A quitter’s guide to not quitting
So, you’ve been known to quit in the past. In years gone by, you’ve promised yourself that you’re going to make big, lasting changes to your life, but it hasn’t been long before you’ve given up.
And that’s totally understandable.
We get excited about something for a while, but then soon run out of steam, or our attention gets grabbed by something else, and before we know it all the plans we’d made have been pushed aside in favour or something else!!
That, or we just lose all motivation.
Before we know it, after a few weeks of progress, we somehow get out of the healthy living groove, and before we knew it, our trainers were relegated to the back of the wardrobe, and the takeaway menus were back on the fridge door.
Over the years though, I’ve come up with a few ways to stop doing some of these things myself and also others stop falling off the fitness bandwagon, and actually develop healthy habits that they stick to, permanently!
Does that sound like just what you need?
Then read on for a few tips to help you catch yourself just before you fall off the treadmill, and keep moving forwards towards all the goals you’ve set.
It’ll take persistence, but if you can push through and keep on keeping on, then sooner or later all these new healthy habits will just become part of your daily life, and won’t seem like such a trial anymore.
How to recognise when you’re in danger of quitting
A lot of us suddenly wake up one day and find that we’ve completely given up on all our goals without being very sure of when and how it all went wrong.
That’s why, if you’ve got a history of quitting, it’s important to recognise the signs, and nip it in the bud before it happens.
- You’re exercising less often
The most obvious sign that you’re in danger of slipping back into your old ways is that your momentum is starting to slow. You might have started off exercising five days and week and now be down to three.
That means you’re quite likely to suddenly find that you’re down to one, and then none.
- You’re finding excuses
They might be tenuous excuses, or you might be managing to fill your time with really good excuses, but they’re still excuses.
Sure, life gets in the way sometimes, but if you were really committed to improving your fitness then you’d make it a priority.
- You’re seeing it as a chore
Exercise is becoming something that you feel you have to do, and never something you want to do.
It’s just another thing for you to tick off your list, like housework or emails. You’re no longer finding any joy in it.
Tips for keeping on track
So, now we’ve figured out how to notice when you’re starting to let things slide, here are a few ways to help get the momentum going again.
- Remember why you started
You started this for a reason. There was something that motivated you to make real, lasting change to your life. But it can be very easy to lose sight of that when life gets busy.
So whenever you notice that you’re starting to lose your enthusiasm for fitness, it’s time to think back to your why. Remind yourself what it was that pushed you into this in the first place. Chances are, the same reason is still going to be a really big motivator.
The mind is a powerful thing, and can often derail even the best intentions. So you need to train it, so that it starts to see your healthy, active lifestyle as the norm, and stops trying to sabotage you.
Daily affirmations are one of the best ways to internalise a belief. If you tell yourself every morning that you’re strong, committed, powerful, capable or whatever else, then you’ll soon start to believe it’s true.
- Give yourself visual reminders
If you find that life’s a bit hectic and sometimes exercise just gets pushed to the back of your mind, then it can be helpful to give yourself visual prompts to remind yourself what you’ve committed to and why.
Keep your trainers within plain sight. Lay out your exercise clothes the night before. Write your favourite motivational quotes, and the reasons you’ve committed to this on post-it notes and stick them around the house or on your desk so that you’ve got constant reminders of what you’re working towards.
- Be accountable to someone
Accountability is incredibly important whenever you’re trying to achieve something. We human beings work best in teams, and if we don’t have anyone prodding us, or reminding us of the commitments we’ve made, then it can be very easy to just not follow through.
Find someone who will push you when you need to be pushed and support you when you need to be supported.
Let them know what your long-term goals are, but also what you want to achieve in a certain week, so that they can check in and find out whether you actually did it, and ask for an explanation if you didn’t.
- Don’t let other people drag you down
It’s so important to have the support of others, but make sure you choose wisely.
Don’t decide to be accountable to someone who’s going to flake out a lot, and don’t use the fact that they don’t go to a class or have a week off exercise as an excuse for you to do the same.
It’s all about being present in the moment and not allowing your endless to-do list to push your fitness to one side.
Consciously make your health your top priority, and live accordingly. Give yourself all the prompts you need to push through the initial stage and make a healthy lifestyle your default way of life.
How do you check yourself when you’re starting to let your fitness slide?