In my last post, I wrote about the difficulties I’ve had while trying to eat healthy. The second part of that “mission” has been starting an exercise program.
I’m about a month in and things seem to be going well.
Naturally, however, I’ve hit some problems and anxieties along the way.
One of my fears is that I won’t stick with my new habit. There’s precedent for this fear. I’ve been known to start exercising around this time every year. I can go for a month or two of diligently working out five or six times a week, but I always eventually stop.
This isn’t uncommon. A lot of people have this problem. In a way, I suppose that’s comforting, but I desperately want this time to be different. At this point, I feel totally committed, but I’m not sure how I’ll feel in a month or two. With that in mind, I’ve been giving my past attempts a close look to try to figure out why I haven’t stuck with it.
I am naturally a very anxious person. When I start a workout regimen, I constantly worry about what I’m doing.
Am I exercising enough?
Am I working hard enough?
What is enough?
Will it work?
My mind is constantly inundating itself with new fears and anxieties. If I read an article that lists “10 Ways You’re Ruining Your Workout,” I become convinced I’m doing something wrong.
Being anxious isn’t fun.
Perhaps I stop exercising because I spend so much time obsessing over these things?
In retrospect, I suppose part of the reason I’ve quit in the past is because I got bored. Again, this is a common problem for people who start a workout regimen. There are several articles that say the key to keeping up the habit is variety. With that in mind, I’ve been trying to mix up the different workouts I do every week. I’ve been rotating a few workout videos throughout the week along with heading to the gym to use workout equipment. I haven’t gotten bored yet, but I also haven’t been doing it for very long.
Lastly, I’ve had to confront how easily I get discouraged.
Looking back, my previous attempts came to an end after I missed a day or two of working out. If one thing goes wrong—if I miss one day or two—I feel defeated and find it harder to keep going. This time, I’m trying to be kinder to myself. I’ve had days when I didn’t feel well enough to exercise, or days where I wanted to take a little breather. Instead of beating myself up, I’ve committed to getting back into the habit as soon as I can.
This has been really helpful. It’s helped me change how I see my new habit. Before, I saw my attempts as stretches of time that, no matter how much I was determined to keep going, had inevitable end dates. Now, I think of my regimen as a constant endeavor. Hiccups and missed workouts aren’t the end because there is always a new day coming.