Commitment- By Regan Dacey
A serious challenge that I’ve struggled with in transitioning through different changes in my life has been commitment to my fitness journey.
This seems strange, given that I have a diploma in Personal Training and work as a personal trainer with Fit ‘N’ Well, but I believe this is where many people struggling with their health and fitness also experience some difficulties. You’ve made a plan, implemented changes, are starting to see real results – then something changes. Perhaps your work or home life has become more stressful than usual. Perhaps you’ve suffered a setback, such as an injury or illness. Perhaps the initial motivation ad excitement for achieving your goals has died down a bit.
Once you’ve stepped off the wagon, it can be difficult to jump back on. A day or two can somehow become a week or two… or a month or two… or six months, nine months, a year.
How are you feeling at this point? Disappointment? Guilt? Frustration?
Let’s try looking at what commitment means. The definitions provided byinclude being dedicated to a cause or an activity, which fits quite well within the scope of fitness, as well as an obligation that restricts freedom of action. Thinking of this, I would consider a commitment to fall under something you actually want to do or something you feel that you have to do.
I’ve seen people succeed in the “have to do” category, but everyone should take a moment for reflection and consider how they best work to meet their goals. Personally, I’ve experienced far more success when I focus on wanting to do something rather than the feeling of obligation. It seems funny when sometimes the things I want to do morph into things I now feel I have to do, and suddenly I find myself lacking the commitment to work towards my goal. Remaining focused on the “why is this important?” and “why do I want to do this?” often helps in reinforcing the sensation that you’re actively choosing to work toward your goals.
Here is an example: Washing dishes is not one of my favourite activities. For me, this definitely fits into the “have to do” category. I do, however, work hard to make sure they’re done and put away because as much as I hate doing dishes, I hate a messy kitchen even more! I WANT a clean and orderly space to prepare meals, so focusing on the desire to have a clean kitchen allows me to overcome the negative feelings I have when standing at the kitchen sink.
This self-reflection can be an incredibly important part of your fitness journey. Exercise may not be your first choice regarding what you want to do, (like perhaps watching some TV or playing on your tablet!) but if you focus on the larger picture – why you want to live an active lifestyle – it can be much easier to remain committed to your fitness goals.