up, too!


5. Prepare  for the activity. If you plan to start walking in the mornings, know where you’re going to walk, what to expect on your journey, and have your shoes/clothes out and ready to put on right away. If you are going to start playing tennis after work, be sure to bring your equipment and clothes with you to work. If it’s something you really want to make happen, you will do what is necessary to be prepared, even if that means putting a little reminder note next to your bed or on your bathroom mirror.


6. Tell others.  For some people, this can be a powerful motivator. Making yourself accountable to someone else can move you towards actually sticking with it. We tend to work harder for others than we do for ourselves.


7.  Find a fitness buddy . If you work best with someone, find a person who is as committed and determined as you are, who would like to do the same activity. This can be great for just about any activity, but of course something like tennis makes it essential. It is important that you find someone who will challenge you rather than help you slack off.


8. Negotiate a reward  for yourself after you have done the activity. If rewards motivate you, use this! It can be anything. Although it is said to not use food as a reward when trying to improve health habits, if taking yourself out to a nice, special lunch or dinner is what really gets you fired up, do it! Or maybe set a goal that after doing the activity for 3 months you will buy yourself a new pair of pants.


9. Pick up where you left off.  It’s not uncommon to slack off or quit an activity if something happens before it’s ingrained into your lifestyle. The best strategy when this happens, however, is to just pick up where you left off and not beat yourself up for the slack. We all drop off occasionally. What’s most important is picking it back up and realizing that this is for the rest of your life. All aspects of life include ups and downs. People often start an exercise routine and expect to see results quickly. However, there are a lot of internal systems adjusting long before we see anything outside. But if you stick with it, without realizing it, you will start to notice little changes. One day you’ll put on a pair of pants and see that they are a bit looser in the hips than they used to be. Or you may run to catch a bus and realize you didn’t feel like you would die once you sat down.


If you have been telling yourself that you will start or resume a regular exercise routine pretty soon, and just haven’t done it, you have to realize that it does not get easier as you get older! Putting it off for later can also mean you will have more health and weight issues to struggle with. Adding regular physical activity to your life will not only help you look better but also help you feel better, sleep better and just be more energized! So, as you do age (and there’s no avoiding it), because you are active and healthy you will look great!

Marjorie Geiser is a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and life coach. Marjorie has been the owner of a successful small business, MEG Fitness, since 1996, and now helps other health professionals start up their own private practice. To learn more about the services Margie offers, go to her website at http://www.marjoriegeiser.com or email her at  [mailto:margie(at)megfit.com]

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