A client, whom I will call Ann, came to me looking to start a fitness program. She knew what to do, and had a fitness room all set up with the things she liked to do, but wasn’t doing it. It turns out what she was really looking for was the motivation to get fit.
Even without exercising, Ann managed to lose 46 pounds over 14 months. With this recent success under her belt (literally) I was confident Ann would find her fitness.
Though Ann’s husband is supportive in many ways, he wasn’t exactly jumping in with her to get fit. He was more of a barrier in preventing her from getting started. Absolving him from the involvement she wanted from him suddenly left her feeling a little freer to move forward.*
The next step, and always important when motivation is lacking, was to clarify why Ann wanted fitness, even if she didn’t really want to do it. The tough part about exercise for most people is showing up, even if it’s in the next room, so it’s important to know and remember why you’re even trying. Digging deeper than the obvious reasons, like having more energy, to the things that really matter, like grandchildren, should help Ann close the gap and move closer to her goal.
Now back to that weight loss success. Without hesitation, Ann knew exactly how she had been successful with the dietary changes. She took baby steps one after the other and she took the steps she felt were important – in her own time, not necessarily what the program recommended.
With that, I asked Ann how those strategies might apply to her fitness ambitions. She answered with one small step. She committed to just getting into her fitness room. She would get comfortable being there, without exercising. That might not sound like much, but I think it’s a brilliant first step and a great example of breaking things down. The right goal is the one you’re ready to do. And for now that’s what Ann can see herself doing.
Where have you experienced success in your life? (If you need to, look way back or ask someone else.) Now how can you apply that success to a current goal or situation? Do it your way.
* If you have a willing partner consider yourself lucky. That’s a huge bonus. If you don’t, you need to find your independence or a different fitness partner. Otherwise, you’re putting your health/success in someone else’s hands and then you’re both at risk. Sometimes modeling the behavior for family members is all we can do. Maybe they will come along. Maybe they won’t.