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Whether you’re a couch potato, someone who moves on a regular basis or an athlete, this episode is for you. We all struggle at one time or another to stick with an exercise routine. The problem arises when we get caught up in our thoughts about what that means. Most of the time, we end up with guilt and resistance – neither of which encourages healthy motivation.
Understanding mindset and how our thoughts get in the way of our best intentions is incredibly important to creating and sustaining?a good exercise routine for you. Join me as I break down the 2 thought cycles?that so commonly affect us and how you can move through them to stay active as long as you want to be!
Welcome to Empowered Wellness for Leaders, a podcast that teaches CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales leaders how to deal with the unique challenges of balancing a high-stress career, family, AND their own health. Here’s your host, Certified Executive Wellness Coach, Diana Murphy.
Okay, if you’ve been following along with me here, I talked about being a travel warrior last week, and lo and behold, I had to apply some of what I’d been talking about in last week’s podcast.
I received an emergency call Friday night that my mom had broken her hip, and I needed to be in Florida right away. Wow, as I was packing, I kept thinking about what I needed for what might be a two to three-week trip. You know what was the most important thing to me and has given me the most delight? Is making sure I brought my Bose soundbar.
I love having music around with me and it helped those quiet nights, being alone in mom’s house. Bringing a little pleasure along with some comfy clothes for that hospital time has really worked. If you’re a travel warrior, be sure to check out episode number eight.
On another note, I can’t tell you how thankful I am by packing a few electronic devices and my laptop, that I can conduct DM coaching business on the road. I’m so grateful for this aspect of my practice. My upcoming events will all be virtual, and as you know, I do coach everyone on the phone, so I’m back into business this week as mom is rehabbing.
I’ll be back home in Atlanta. Look for me there, for some of my live workshops. My mom’s doing great, and my shout outs today are for her great healthcare providers at Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers, and now the rehab place, at the terraces. Brian was absolutely one of our favorite nurses and Pamela rocked it being mom’s CNA. I hope she’s listening.
Alright, enough about that. I also knew to pack plenty of exercise apparel. Yes, I am finally getting to my episode’s topic. I was finally able to get some time to myself this past weekend, and I got some yoga in. There’s an amazing studio around the corner. It really was rejuvenating after being so stiff and kind of cranky from sitting all those days, and all the emotions that go along with it in a situation like this.
I’m also looking forward to some sweaty gym days as well. I absolutely can’t wait. And this episode is for you, whether you’re a couch potato, someone who moves their body regularly, or you’re an amateur athlete. This is all about understanding the mindset and tricky way that our thoughts get in the way of our best intentions because those beliefs and thoughts create motivation or the lack of it, every single time.
I am going to cover several aspects of this topic during this episode. Your beliefs and general mindset around exercise. Your ?should? thought cycle that creates resistance. We all have it. And what happens when our pattern gets disrupted and we start feeling guilty. And to conclude this episode, I’m going to show you how to set more life-giving goals around exercise and activity in general.
All of these approaches can be helpful no matter where you are in terms of athleticism. Pick one to focus on today as I share them in this episode. And I have a worksheet to help you dig deeper and cover all the topics, or certainly, you can always come back and listen again. So sit back, listen, and take note of what’s coming up for you in today’s episode. That’s probably what you should be taking action on.
To help you start processing this topic of movement, I want to ask you some good questions to help you to get curious. Because if you’re having trouble staying consistent, if you’re feeling guilty for not doing enough, if you’re starting to experience some injuries because you’re working out so much and so hard, understanding your why is so important in sustaining a good and healthy for you routine.
So what is for you? The purpose or the reason that you move? That you should? That you have to? That if you don’t exercise you’ll gain weight? That you absolutely love it and can’t wait to work it into your week? Or that you better stay on your intense training regimen no matter what? Your answers to these questions will give you so much information on why your exercise habits might look different than you intend or why you’re feeling some discomfort.
