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Tips for Exercise and Motivation
Keep a journal.† Record when you worked out, how much was done, and how you felt.† Include pictures of your body.
Set goals and deadlines.† Measure results using percentage body fat, stretching distance and maximum lift amounts, in addition to just body weight.
Become a student of how you motivate yourself.† If you work out infrequently, perform a self-interview in your journal after each work out.† What conditions were right to make you go to the gym?† Could those conditions be manufactured in the future?† You can also self-interview when you miss a workout.
Visualize how you will look and how you will feel after one month, three months, and one year.
Do all of your daily errands on your trip to the gym. This saves time and links the optional workout with necessary tasks.
Buy only healthy food at the grocery store, so that you arenít tempted constantly with unhealthy food in the house.
Results donít show right away.† It is important to have faith and to emotionally budget for a long-term commitment (several months) without noticeable results.† Remember, you canít go wrong by eating right and working out regularly.
Spend time with friends who value healthy living and exercise.
Donít get depressed if you start and fail an exercise program many times. It sometimes takes dozens of false starts before getting on the right track.† Try to push harder each time and to learn from past experience.
Make a list of all your lifeís accomplishments Ė finishing school, quitting smoking, getting a promotion.† Keep the list on hand.† Think of yourself as a proven success who simply has yet to complete goals in this new field of exercise.
Most people benefit from telling others about their exercise program, and by having an exercise partner.† A few people benefit by making the program secret.
Have a role model and ask yourself what he would do in your place. I sometimes watch Lord of the Rings and ask myself whether Aragorn would miss a workout.
Ask yourself why youíre working out (and have a detailed answer ready).
Force yourself to take the first steps, such as gathering your gym clothes and getting in the car.† That takes just a few minutes.† Everything after that happens automatically.
Sign up for a future sporting event, like a race or major hike, and set goals leading up to the event.† This creates an external, unmovable deadline.
Create rewards for when you meet goals, but only if you have the self-discipline to refuse the reward if you fail the goal.† Donít use rewards that counteract the goal, like eating a whole chocolate pie if you lose 10 pounds.† And keep a few enjoyable, optional activities in your life that are always available and off-limits to any reward system, since the joy of the reward will be diminished by the conditions attached to it.