Reader Question: How do I get my head motivated?!!?

Dear Paige –   I’ve been reading your articles for years and using your workouts and advice….here’s my question….I pretty much know HOW to exercise….BUT how do you get your head motivated??!  I’ve worked out all my life in some form or fashion, even taught aerobics back in the day, but in the last 3 years, I can’t get it in gear.  I read articles, buy tapes/DVD, have the clothes, think I’m going to do it and I don’t.  My health is beginning to suffer. How do I get over this hurdle and make fitness a part of my life? how do I figure out what I’m afraid of?  I’m open to any and all suggestions, please??  Help, please!

I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about and you might be surprised to know you aren’t alone.

It sounds like you’ve got a little insight into your situation…you’re afraid of something.

I know that, when I avoid something, it’s usually because I’m afraid of failing at it.  Let me give you my take, just with the little info you’ve given me.  You used to workout regularly and, life changed and threw you off your workouts and you’ve been struggling ever since.  Did you ever figure out why you stopped exercise?  Was it just there a lot of stress?  What’s happened in your life that exercise dropped off your priority list?  Maybe you could go back to that and just think about what happened there. Our lives don’t stand still, they just don’t.

Next, I would think about what’s stopping you from exercise NOW.  What are you afraid of?  Are you afraid you’ll fail?  Afraid to face a different body, a different fitness level than what you had before?  There’s a fear in there and I think if you can name it, you can probably overcome it.  Your body is different and you won’t be able to do what you did before – And that’s okay. You just have to work up to it and give yourself permission to be where you are.

Here’s an idea…why not give yourself permission to just TRY something…anything!  Forget complicated workouts or DVDs – maybe those workouts are just too intimidating for you right now.  Maybe you need to start with something simple – something you KNOW you can do.   I’m talking the simplest thing – like one of my really quick core workouts.  What if you said, “This is my workout today and I’m going to do it.”  You don’t even have to change clothes for it!  Once you do it, you can say, “I did it!  I started working out again.”

Really, I think if you can just start somewhere, you’ll find some momentum and that’s a big part of exercise.  You’ve gotten into the habit of not exercising – now you have to get back to it.

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