Updated: Dec 27, 2021
Starting a new habit can be tough and New Years resolutions are upon us! I don't know anyone who hasn't at least thought about fitness when it comes to their New Years resolution. Even if your New Years resolution doesn't include fitness, most people start to think about their fitness and nutrition in December. It is easy to see why. Stress is high, time is low, nutritional norms are rapidly routed by holiday feasts and exercise regimens are replaced with holiday parties and family gatherings. Putting a date on when you will change your habits is ambivalence. You have to get off of "Someday Island" NOW or you never will!
When you set a date to start a new habit like exercise or quit a bad habit like smoking, it is an act of ambivalence. Often times we set a date to leave someday island and that day comes and goes with no change in our behavior. The reality is that if you really, truly want something you have to go out and get it right away. If there is something that unequivocally adds value to your life, you will not hesitate to get it. No one can argue that regular exercise adds value to just about anyones life. We all want to live longer, feel better, and look good!
If we know exercise will benefit us why do we struggle to get off of someday island with it? Exercise is an investment in your future. Although it costs up front, it pays dividends in the future. A "bad" habit does exactly the opposite- it pays dividends up front and costs us in the future. I think that exercise is particularly easy for us to be ambivalent with because there are so many other "bad habits" that give us the quick fix up front. Think about it. Exercise is competing with the couch, the television, another hour of sleep, your family, a great steak dinner, and the list goes on...
GOOD NEWS, although it can be tough to get off of someday island when it comes to exercise I have something that can help you. You have to find and connect with Your Why. That is, why do you want to change your behavior and invest in your future? Is that what you really want? Why? Truly Why? Why again? You need to repetitively ask yourself why you want to reach this goal until you can't get any deeper.
First, write down what you want to do in relation to your fitness. What is your goal? Second, ask yourself why you want this and write it down.
Fourth, connect with your why. Think about it often, especially when you go to do your new behavior.
Fifth, start your new habit today. Don't let anything get in your way! Make it happen NOW!
It sounds too simple to be true, but I have used this method countless times to help both myself and others stop wrestling with ambivalence, get off of someday island, and reach their ultimate fitness goals.