Help! I Want to Give Up on My Fitness Goal
This is a guest post by Paige Johnson (www.learnfit.org)
Things probably started off well with your fitness goal. Perhaps you joined a gym and started working out regularly, or maybe you signed up for a yoga class and have faithfully attended every session for several months. Maybe you’ve committed to a daily jog so that you can prepare for a 5K or started doing crunches and jumping jacks at home. Whatever you’ve been doing has been going great – until now. You’ve hit a slump, and if you ignore the situation, it’s not going to help. Here’s what to do when you’re ready to call it quits on your fitness goal.
Identify the Issue
A temporary slump can become a permanent roadblock if you don’t act quickly. When you find yourself feeling unenthusiastic about your fitness resolution, figure out why you feel that way. Be honest with yourself, and don’t be afraid to dig deep to find out what’s going on with your lack of ambition. Sometimes an absence of ambition stems from a fear of failure, and this is an issue you can work through alone or with the help of a compassionate therapist.
If you’re confident that you can achieve your fitness goal, examine external circumstances that are sabotaging your motivation. Are you pulling long hours at the office to meet the demands of a busy holiday season? Do you have too much on your plate with work, kids, and school? These are all issues you can work through, even if you have to temporarily put your goal on hold.
Develop a Solution
Your work isn’t done after you figure out the reason you want to quit your fitness resolution. You have to develop a course of action to help you get back on track. Developing an actionable plan that’s tailored to your unique needs also helps prevent motivation-thwarting issues from occurring in the future.
Start by changing what you can. If you’re exhausted after a long day of work and reducing your workload isn’t an option, create a fitness routine that complements your lifestyle. You may find that it helps to shorten your weekday workouts and squeeze in extra exercise on the weekends, or you may be able to sneak in a midday walk on your lunch break instead of hitting the gym at night.
When dealing with other commitments leaves you exhausted, see if you can delegate some of your responsibilities to friends or family members. If your kids wear you out, keep in mind that exercising regularly may increase your energy levels and help you feel mentally alert. Also, many gyms offer childcare, so you may find that you have enough energy to exercise when you have an hour or two to yourself.
If lack of motivation is an issue, either because you’re exhausted or because you just don’t enjoy working out, try out some different options until you find something you do enjoy. For example, if fitness classes aren’t your thing, then maybe you’ll enjoy doing laps at a local indoor pool. If working out at a gym is too boring or expensive, take your workouts outdoors–go for a hike, run around with your dog at the park, or join a recreational softball team. Once you settle on something you actually look forward to doing, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to reach and exceed your goals.
Review the Benefits
Exercising offers physical, mental, and emotional benefits. We’ve already mentioned that regular exercise helps boost cognitive function, but it can also:
- Improve your mood by releasing endorphins
- Reduce the risk of developing heart disease
- Increase self confidence
- Shed excess weight
- Tone and strengthen muscles
If you exercise with friends or your significant other, it may help strengthen your relationships because you can bond over your shared commitment to fitness. You may find that you feel happier, not just because of the endorphins, but because you feel good about your physical appearance. Your social life might improve because you’re no longer embarrassed to attend pool parties or take trips to the beach. These are just a few of the numerous benefits associated with physical fitness.
When you feel overwhelmed or unmotivated by your fitness goal, don’t give up on it. If you must, put your plans on pause as you work toward a solution. You can always pick up where you left off when you’re ready.