What’s the hardest thing to do when it comes to keeping up your fitness routine or yoga practice?
Whether you’re in my Kamloops Yoga Fitness Program, going to a yoga class, aspiring to a daily meditation, or following any other approach to taking care of your self, the hardest thing isn’t any particular exercises.
It isn’t 100 burpees or a 300 lb bench press. It isn’t some advanced pretzel yoga pose.
It’s waking up early and going to class, or rolling out your mat, or sitting for meditation every day. It’s consistency that gets us.
Tony Robbins says something along the lines of “The hardest part about going for a run is putting your shoes on.” It’s the getting started on a daily basis that we, as human beings, seem to have a difficult time with.
How To Overcome The Challenge Of Being Consistent In Yoga And Fitness
One of the reasons that boot camp and other fitness classes are incredibly early in the morning is because this is the only time that many people have to work out on a regular basis. It also helps boost metabolism and gives you a great feeling of accomplishment when it’s 7am and you’ve already done an awesome workout.
But that’s only true if you can get yourself out of bed and show up.
When it comes to yoga, it is absolutely one of the most beneficial practices, strengthening, balancing and healing you on many levels. But you only get those benefits if you do your practice. And when it comes to asana, that means rolling out your mat. With meditation, it means you make it a priority every day.
So how do you get over the blocks that stand between you and the healthy body and happy heart that you know has so much to do with having a beneficial physical and spiritual practice?
1. Make It Meaningful. When you’re having a hard time with anything – yoga, fitness, meditation, whatever – bringing a deep meaning to it is step one. Look to your heart for the answer. What motivates you the most?
This isn’t a ‘should’ kind of answer. Sure, you ‘should’ work out because you want to be healthy, but what lies beyond that?
Some ideas for motivation that can get you up and help you do your practice every day include wanting to be truly happy, yearning for the freedom that comes on every level when you engage yourself in such a fulfilling way. It can be as simple as a very real desire to have a fit and healthy body. Find something that DRIVES you; a feeling that wells up from within and says “YES” to life!
Once you find your ‘why’ that brings a deeper meaning to your practice, it will be a lot easier to get started.
2. Set Yourself Up For Success. Make a commitment to yourself. Make it bold AND realistic.
One of the best ways to really commit and help yourself follow through is to sign up for a class, be it yoga or fitness, or a combination of both. This helps in a number of ways: you have a teacher to inspire you and help you find your edge, you’ll likely have more creativity and skilled instruction than if you were doing it on your own, and you’ll be investing money, which can be a very real motivation for many.
You don’t have to go somewhere to commit, though. You can make a pact with yourself. But be devoted to it – don’t let it slide away as the days roll on.
Once you’ve made a commitment to yourself, do everything you can to help yourself follow through. If you’re doing an early morning program like my boot camp, or wanting to wake up for meditation, go to sleep early. Get enough rest and set yourself up for the morning – read my article 7 Tips To Wake Up Early for some help on that.
3. Just Do It. Yep, Nike has a good slogan. Do whatever it takes to make the first move. Put your alarm across the room and make yourself get out of bed. Get your behind on your meditation pillow. Put your running shoes on. Tell yourself you’ll only do 5 minutes of yoga so you roll out your mat – chances are you’ll find yourself enjoying it way too much to stop at 5 minutes. Start moving.
Once you gain momentum, you’re going to be fine, but sometimes you just have to push a little harder to step up to the starting point.
The secret to any practice is staying true to it, and staying true to yourself through it. When you set a New Year’s Resolution and then find it has already melted away halfway through January, you might want to revisit your approach.
If lack of consistency has gotten in your way, don’t beat yourself up about all the days you’ve not quite gotten to actually DOING your practice. Instead, take the steps necessary to make sure you create consistency.
Make it a routine, and then a habit. And then you can start thinking about new challenges, like 100 burpees, or lotus in handstand. 🙂
If you live in Kamloops, I invite you to come to my Kamloops yoga classes, or if you want a super-fun, healthy approach to getting in shape that balances fitness with the alignment and benefits of yoga, check out my Yoga Fitness Boot Camp for Women. It’s an incredibly successful program that is open to ALL LEVELS of ability, and gives you the support you need to accomplish your goals – so long as you get up and stick with it.
If you’d like some gentle guidance for meditation, check out Doses of Delight, my Online Meditation Guide.
Here’s a video I made that gives you 3 ways to get on your mat:
Photos by Kamloops Photographer Natalie Anfield.