Suc­cess tips to cre­ate the ex­er­cise habit

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Kat Mil­lar

Ex­er­cise! What are your feel­ings when you think about that word? Ex­er­cise is some­thing that evokes a mix of emo­tions in peo­ple. Some peo­ple think of the buzz, the en­dor­phins and the feel­ing of ac­com­plish­ment that comes from it. Oth­ers think of ex­er­cise and pic­ture a sweaty, painful mess where they would rather be do­ing any­thing but that. Is this you?



Whether you love or hate it, I think we can agree that we all need to ex­er­cise. Here are three tips that will help you to cre­ate a more pos­i­tive as­so­ci­a­tion with ex­er­cise.

Re­place dis­em­pow­er­ing lan­guage with em­pow­er­ing lan­guage.

Since our feel­ings are driven by our thoughts, what we think about ex­er­cise and what we tell our­selves is vi­tal in cre­at­ing pos­i­tive feel­ings. Our thoughts cre­ate lan­guage in­side our mind and our lan­guage (in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal) is so pow­er­ful when it comes to our emo­tions. Us­ing the right lan­guage helps in­crease our mo­ti­va­tion to cre­ate new habits.

Chang­ing your lan­guage is like any skill – it can be learned. We can change our thought habits around our as­so­ci­a­tion with ex­er­cise. Best of all, it doesn’t take a lot of time or ef­fort.

By adopt­ing the fol­low­ing sim­ple changes to your lan­guage, this can cre­ate more pos­i­tive feel­ings about ex­er­cise.

The fol­low­ing three words are typ­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with a feel­ing of obli­ga­tion, pres­sure and de­mand. They are: HAVE, NEED and SHOULD. In other words, ex­ter­nal mo­ti­va­tion which can be very dis­em­pow­er­ing. Com­pare this to in­ter­nal mo­ti­va­tion where ex­er­cise can help you ful­fill other val­ues and goals – such as look­ing great, hav­ing more en­ergy and be­ing more con­fi­dent.

To in­crease your de­sire to ex­er­cise, re­place the words HAVE, NEED and SHOULD with CHOOSE, WANT and GET. Th­ese three words are typ­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with choice, free­dom, pas­sion and gratitude. This can give you a bet­ter feel­ing of con­trol and em­pow­er­ment. Here’s an ex­am­ple:

‘I have to ex­er­cise more’. Well, you don’t have to; you choose to. No one can make you. Re­place this with, ‘I want to/choose to/get to ex­er­cise more’.

An­other ex­am­ple is, ‘I should do some car­dio’. Re­place this with ‘I want to ex­er­cise more’, even if part of you feels like you don’t! You’ll prob­a­bly feel more em­pow­ered and ex­cited about it.

Keep say­ing the em­pow­er­ing state­ments to your­self to cre­ate the de­sire. Like so­cial psy­chol­o­gist Amy Cuddy says, ‘Fake it un­til you be­come it’.

1. Speak pos­i­tive state­ments.

As well as those three words, it helps to speak pos­i­tive state­ments – whether out loud or to your­self. Here are some ex­am­ples:

• I am ex­cited about who I’m be­com­ing

• I feel amaz­ing when I honour my com­mit­ments to my­self

• My body is get­ting stronger and health­ier ev­ery­day

Pick one or more of th­ese state­ments that res­onate with you, or cre­ate your own. The main thing is that you find them ex­cit­ing and be­liev­able.

2. En­sure your senses are aligned to en­joy ex­er­cise.

An­other pow­er­ful way to cre­ate a pos­i­tive as­so­ci­a­tion with ex­er­cise, is to align your senses to look for­ward to the rit­ual of ex­er­cise, rather than dread it. To do this, think of how we can bet­ter please each of our senses.

• Sight. What we look at when we ex­er­cise is im­por­tant in main­tain­ing our en­joy­ment. Com­pare star­ing at a wall for 45 min­utes while sweat­ing away on a car­dio ma­chine, to run­ning in na­ture. Com­pare work­ing out in a dingy garage to a bright room with large win­dows.

• Touch. Think about the feel that you like on your skin: a hot room, air con­di­tion­ing, the sun, a cool breeze? What’s your pref­er­ence? I know we need to com­mit to mov­ing de­spite our en­vi­ron­ment, but why not make it as pleas­ant for our­selves as pos­si­ble?

• Sound. Do you love work­ing out to hard­core or mel­low mood mu­sic? Do you like be­ing around the grunts of other peo­ple or do you pre­fer si­lence? How about lis­ten­ing to YouTube clips with pos­i­tive en­cour­age­ment? What we lis­ten to can make or break our fun-fac­tor.

• Smell. Maybe you could treat your­self to a spray of your favourite per­fume ev­ery time you’re about to ex­er­cise. You could use a cer­tain scent only when you’re about to train, so that merely the smell of it makes you want to get your body mov­ing.

• Taste. How about hav­ing your favourite healthy smoothie after your work­out ev­ery time, for some­thing to look for­ward to? I hope that I have given you some fun ideas to cre­ate more pos­i­tive as­so­ci­a­tions with ex­er­cise. Pick any that res­onate with you and ap­ply them to­day.

Kat Mil­lar owns Get Re­sults Train­ing, ded­i­cated to help­ing peo­ple trans­form their health, mind & body. She’s a coach, speaker, award-win­ning fig­ure com­peti­tor, fit­ness lec­turer & NLP prac­ti­tioner. Her pas­sion helps peo­ple achieve life-chang­ing re­sults & ful­fill­ment, with a range of pro­grams for holis­tic health & body trans­for­ma­tion. Con­tact via Kat’s web­site or Face­book.

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