You’re either exercising too much, you’re maybe doing things you don’t love, pay attention to your why. Why do you move? Let me share an example to illustrate. I think during most of my life, I thought exercise was simply another tool, like a diet, to lose weight. So I didn’t engage in regular activity unless I was on a goal to lose weight.
Guess what happened. I’d be rocking it with a regular routine at the gym, feeling pretty good, enjoying a really good level of fitness, even doing things I wanted to. But I found little motivation when I got to my goal weight during a weight loss cycle. Remember, I’ve gained and lost 35 pounds at least four or five different times in my life.
But that has shifted a lot in the last five to six years. I started focusing on movement for the purpose of keeping my body running well so that I could be that 90-year-old woman in the gym. Seriously, this really gets me going. I hope to be the biggest geek, wearing the most dated athletic wear, and working out at the Y in my 90s.
So you can see, our results can be created around our general belief, around the purpose of exercise. But there are also two thought cycles that are so common. I want to share those with you today as well and help you to bust them.
I see this all the time in my private conversations, but it was very clearly illustrated that many of us are reacting to the negative emotions of guilt and resistance that we’re absolutely creating. So the first is the should resist cycle, and the second is the disruption of exercise and the guilt that comes along with that.
Alright, let’s start with the should conversation that goes on in your head. It starts like this: you’re wanting to be healthier, you set out to work out, you run, you do classes, you set up a routine all around what you think you should be doing for activity. You might even be choosing activities you hate because you think you should be doing them because they burn more calories or help you to lose weight, for example.
I don’t know about you, but when anybody tells me that I should be doing something, I resist. Your initial willpower will get you through this at the beginning, but many times we just get sick of the shoulds and we – our resistance just gets the better of us and we stop altogether.
Isn’t it crazy that we’re literally causing a mini battle in our own minds? I’ve got a beautiful solution to this, and this is the main goal of this episode. Start honoring what you want to be doing in terms of activity. Start moving and engaging in activities that light you up. If you’ve always wanted to play a particular sport, engage in certain classes, take some time to research what’s available and in your budget, in your area, and get them on your calendar.
It’s amazing how adding one creative and fun activity per week makes treadmill day absolutely worth it. Or if you love being outdoors for example, honor that desire. And if you’re in a climate where you find yourself waiting for good weather, get some better gear. If you’re energized by being in the fresh air, honor what your body is asking for.
Put aside any of the previous thoughts around what you should be doing and honor your curiosity around some new activities and moving past those road blocks that get in the way, like it being cold or wet. Just get a better jacket.
Why is this so important? When we’re doing what really energizes us mentally and emotionally, it is easy to engage in that activity. You are literally creating a routine that is intrinsically motivating. You know, I’m all about ease and flow. And also doing things that just come more naturally for us. And this happens when we honor what is important to the way we’re wired. So do things you love.
Okay, now for the disrupt guilt cycle, I think all of us have this whether it’s around eating well, but it really is very common around exercising also. You know, most of the time, during a normal week, when everything in our work lives and personal lives go smoothly, we’ll find it easy to get our movement in.
When life gets disrupted by illness, by more hours at work, or travel, that’s when we need to pay attention to this. what might be this trigger for you? You know, for some it’s a few days off and we get worried about getting back on track, and it’s really important to just pay attention when you have a disruption to kind of notice what your mind’s doing around it.
For many of us, this really happens often, and I know this used to happen for me. I was creating such guilt that I wasn’t getting back on track at all. I never got back on track. When you feel guilty about something, what do you do? Really pay attention. Think about that right now.
Unless we change our mind, we don’t do a thing. Guilt is an emotion that most often immobilizes us. And the longer we stay away from our routine, the more guilty we become and that keeps us stuck even longer. If you can stay fairly neutral emotionally, and honor your body’s guidance on what it needs, and honor a gentle reentry into your fitness routine, those gaps between the on again off again will be tighter and tighter.
