Build a fitness habit with these 4 basic steps

Do you want to improve your health by incorporating exercise?

Step one: Set a small, realistic, and simple goal.

Remember, we’re trying to build a habit that will be the groundwork for future goals. We are not trying to win a bodybuilding competition next month. So this is not the time to chase a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).

Step two: Start a workout log or activity journal.

You can do this on your smartphone or in a notebook. I recommend you go to the dollar store and pick up a small spiral-bound note pad and a few cheap mechanical pencils.

Step Three: Prepare for resistance.

You are going to have to face negative self-talk. It is part of the process — and is 100% normal. I want you to be ready for it. It will come in aggressive, obvious ways “why bother doing this — it’s not going to work!” And in more subtle and insidious ways. Like, “you’ve already worked hard today — maybe you can do those jumping jacks tomorrow?” Anticipate it — expect it — and move past it. The self-talk is lying to you. Follow through with the activity, it’s only 15 minutes. Write it in your log and note that the resistance was strong today.

Step Four: If you falter — acknowledge it and move on.

It’s not the end of the world. Nope. The less you dwell on missteps — the easier it will be to move on.

Dad, husband, thinker, writer, exerciser. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” — Dumbledore

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