Other clients of mine have given up because they had picked programs or routines they didn’t really enjoy, set goals that were totally unrealistic, or tried to force themselves to get up earlier when they already got up quite early for work. Some believed, like Jenny, that anything less than 30-45 minutes wasn’t enough to bother. Yet many of them were not physically fit enough to do that much and needed to start with much smaller goals. And many simply lacked enough motivation, often from limited interest in the activity, not being well enough prepared, letting other things be a greater priority, lack of support, not seeing results quickly enough, or not being in touch with the real reason they wanted to exercise. All of these reasons offer clues to their resolutions.
When you can see what is really in the way of being successful, and you do it with objective curiosity, you can start to learn what would work better for you. Instead of trying to force yourself to fit into someone else’s idea of what exercise should be or how you should do it, you can create your own rules and strategies for making exercise fit your personality and lifestyle. If you assume you know yourself best and that you do not have to be perfect to have success, you can give yourself permission to choose aerobic activities you prefer and to start off with smaller goals you can reach. As you have successes, you then build your confidence and your motivation to stretch yourself further. The more you do, the more you will be able to do and will want to do. And if no one is judging your performance, you can feel good about your accomplishments even if you don’t fully reach your goals. In fact, you may do better without goals.
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Instead of exercising to do as you should, you can set yourself free by doing activities that feel good at your own pace and becoming self-motivated by your successes, no matter how small. Pretty soon, you will be amazed to discover you actually enjoy being active and fit, and you might even discover a passion for it. Jenny did once she stopped being so hard on herself and followed her own interests in and outside the gym.