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​Exercising for Beginners: How to Get Motivated and Where to Start

Starting exercise can be daunting. You’ve finally had enough of not feeling good about yourself, all your friends are starting, or maybe they’re not into health the way you want to be and you’re nervous of what they might think?  Maybe you’re scared about how much it might to hurt and how much pain your PT might put you through?

I have people come to me all the time who either haven’t exercised in ages or at all. I want to put my arm around them and tell them it’ll all be okay. But that wouldn’t do much to ease their anxiety. It’d be good to create a video of them in ten weeks and show them what they look like, how they’re feeling and what they think of the training they’ve done with me. But that’s not possible…yet. If they’re joining one of my groups, the best I can do is to get them to come along and meet the other members. But even that’s nerve-wracking.

The simple fact is, you just have to take the leap. Learning how to leap is a skill and just like any skill, the more you do it, the better you get at it. So there’s an element of having to just jump in and do it. But that process can be made easier in several ways.

How to Get Motivated

You’re already motivated so make the most of it
Motivation comes from pain and pleasure. We move towards pleasure and away from pain. If you want to start exercising, it’s likely because you’ve established enough pain to motivate you to start. There are several levels to this motivation: think about it, look into it, start. Recognise that you are motivated because this is what’s got you to this point.

Learn how to sustain the motivation
No one remains motivated. Not the girl on Instagram who posts perfect photos of her bikini body for her 33 million followers or the Best and Fairest winning elite footballer who appears to have everything going for them. Everyone has times when they just don’t feel like training. Sometimes those feelings are intense and sometimes they last for extended periods of time. Discover what motivates you and use that to sustain motivation. Connecting with your goals emotionally, as well as intellectually, is the secret to this. Write down all the reasons why you want to start exercising and connect with them on a daily basis. Really connect with them. Spend time thinking about what life will look and feel like when you’ve achieved them.

Get clear 
Be exceptionally clear on what it is you want to achieve. Dive down into why. There are different strategies for this. One of my favourites is, “so that”. Ask yourself why you want to start exercising and complete the statement, so that. Keep asking “so that” until you either can’t answer any deeper or end up in a continual feedback loop of the same response. Another of my favourites is, “for what purpose”. This is the same as “so that” and can be treated as such. As you start to near the achievement of this goal, you’ll need to revisit this for the next stage. If you don’t, you’ll just end up with another problem or challenge, just further along the journey.

How to Get Started

Getting started depends on where you’re at along the motivation continuum. If you’ve only just started thinking about it, congratulate yourself. This is the first step in a positive direction. If you’re still not ready to go any further though, don’t worry about it. You’re moving in the right direction. If you’re looking into it, just contact a few gyms, group training classes or personal trainers and ask for more details. You’ll get a pretty good idea on what the group will be like from the the response you get to your queries. If you want, send me a message on the ‘contact’ page on my website. I’m happy to give you more information. And if you’re ready to start, take my word for it that once you take the leap, the safety net will appear. Think about all the times you’ve achieved something in the past for the first time, the safety net appeared and you were alright at the end of the day, weren’t you?

Starting something new is daunting. It’s scary and it’s worrying. They’re typically emotions that we try to move away from. As I said, we move away from pain and towards pleasure. But if the pain of not making the change is stronger than the pain in the short-term, you definitely have to take the leap.

What have you achieved in the past that you were scared of or maybe even thought you might not be able to do? Tell me about it. Your story can have significant power for others who read it.

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