Getting started with something new can be daunting. And we don’t just mean getting started at a gym in general – this could be about starting anything… finding a new career. Moving house. Giving up smoking. Learning a new skill.
Many of us will find ourselves waiting for the ‘perfect time’ to start, concocting an elaborate (and completely unrealistic!) vision in our minds of the ideal circumstances. I’ll start…
…when things are less busy.
…once I’ve lost a bit of weight.
…when I can convince my friend to do it with me.
…tomorrow. Maybe next week. Or next month. Or never.
We convince ourselves that we need the planets to align instead of just… starting. So why do we do this?
For many of us, the never-ending ‘imperfect circumstances’ simply give us justification for not taking the plunge. Because if the circumstances were perfect, and we still don’t start, then it really would only be on us. It gives us a reason to avoid taking that risk.
Sure, starting might be scary… or hard… or uncomfortable… but perhaps it is time to acknowledge that being in exactly the same place in a year’s time is the greater risk.
So how do we overcome these barriers – and get moving with what we really want to do?
1) Acknowledge the facts
..that there never will be the ‘perfect time’ to start. There is only now. And if we don’t start now, now becomes yesterday. And then last week. We have the power to prevent future us from saying “I wish I’d started sooner”, turning that voice into “I’m so glad I started when I did”.
2) Carve out the time in your day
The magical hour will not simply appear, and no one will give that time to you. You need to find it. Give yourself the permission to take it, and make your goals a priority. Carve it out, book it in, and commit to that slot. Make it a non-negotiable. We never run out of time in our day to use the loo – of course! Because it’s a non-negotiable act. So it’s time to view your goal with the same importance, and if you don’t have the time, make the time.
3) Just Start
Ok, this might seem obvious… but seriously…just start. Do anything to begin. And then you’ve begun! So we can get this whole ‘starting’ malarkey out of the way. If it’s starting a new fitness regime that you’ve been putting off – let’s get cracking. Even if that’s a 5 minute walk for today – then you’ve started. And tomorrow, you don’t need to think about how hard it is to start, because you’ve already started! Instead we can build from there. A 5 minute stretch becomes a 10 minute power walk. Your 10 minute power walk then leads to a 12 minute workout the next day. You get the idea! No baby learning to walk is burdened with the daunting thought of climbing a mountain – instead they just go for that first step. The next will follow.
4) Expect Hurdles
How frustrating is it when you set off on a journey, and you find yourself unexpectedly stuck in traffic? It’s a nightmare.
But… what about when you take that same journey, expecting traffic? When you’ve checked the trip on Google Maps, and know to expect some congestion on the motorway, and the school traffic as you approach home? It’s so much easier. We go in prepared. Whether that setting off early, or setting up a podcast to play before you hit the road to keep you entertained – it’s so much more manageable when you expect it. So approach your new venture with the same expectations. It isn’t all going to be plain sailing, and hurdles are inevitable. Sometimes work will get in the way, and sometimes you’ll wake up with the flu and despite best intentions simply not be able to do what you had planned that day. And that’s ok. It’s normal. It’s expected. So with this expectation – strategise. What hurdles might you encounter? What can you do today to help you keep going when you inevitable encounter those hurdles?
5) Establish your Support Network
Your support network might simply be your coach! Pre-booking sessions in with them can keep you accountable. Or perhaps you plan to declare your goals to your partner, parents, or your children. Sharing your goals and telling them about the expected obstacles will help create that support when you need it the most. So, when you hit that ‘traffic’ along the way… they will be there to remind you that you expected some challenges… and this is just one of them. Let go of the idea that you should be a lone hero.
So there it is, in a nutshell: five simple steps to starting. Take the time to reflect on what you have been putting off. From joining the gym, to cleaning out your shed, there is no ‘perfect time’ to get started, so let’s start now.
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If you’re looking for a welcoming and supportive community to help you get started with your fitness goals, get in touch to book a free No Sweat Intro today! We’re ready when you are.