This is again, a time when you can honor what your body is wanting. I know that after two or three days break I’m sick of being immobile. And even though I don?t really feel like it, or I think my workout might suck or I might be really sore, I just kind of ignore that conversation in my head or the guilt that, “Oh my god, you should have gone yesterday,” and I just get it back on my calendar, I get a sweaty session in with my friends at the gym, and it gets me back and moving. I also remember after that workout, remember how good it feels? Remember that feeling. And note it the next time you’re resisting getting back.
Are you afraid also that your body’s feedback might let you off the hook? Look back at any season where you were more inactive. You probably were ignoring some of your body’s signals to get moving. It might have been restless, it can be the same signal that we get when we’ve been in a chair too long, or stiff, our body is a little cranky. But when we move it, it feels like relief.
Listen and honor those signals. They can work for you, and they’re so much better than the brain drama around that guilt conversation, right?
Last but not least, get moving in a way that serves your life. Your whole life. Set goals not just for the purpose of getting moving, but those that align with your life goals. Like this is so often when we set a goal of working out to lose weight, we’re only going to be doing those things that burn calories. Well, that just doesn’t work very well.
Our body adapts to that activity and it just isn’t sustaining. Are you wanting to stay active for a long time? Or do you have an active trip coming up? Would you like to be sleeping better? Would you like to have a stronger core so you can run with less effort? These are just ideas.
What is it for you? Set a new goal today that lines up with something that is important to you. Then lay our two or three simple steps towards that goal. It might look like something like this: you have a trip planned to Europe and you want to be able to walk all of those stairs and keep up with your family or the travel group. First step might be to get on an actual Stairmaster once a week. Another might be upping your miles and setting at least two times a non-negotiable two walking workouts during that week.
Everything else will be gravy for that, right? Or another might be a goal to run a new distance, or to play a new sport, or go on a very active vacation. Look at ways that you can make all those events more fun, more successful, by putting it into a new – into place, new levels of movement that will increase that success and enjoyment.
Literally, take time to investigate new classes or trainers, or even online training regimens that can assist you. And honor those by putting them into again, non-negotiable spots on your calendar. Let’s review here. Choosing a mindset that encourages consistent activity really is the best start. A mindset that encourages consistent routine, not for short-term purposes.
Also, choose activities that absolutely light you up. This is the best way to make activity more natural and more motivating. Last, when you get off track, watch for that guilt cycle. It can set it. Be on to your thoughts here that make you feel bad for getting off track, and absolutely ignore and disrupt them by getting back to what you love right away.
Last but not least, as a human being, you’re wired for growth. Unlock any boredom or lack of enthusiasm for exercise by doing what you want, by setting goals that are more aligned with how you want to live your life, or a challenging new goal or activity.
Alright, after listening, the best way to dig into this issue for you is to take some time to download and complete my worksheet. I’ve titled it Creating Your Exercise Plan: How to Have Fun and Stay Consistent with Activity. It’s right there on the show notes. Dianamurphycoaching.com/9.
Another way to dig deep on this, especially if you’re finding it hard to stay motivated is to download my video series that you can find on my website. It’s on every page and all you do is offer your email and I will send you that video series. The first module is all about motivation.
Get ready because I’m going to share with you a food theme in April. I am going to dive deep into four different areas around good, and even for those that do not need to lose weight, it’s absolutely for you. These food tools are not meant for weight loss, although if you’re carrying extra weight it can happen. They are absolutely meant to give you better energy throughout the day, help those that are having trouble sustaining weight during a stressful season, many of us are not eaters during stress.
So I look forward to digging in with you in a very in-depth way around all the secrets I teach my clients. Get ready for it. Thanks so much for listening. I hope you’ll leave a review. And I’ve really enjoyed taking the time to share these episodes with you. Have a great and empowered day.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Empowered Wellness for Leaders! If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more, download our Free Video Series: Empowered Wellness Now. Visit?dianamurphycoaching.com?to sign up today!