Getting started is 80% of the battle.

by Mark on November 5, 2012

I’m guessing that I’m not the only person who has struggled with numerous failed attempts to get better, stronger, and faster. I would get myself all pumped up, and I just knew that the change was going to stick this time. Sometimes I was so fed up that I would be extremely motivated for a while, but then my willpower would give out, and I was back to square one.

“80 percent of success is showing up.”
– Woody Allen –

The biggest problem is that we get impatient. We want to see immediate results. Part of the problem is that we are frustrated that we have been unable to change for so long, and part of the problem is that we see all those advertisements telling us how people made wondrous changes in ridiculously short time periods.

I will let you in on a little secret. The vast majority of the people on The Biggest Loser end up gaining most of the weight back. This is because they haven’t developed the habits necessary to keep the weight off. Lasting results require habits that support those results.

For now, just get in the habit of starting.

Don’t worry about how much you do in the beginning. In fact, intentionally start really small so that you can’t possibly fear how hard it will be. If you want to exercise consistently, just get in the habit of putting on your workout clothes and going for a brisk 5-minute walk. That’s it. Just get in the habit of starting.

When I started exercising every day, about 5 days a week I would take a nice fast-paced walk around my condo complex and the adjacent block. It took about 20 minutes. It was enough to get the blood flowing and to get me breathing heavy. Two days a week I would do something much more intense but much shorter.

Don’t worry about results at first.

I didn’t worry one bit about getting fast results because I knew that this was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I knew the results would come if I could just develop the habit of exercising every day. Then I began to notice improvements.

My conditioning was noticeably improved. I didn’t get winded just going up the stairs. My times improved walking around the block, and then running around the block (I kept a daily log). The motivation to keep improving just came naturally. Now I have no problem whatsoever getting myself to exercise daily, and my level of conditioning is a million times better than when I started.

Get in the habit of starting, and improvements will come easily.

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