I live and breathe fitness. At the core of my soul is a little 4-year-old girl doing jumping jacks wearing a leotard and leg warmers listening to Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical.” It’s who I am and it’s absolutely my calling. My job is to motivate and inspire people to move their body. I truly love my job.
The (somewhat hard-to-swallow) reality is that my love for fitness is not shared by everyone. I know, it blows my mind too. In fact, more often than not, I find out from people that working out is a real chore and no matter what program they start, they don’t continue. I always feel a little sad when I hear this, but I think the problem may be that people aren’t finding the right program for them.
To help you on your journey to finding the fitness program that works for you, I’ve come up with five questions you should ask yourself before you start a new program or fitness regimen:
- Does the program help you achieve the goals you’ve set? This has to be the number one question you ask yourself about your potential new program. Shockingly, most times I stump people with question number one. Why? Because they haven’t actually set any goals. First, you need to set your fitness goals for 4 weeks, 8 weeks & 12 weeks from the start date of your new program. NOW assess whether the program you’re reviewing will help you get to where you want.
- Does the program fit into your life? Granted, when you start a program you may need to shift, reschedule and plan to accommodate the added time your new program will take away (or add to, as I like to this of it) from the minutes in your day. However, it cannot completely flip your schedule on its butt. We are creatures of habit, so let’s slowly integrate a new habit into your life, shall we? Is this program appropriate for your life and the demands your life has? How much can you shift to accommodate? How much are you willing to give up (for the greater good)? Can you make this fit or will it because just “too much”?
- Who are you accountable to? For some people, accountability to themselves is all they need. Kudos to you, you little solo warriors, kudos to you! Others need someone to check in with them daily, weekly, after each workout, etc. Find out what you need, what helps you stay accountable, what helps your stay on track and ensure that the program you’re looking at meets your accountability needs.
- How far out of your comfort zone does your new program take you? In order to progress, we need to make you uncomfortable. We need to push you and have you push yourself. We need you uncomfortable. It’s really the only way this whole fitness thing works. However, completely shifting the person you are and pushing you to do something that you’re utterly uncomfortable with is one of the ways I can almost guarantee we’ll lose you. Absolutely you should open your eyes to new programs. Absolutely these programs should push you and make you uncomfortable. But, a fitness program shouldn’t be something you’re terrified of doing. Some anxiety and nerves…yes, absolutely. Loss of sleep and a pit in your stomach? Perhaps something else.
- Will you have fun doing the program? Fitness is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to feel good. Not necessarily while you’re actually participating, but after you’re done your workout you should look back and think “Yeah…that wasn’t fun”, but in your heart you truly did have a good time. If it’s not fun, if it’s a chore to get it done. It’s the wrong program. *One side-note – not every workout will be amazingly fun, so a one-off of your workout not being fun is fine – some days your body just doesn’t want to move!!*
Good luck to you as you embark on discovering what program you need to help you stay the course. Ask yourself these five questions as you go and you’ll be a little further up the ladder to full commitment. You got this. Commit to something that pushes you, challenges you but allows you to remain you and honours your time and energy.