Before you dive into the blogcast today, I just want to let you know it's Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day so take a breather from them and look over the last 17 days and how far you've come!
How well do you know yourself?
Which of these statements sounds most like you:
a) I know myself very well, I can work through my goals effortlessly and achieve anything I want
b) I know myself somewhat, I can get started, make plans but sticking to them when something comes up is hard
c) I don’t know myself well enough, I’d love to achieve my goals but I can’t seem to get off the sofa.
Honestly, who answered A? I aspire to be able to answer A but I’m 100% a B and sometimes I even feel like a C but I manage to pull myself back.
Today I want to focus on learning to know yourself and combat your inner voice who tells you, that you can’t do something and provide you with some tips to get to know yourself a little better.
When you want to achieve a goal, and especially a fitness goal, you need to know yourself and how to work through your barriers, how to silence the little voice in your head enough to get what you want!
Those things that are stopping you can be big, small and every size in between. Everything from not feeling confident enough in the gym, not knowing where to start, past injuries or past experiences as well as not feeling fit enough, not feeling self-confident enough or you’re struggling with your mental health at the moment. That last one can be the toughest to overcome. But they are all challenges and some affect us more than others.
One of the first things you can do is take note of your thoughts and actions. I’ll give you a couple of examples.
Thought: I have so much to do today but I will find time for my workout.
A thought later the same day: I could really do with doing this, instead of my workout
Action: Procrastinates on tasks so time runs out and doesn’t go to the gym.
Thought: I really don’t want to go to the gym today. Whilst on the sofa
Action: Presses next episode, 4 times and you don’t get off the sofa to go to the gym.
Thought: I don’t want to go to the gym but I want to feel better.
Thought: I’ll go to the gym after I’ve done the washing up, I know I won’t feel as down
Action: does the washing up, gets distracted and goes on to do something else, you don’t go to the gym and you still feel down
Now, I know how easy it is to fall into this trap, I have been there and I still have thoughts that try and stop me doing what I want to but over the last few years, I have learnt to know when I really want something that I have to overpower the voice in my head to do the actions required to get there.
This week alone, I have had to drive to the gym, on the way home from sessions or go earlier than I need to so I get my workout in because once I am there I know I’ll enjoy it, I’ll be glad I did it and I’ll give it everything I’ve got. But if I had gone home, there’s a chance I wouldn’t have gone, I would have said to myself, I’ll do it later and then not do it or just forgotten about it all together.
So if any of the thoughts above regularly come into your head when it comes to doing exercise then start taking note of it, either on an app or in a journal. Note down, what your thought was, how you felt and what you didn’t do.
By starting to take notes of when you think negatively about exercise even though you know you’ll enjoy it once you’re there, you might find there are patterns that you can start to build strategies to combat them.
Planning ahead is something else you can try to help keep yourself on track towards your goal, even if you goal is just to feel better and get fitter.
If on a Sunday night, you take an hour to plan out what is going on during the week and looking at when you can get your workouts in and then putting them in your diary, let your partner know, let your friends know and commit to them.
If your friends say, we’re going out tonight, want to come? And you have a class booked in or you planned to do a workout, then ask if you can meet them later or could they do it another night? Or just say, sorry I’ve got a gym session to do, I’ll catch up with you another time. If they support you in your journey then they should be okay with you not coming out.
The same with your partner, if they try to sabotage you then remind them why you are doing what you are doing and ask for their support. They should want to support you even if they don’t want to do the same.
When you are planning ahead, if you know you won’t or you haven’t in the past, stuck to your plan when you’ve set out things in the past for the week ahead, then look to get as much movement as you can in the first couple of days of the week when you re likely to be most motivated, less tied and you will feel good for having done exercise and worked towards your goal.
You might even find that you get to end of the week and you do another session because you have time, you know how good you felt a couple of days ago and you want to achieve your goal.
Every now and then missing a session isn’t going to make a massive difference however if that becomes two missed sessions and then three, then four, you’re greatly reducing the likelihood of sticking to exercise to help you achieve your goal.
Learn to know yourself and the excuses you come up with for missing a gym session or dropping out of a class and find little strategies to overcome them.
Another point to mention here is to make sure that what you are working towards is what you truly want. The goal you are striving for is actually, 100% what you want. And not what you think you should want.
Sometimes we can get caught up in what others might have said or what they are doing but it might not be what you truly want.
If you are working towards a certain weight goal because you think that’s what you should be or you’ve seem something online or heard something that tells you should want to weigh less but if what you really want is to run parkrun on a Saturday faster then work towards that goal.
If you put in the training and eat good nutritious food then you’ll see positive changes in your body whilst focusing on running and moving.
If you are focusing on what you really want to achieve then you are also more likely to put the work into achieve it as well. So take time to know what you want and work towards that. You are an individual who is as unique as their best friend.
As you start to listen to you, your body and your mind, you start to hear more and more. You’ll feel your body telling you when it’s really tired, you’ll hear your mind tell you when it needs something and you’ll know when you need to listen to your thoughts and when to combat them.
And as you listen to your body more and know yourself better, you feel more confident in yourself and you’ll make choices that are right for you.
Knowing yourself and taking action in your best interests isn’t selfish!
Some people might say that if you turn down meeting them or you do the things that lead you towards your goal. But you are being true to yourself and working towards something.
Remember to take small steps each day towards your goal!
Focus on that one change and learn to know yourself and you’ll become unstoppable.