I had a realization recently about certain days where I am really on top of the ball at work, at home, in life and other days where I’m teetering on that ball. For me, it comes down to figuring out what part of my rhythm I’ve been missing out on and one of the easiest things for me to bypass is fitness. When I let it go by the wayside, my wife is quick to point it out (lovingly) and help get me back on track.
Fitness comes in a LOT of shapes and sizes (so do the people!) and I can say with relative confidence that there is no one right way to stay fit. It really depends on your goals, your likes/dislikes and the people you surround yourself with.
Achievement is Intentional
What I’ve found is that setting goals can be the reason that some folks get out of the fitness world. Goals are encouraging and highly addicting when they are met but extremely frustrating and discouraging when they aren’t met. This applies to every area of life where you’re setting goals. So if goals are highly addictive when met, what did I start to do? Make VERY achievable goals! I’m not talking about easy goals, I’m talking about very achievable goals. Goals where an outcome is reasonably possible, but still takes work. When you put in the good, honest hard work and achieve the desired outcome, you feel great and it allows you to build the confidence to take on the next goal. If you build in this way, you can find fitness success and continuity. You might even come to love it!
Lean Into Your Preferences
Find what is enjoyable for you. If you don’t like something, don’t force it. Come in with an open mind and give it a fair shot. If you love it, great! If not, keep experimenting. That said, don’t keep shopping around. Do some research, find something that sounds like you might enjoy and go from there. Once you’ve found something that you like (you don’t have to love it), you can start setting those achievable goals. As you start to hit those, you’ll find that the more competent you get, the more confident you get. Lather, rinse, repeat!
Community Matters Most
This is the big one. It can trump the ones above it because if you surround yourself with people that truly accept you, challenge you and hold you accountable, guess what: they’re going to help you set goals, they’re going to overpower likes/dislikes and be right there beside you in the trenches when you’re going through something you don’t like. This to me is why group-based fitness is awesome. The community mentality, regardless of what type of exercise you are doing, is what holds everything together.
It’s never too late to get back on track. Or to get on the track in the first place. Regular physical activity is a huge part in keeping me sane and I’ll bet that it will do the same for you. So go set some goals, find what you like but most importantly, surround yourself with good, caring people. They make all the difference.