It has been something which I have felt strongly about for a long time – how I achieve my goals! Anyone who knows me will say that I’m a pretty motivated person, a bit more motivated than most. In this article I will discuss strategies which have helped me “get going” on numerous occasions. I will tell you the simple ways in which I have gone from feeling like I can’t do a thing to feeling like there is nothing I can’t do!
I have experienced my fair share of being “in and out” of health and fitness; I have been really fit and I have been really unfit. I have been a student, a multiple business owner, had two full time jobs at the same time I am now a husband and a dad, all in the last 10 years. Being consistent in exercise when your life is not consistent is a challenge. Through this time I have let the ‘grass grow’ under my feet so many times it makes me mad. But I have learned something about myself…
Last year in September I had a “holiday photo” moment, you know …the one where you thought you were walking around the pool on holiday looking …ok…then you get home and see the photo’s, the ones where you were not paying attention to holding your belly in and BOOM…the truth hit me…..my body was in bad shape, I wasn’t aware it was this bad, I had been kidding myself.
As I write this I can confidently say that I’m on a good roll at the minute and am in the shape of my life ….again! I will commit to continuing the good times and reducing the bad, stopping this boom and bust and getting consistent….a consistent life will let you have consistent health and fitness (I say to myself).
The carrot and the stick – which one do you prefer?
I prefer a bit of both (careful), the carrot and the stick and I will explain why.
Starting Back
Whatever you say about exercise, and intense boot camp style exercise, if you have not done any for a while its goanna hurt! Starting back or starting for the first time is the single most difficult thing to do. Why? Mentally it’s very off putting as you refer to your previous negative experiences and memories of starting back, and they have all invariably failed after much pain and discomfort.

Now with that thought in mind how does a nice gentle walk sound or a ten minute workout? A bit easier, yes. If you set your goals when you start back at a really low level and give yourself more time to reach it. For example, I would never go out for a run when I was unfit (like some people do); I always go out for a walk and do some running while I was out. It’s a different mindset; I would usually end up running half the time and walking half the time, after 3 months of this, 3 times a week I was a lot fitter. (CARROT)

Maybe it’s the modern mind set –but in my opinion we are mentally weak because we have so many luxuries and we are not tough anymore. How can we capitalise on this…?

Reverse Psychology and Goal Setting
When we usually set our goals they are too lofty and ambitious, focusing on the end results only, missing out the processes in between. I do believe is that the devil is in the detail with achieving your goals and that anything is possible (yes I still believe that!) your goals just need to be broken down into small steps, really small steps - reverse psychology works for me.

Achieving your goals has a lot to do with your ability to change, its called behavioural change. Being able to make permanent changes on a consistent basis is very desirable to a successful and enjoyable life.

If you’re having trouble starting back try this: tell yourself you are only going to exercise for 10 minutes each session, and you will probably do more than 10 minutes in all reality, you will do at least 30 min, when you start achieving this you will naturally progress with a more positive outlook. Life should be measured on a compass not a stopwatch, don’t worry about your rate of progress, too many people want to rush things they want results NOW, in fact most people have no patience at all because they don’t have to wait for anything much anymore!

Boot Camp’s, Personal Training, Extreme Sports and Endurance
These activities are for people who need a kick up the arse and already have a basic level of fitness e.g. can run for 10 min slowly. Now these areas are the faster growing areas (only growing areas!) of the economy at the moment, and there seems to be a trend towards – self inflicted physical pain and discipline.

We have seen Gavin Henson on 71 degrees north, doing extreme challenges, Eddie Izzard do all those marathons in 30 days. Even these celebs that seem to have plenty of money are missing something. They are looking for this “something” by using a host of popular – retreats – boot camps – personal trainers – extreme sports – endurance sports – especially triathlon and ultra-endurance races lasting 10 hrs to a week (Google: marathon de sables).(STICK)

A growing number of people are willing to push their bodies and test themselves, wanting to feel invigorated, alive and focused. Are you? No? Go to the carrot options, come back to this later!

Apply these strategies not just on exercise but all areas of life that need change, small steps, in the right direction, all the time, either using the carrot or the stick or a bit of both…that’s why I used the word momentum – YOU GOT TO HAVE MOMENTUM - once you get some momentum it makes making new changes easier as you are in the groove, on a roll!
If you follow some of this advice hopefully you can be fitter and healthier, and start living life to the full. Getting started is the hardest part, which has just been made a bit easier and clearer with this information.

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