By Tonya Mott, Director of Continuous Improvement
Against all odds because it took me 20 years to make it happen, I have been going to the gym 6 days a week consistently since January 1, 2021. And, no, this was not a New Year’s resolution type deal, it just so happened to line up with the new year. I’ll add that I’m married, have two small children, a full-time job, and a million excuses why I could never show up. So here goes…
It started with a book I was reading for work called, Atomic Habits by James Clear. Initially, the book had me analyzing my current habits. After carefully considering what I do from the minute I wake up to the time I go to bed I decided that there wasn’t much I wanted to change. So then I moved onto thinking about what new habits I wanted to incorporate into my life. The gym!!!! Challenge accepted, can I get my butt to the gym consistently? Probably not, knowing my “rebel” self, I notoriously can talk myself out of anything. Hmmm, go to the gym, meh, it was a long day, maybe tomorrow, I’m tired, maybe tomorrow, I’m too busy, maybe tomorrow…and on and on the vicious cycle continues.
So here’s what I did and it seems to be working:
- Make it an obligation – I hired a personal trainer, choosing the least expensive option possible because I’m not rich. This managed to get me to the gym at least once a week for 30 minutes. It costs me money, I made an appointment with someone that’s expecting me to show up, and it made me feel like there was no way I could back out. This plan had its benefits but it wasn’t enough, so next…
- Just show up, even if it’s only for 10 min. – Strive for action, not perfection. Sounds easy enough:
“Where to focus:
For the beginner, execution.
For the intermediate, strategy.
For the expert, mindset.” – James Clear
- Best time to show up, morning, during the day, or in the evening? – I imagine this is different for everyone. For me, it’s first thing in the morning before everyone in my house is awake. This guarantees no excuses for not showing up. At first it took some major discipline, to the point of even sleeping in my gym clothes so I could just roll out of bed and run out the door.
- Bad-ass playlist – Having a playlist specific to working out is a must for me. I need music to get me and keep me motivated. My music of choice is mostly gangster rap:
- Nipsey Hustle
- Three 6 Mafia
What can I say I’m an 80’s baby J (warning all mostly explicit language).
- Bonus – There’s lots of eye candy. I found this good for inspirational purposes. When you don’t have a clue what you’re doing it’s nice to see others that are in great shape and get ideas from their routines. Of course, I try to do this without staring like a creeper, lol!
In summary, I’m six weeks in to consistently going to the gym. I know it doesn’t sound like a long time but that’s short of a miracle for me so I’ll proudly run with that. I feel great and for the first time in my life I look forward to going to the gym. I actually get a little anxiety with the thought of possibly missing a day. This is something I’ve never felt before and it amazing. Now, let’s see if I can keep it going, wish me luck!