There they sit at the front of your closet. As you try to muster the energy to get out of bed and make your first cup of English Breakfast you see them out of the corner of your eye. You remember how excited you were when you bought those cushy Brooks walking shoes. You paid more for them than any pair of shoes you’ve ever owned. “It’s an investment in my health,” you told yourself as you handed over your credit card. Fitted to you and in your favorite colors, those shoes where a symbol of the new path you were committed to staying on.
That was January. Now after a long weekend away visiting your parents, an office retreat and a monster allergy flare up, it has been weeks since you’ve put them on. What you thought would be a weekend workout hiatus is starting to feel more like permanent vacation. For a moment you sit on the side of the bed and contemplate lacing up those shoes. If you got moving RIGHT NOW you would have time for a quick walk on the treadmill while you drink your tea and watch the morning news. But you sit there debating for a couple of minutes and the moment passes. You get up and walk to the bathroom. As you wash your face, the old messages start to run through your mind.
Why bother…I’ve never been able to stick with anything for long.
Why bother…I wasn’t losing that much weight any way.
Why bother…I’m too old to learn new habits.
Because none of those things are true. It’s never to late to make a change in your life. It just takes time. It’s not about the scale, it’s about how it made you feel. Daily walks and weights twice a week DID make you feel good. Saying no to Monday morning donuts DID make you feel good.
Tomorrow is still going come whether you want it to or not. It won’t be any easier to restart then than it is now.
The reality of any fitness journey is there will be starts, stops, detours and road blocks. The most important thing you can learn is that fitness is not “ALL OR NOTHING”. If you have to take a day, a week or a month off it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. It doesn’t put you back at square one. It just means you need to take that one first step again.
Don’t think about day #1, think about day #7.
The first workout (back) can feel pretty awful. Don’t think about how hard it is going to be. Instead focus on how good you feel after seven days of moving more and eating better. Remember how much energy you had and how much better you slept? Fight for that feeling again!
Don’t try to pick up right where you left off. Your muscles will remember quickly but they probably have lost a little ground if it has been more than a couple of weeks. Start with the 4 Keys To Real Fitness Quick Start Guide steps or one of these beginner workout videos. You’ll catch up quickly.
Ask for some help.
Accountability can be key until the habit really takes hold. (Which can take up to a year!) Post your intention on Facebook, make a workout pact with your sister or hire a personal trainer to keep you on the path until it sticks.
Do ONE thing today.
Don’t try to do it all at once. It won’t work and you’ll just feel more discouraged. Pick one thing today that will move you closer to our goals. This is the first step in my book on motivation and it should be part of your routine everyday, not matter where you are in your journey. We all have hectic days. If we keep it simple, it makes it easier to achieve our goals and feel successful. That makes you more likely to do it again tomorrow.
Your workout hiatus does not make you a failure; it makes you human. You have a new opportunity everyday to start moving forward again. Also remember – not moving backwards is progress too! If you’ve held on to your daily water habit or are still saying no to the Monday morning donuts that’s a huge win! Don’t loose sight of the great work you’ve already done. Now lace up those trainers and get moving again!
Confession time…how long have you been on hiatus? What’s your ONE thing to start today?