How often do we formulate a healthy plan in our minds only to talk ourselves out of it? An example of this is going to the gym. A goal I hear quite often is “I’m going to work out today.” Working out regularly has many health benefits including being one of the most effective ways to manage stress and increase motivation.
When I hear this goal, I ask gentle probing questions to help the person increase the likelihood of following through with this goal. One key point to discuss is the importance of going to work out before going home. We all know what often happens when we get home. We may become consumed with all the housework that needs to be done or see how inviting the couch looks, plop down, and not get back up for several hours.
A way to increase your chances of following through with your goals is to learn to use the skill of talking yourself into something. Instead of letting the mind run amuck with reasons why you should skip the gym, try noticing this thinking and shift mental gears into a mindset that will motivate you to follow through with your goal.
Talking yourself into going to the gym might look something like this: “I recognize that I am tired today so I’m going to the gym right after work to boost my energy. I know I will feel better after I work out, even if it’s only for half an hour. I will pack my gym bag and place it in the front seat to remind myself that I’m going to the gym when I get off of work this afternoon.”
Notice the frequent use of “I statements” and planning involved in the process of talking yourself into. This can be a very empowering process to engage in and will help you reach more of your short and long-term goals.
If you’re interested in more information on increasing motivation and meeting your goals, please read “The Importance of Using SMART Goals”.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/55839512@N08/9110667917″>June 22, 2013 at 05:38PM</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>