Let me start by saying this post isn’t about creating the perfect exercise routine in the way that you might be thinking. It’s not about setting up the schedule, hiring the personal trainer or getting a chef. This post will talk about how we overcomplicate the regular exercise journey and usually fail so I’m going to show you how we can actually create the perfect exercise routine and take our health to new levels of success.
We tend to want all the spoils of our exercise routine to mimic what we see on social media and with our coveted celebrities. This is unfortunately not realistic. Social media accounts that talk about fitness tend to be curated specifically to attract you to their programmes. That’s ok, they’re a business. But what happens after the 6 week transformation they guaranteed? You need to burn more money with them, you get bored and soon you see that you don’t want to do the workouts with them anymore.
This usually happens because you haven’t been truly honest with yourself. To create a perfect exercise routine, you actually need to start with why you want one and what you actually like doing. We usually go for the easy fix (I know I do) but seldom do we maintain them. What if you could make it easier?
Unfortunately, the average person doesn’t have the luxury of being able to hire a personal trainer, have a gym membership, a personal chef and all the equipment at home. The average person also probably doesn’t have the time to do all the workouts they want, when they want because of the demands in their lives. You might also be thinking that you don’t want to do hard workouts or feel uncomfortable to exercise in front of other people.
All of these reasons are perfectly acceptable and a great starting point for achieving your perfect exercise routine. The key is not to overcomplicate it. Start small and seemingly insignificant and use a compounding growth mindset to actually achieve your desired goals.
A compounding growth mindset is one where you accept and are committed to small gains over a long period of time. This period of time might not be ideal if you’re a size 20 and want to be a size 10 in 3 months, so adjust the goal. With this mindset, you know that if you keep doing what you’re doing, everyday, you will get to your final destination. But you can’t stop there.
The fitness industry relies on you to keep stopping and starting, losing motivation, gaining and losing weight like a yo-yo. That’s how their business models succeed. Quite simply because the average lifestyle for most of us doesn’t include all the help and support or even finances in the world to make our training sustainable.
I therefore have a very boring, mundane but statistically sustainable and successful way to create the perfect exercise routine that I’m going to share with you. By following the steps below, you will create the vision, solidify your mindset, use what’s already easy for you, assess your true potential and create sustainable action – for life. Good health is available to you for life so think big.
What do you want to gain from an exercise routine? e.g long life, fix your breathlessness, gain more muscle, be stronger, lose weight, look after your mind. Get specific and write a full paragraph explaining to yourself what you want to gain.
Think about what the benefits will be to you and even those around you in your various roles. Does the thought of that answer excite you? If not, keep digging. You need the result of your exercise routine to excite you.
For example swimming, cycling, football, tennis, volleyball, gym, HIIT, walking. Pick at least three. Only choose the exercises you LOVE. If you don’t love any, start with walking and challenging yourself to try one different form of exercise each month. Over time, you’ll see that there are other ways you can exercise. This varied routine is much more sustainable. If there’s a team sport/ group involved, you also have the benefit of new relationships.
Be realistic. Start with 5 minutes if this feels overwhelming at first. Build up your minutes from there. Just get your heart-rate up so that you can reap the benefits of movement and happy hormones. E.g march on the spot, run on the spot, do sit ups, squats, walk around the house, walk up and down the stairs. Always put some good music on to help lift your mood.
There’s a nifty little trick when you only focus on 5 minutes, it’s that you realise those 5 minutes were easy and you tell yourself, why not do another 5? Genius! The trick works because it’s on your terms. If it’s on your terms, you’re more likely to do it. If you’re more likely to do it, that compounding growth mindset starts to kick in.
Don’t wait for the perfect conditions to begin your perfect exercise routine, do it now. Once you’ve finished reading this post, just march on the spot swinging your arms and marching your legs in place for 5 minutes. Laugh at yourself too. You’ll have done 5 minutes more of movement than you did before you read the post. It’s an easy win. See how easy it can be?
I want to stress that perfect conditions for an exercise routine will rarely come about. You have to make choices and decisions deep within your soul in order to stick to one. Knowing why you’re doing it, what the benefits will be and how you’ll feel are where you need to focus. Never focus on the small gains like pounds lost or muscle gained. Look at how the exercising is positively affecting your daily life.
Your sleep will be better, if you’re a woman, your hormones will regulate. You’ll understand your food choices better because you’re in charge. There will be times when you surprise yourself walking up some stairs and you’re not breathless. You’ll run around with your kids without even thinking about it. Those dresses, jeans and outfits you want will be enjoyed whilst you’re in your journey to good health.
You don’t need to wait until you reach your destination or surface goals like becoming a size 10 or having firm biceps. Sustainable action needs regular reward, so be kind to yourself and celebrate each small win. That’s how you’ll truly see the big picture and literally live it.
Remember, the future doesn’t exist. We only ever have today. So just do a little bit today.
Puja McClymont – certified coach, wisdom teacher, speaker and host of the SELF Care 101 podcast.
As a life and leadership coach, I help mission-driven individuals who are seeking direction, to gain clarity, by expanding their inner awareness through the ancient wisdom teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga; so that they can lead more purposeful and fulfilling lives.
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