Motivation to Get Fit - Tips on How to Keep the Commitment

Psychologists tell us, when starting something new like a new fitness plan, we become enthusiastic initially. Then we go through four phases before the new activity becomes internalized and part of our normal routine.

BE PREPARED TO EXPERIENCE FOUR PHASES

The four phases we experience when making a commitment to a fitness plan are Form, Storm, Norm, and Perform.

FORM PHASE

The excitement of beginning a new program is the unmistakable sign of the Form Phase. After making the initial commitment to a fitness plan, sticking with the plan the first couple of weeks should be easy.

You may even feel you can handle more training than your plan suggests. Don't do this! Not only does over-training risk injury, it jeopardizes your continued motivation over time.

One main mental deterrent can occur in this phase - waiting for all the lights to turn green before beginning. While preparation is positive, pick a start date, go for it, and don't look back.

STORM PHASE

The Storm phase follows a few weeks later. When we learn the program is hard work (on some days), and we just don't want to train - this is the storm phase. It happens to everyone. Be prepared.

In the Storm Phase, we begin to create excuses (conscious and subconscious) for missing workouts. This is by far the toughest phase to master.

How should you get through this phase? Mentally prepare ahead of time.

The Storm phase is a natural phase that everyone experiences. And the key to overcoming it is to make the commitment now to press through the Storm Phase when it occurs - and it will occur. Don't let this natural human emotion deter you from your fitness goal.

Consistency is a must for a lifetime of fitness. Following a well designed, comprehensive, reasonable fitness plan will improve appearance, make you feel better, and produce fitness gains rapidly.

Seeing positive results from your effort will increase positive self image, and create even more motivation to continue for the long term.

NORM PHASE

The Norm phase is adapting to your fitness training commitment by learning that you can press through the tough days when you do not feel like training - and still get in a great workout.

Every successful, long-term training individual knows - feeling bad at the beginning of the workout, often means this will be the best workout of the week.

PERFORM PHASE

The Perform Phase is achieved when fitness training becomes internalized, and fitness training becomes a part of who you are.

The Perform Phase occurs when you have experienced the first three phases and begin to train consistently.

Repetition eventually becomes habit, and that should the ultimate goal of every fitness plan. Training can't be a choice. Fitness training is just something that you do. It must become a part of who you are.

During the first eight weeks of beginning a new fitness plan, you will not only be making positive physical changes, but there are also many positive mental benefits.

DON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE!

Don't make the mistake of thinking that you will bypass the first three phases and go straight to the Perform Phase. This is a huge mistake. This thinking will set you up for failure. When this happens, the Storm Phase seems forcefully to pop up and pull the person back into this phase.

THE STRATEGY THAT WORKS

The best strategy is simply to be mentally prepared to experience all four phases ... in advance.

Identify the phase you are currently experiencing, and with maturity and confidence, work through the mental aspects of fitness training by sticking to the plan even on the tough days. This is the real test!

When you reach the Perform Phase, maintaining the fitness plan is much easier. But you can't achieve this level until the first eight weeks are completed and fitness training begins to become apart of who you are.

THE TAKE HOME

Mentally, prepare in advance for the four stages that everyone experiences as they begin a new fitness plan.

About the Author

This is a guest article by Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A., FACHE. He is the author of Ready, Set, Go, Synergy Fitness for Time-Crunched Adults, offers a F-R-E-E Health & Fitness Newsletter at www.readysetgofitness.com

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