When you are thinking about starting an exercise program, or fitness routine the thoughts can sometimes be daunting.
What if I am not good at it?
What if everyone stares at me?
What if I mess up?
All of these thoughts are completely normal! So many people share these thoughts.
In the book Mindset by Carol Dweck, she speaks about fixed mindset vs growth mindset, and the fact that people can have different mindsets for different things. I feel like fitness is something that a lot of people end up having a fixed mindset about and it limits their possibility for feeling good about movement.
In a fixed mindset you may go to the gym or for a run for the first time, and come home and not feel great. That feeling turns too “I am not good at this”. This leads to usually the decision to not do it again. Or potentially you have tried the gym, or a yoga program a few times and each time you have stopped going after 3 weeks. Well, this must mean that “I just can’t commit”, says the person with a fixed mindset.
I want to open you up to a possibility… what if all of these fixed thoughts were actually not what was actually going on. What if it wasn’t that you aren’t good at something, or that you can’t commit, and instead you just haven’t found something that excites you. What if you took more of a growth mindset approach and told yourself, “Maybe running isn’t for me RIGHT NOW, or running doesn’t make me feel successful so I am going to try biking instead”. This slight change in thought changes the perspective from being more permanent into being more of you looking for the next thing.
Why are there so many things that come and go in the fitness world? People are looking for the thing that will excite even just one more person about exercise. Finding your “thing” in exercise and fitness may take time. It may take trying new things, it will likely take some risk taking, but something will be less dreadful than the thing before. Something will make you feel really good when it is over. Something will bring a smile to your face. Once you get THAT feeling then you are ready to go! Be open and see what is out there!
Tips to help you find your thing:
1) Think about things you have enjoyed in the past.
If you were involved in a sport/ team etc. at some point in your life- think about the style or format of that work out and see if there is something similar you can use to find a current activity. For example: if you were on a team and loved the team atmosphere, try a group fitness class. If you loved something that was really fun, but not super intense; maybe ZUMBA is your thing.
2) Find a community.
Like everything else in life… things are just way more fun with friends! Especially new things! Grab some friends and try something new together. Explore a new sports team, or try a new outdoor sport like paddle boarding! You never know what you will love and what better way to learn you may not love something then to do it laughing with your bestie!
3) Don’t limit yourself with pre-judgement
So picture yourself shopping or looking for a new item of clothing. Have you ever put something on and been completely shocked about how amazing it looks? Exercise/ activity is the same thing. Give everything a shot- try it. The worst that can happen… it won’t be your thing. Maybe you think yoga will be something you don’t enjoy and then find your inner yogi! You just never know… so try!
4) If you try something new… try it twice!
I have a theory that you need to try every new activity at least twice before you can make a judgement on it. The first time you try something new, your emotions may be high, your nerves are there… the whole thing may just be uncomfortable. You can’t possibly make a true judgement at that time. Take it a second time, you will know what to expect, you will be calmer, you will have the ability to not let your mind control the work out.
5) Don’t overthink it.
Movement is movement. You could do jumping jacks for 30 mins and it will be more productive then laying on the couch! Just move.
Good Luck finding YOUR THING- it’s out there!
– Melissa Maloney