I think the hardest thing to do is CHANGE.
It’s part of why it is hard for most women to start weight training. It is why it is hard for most people to ditch conventional wisdom and start eating Paleo/Primal.
It is why a lot of big life decisions are hard in general! To make big changes, to get big results, you can’t be afraid to let go of what you know, think or believe. You’ve got to be ready to take risks and suffer some consequences.
Below are the 10 most important “changes” you need to make to become a stronger, fitter, more empowered you. Of course this is my opinion…but then again, I’m always right, right!?! 😛
- Ditch the disbelievers. This one is first because I think this is probably the hardest thing for me. I hold onto people even when they are holding me back. If you want success though, sometimes you have to go it alone. Don’t give in and cheat on your diet just because your friends are trying to get you to eat badly. Don’t be afraid to lift those heavy weights even though your friends tell you that you will bulk up. Don’t be afraid to ditch the disbelievers and go it on your own! You can do it! You are strong enough!
- Try something outside your comfort zone. If you really want to find out what you are made of, try something new. I know it’s scary, but the only way to find out what you are truly capable of is to try something you either haven’t done or aren’t comfortable with doing!
- Keep an open mind about EVERYTHING. Be willing to try new things! Experiment! There is always new information coming out about everything. Research everything. Read different points of view or find out works by trying it on yourself! If you weren’t somewhat open-minded already, you probably wouldn’t be reading this site! 🙂
- Have confidence in yourself and try something just beyond what you KNOW you can do. While it’s nice to stick with what we know we can do, you will never find out just how truly strong you are if you don’t push beyond what you’ve already proven you can do! This doesn’t mean just lifting a heavier weight in the gym. It also means tackling an activity that you’ve maybe never done before or are unsure if you can do!
- Admit to yourself that you don’t, and can’t, ever know anything for certain. Deep huh? This one actually kind of sucks, but it’s true. I like to believe I know everything, but deep down I know I don’t. Nothing is ever set in stone. Everything can change. We are constantly learning or at least we should be. If you think you know everything, you are wrong. Be willing to change and adapt your beliefs as you learn and you will grow as a person.
- Accept that you will be wrong and enjoy your failures. This one is hard. No one ever enjoys failing. I most definitely hate it. I don’t like failing or being wrong. BUT I know that I will be at times. I know that I will fail, BUT I know that each time I get back up and try again, I become stronger. As cheesy as it sounds, look at each failure not so much as a failure, but as a learning experience. If you want to accomplish something persistence is key!
- Learn. Learn every moment of every day. Learn by doing research, experimenting, failing and achieving success. And the thing is, by doing all this learning, you will learn more about yourself. Through all of my “learning” I’ve developed a stronger identity. It may always be a slightly shifting and growing identity, but the more I learn, the clearer it becomes!
- Forget, but never forget. Learn to let go of the negative emotions surrounding a failure. Forget the emotions so that they don’t hold you back. You can’t change what happened. You can only move forward. But even though you need to release the emotions, NEVER forget how hard you worked. Never forget what the goal meant to you. KEEP PUSHING ONWARD! Change your game-plan but never give up!
- Accept your fears. This is another one that can be hard. This is a random story BUT…I’m afraid of snakes. I hate them. I have no idea why, but I really really really (I could go on with the reallys) hate them. I almost didn’t go on a hike in Red Rock Canyon because it was prime snake season. But I did go despite the fact that I was sure I was going to be bitten and die in Las Vegas. Most people fear dying in Vegas for a ton of other reasons…but not me…I was sure a snake would get me. And if I hadn’t gone on that hike…I would have missed out on one of the best memories I have during my life!
- Build a network. These 10 changes come full circle. As you develop the “new” stronger, fitter, more empowered you, you have to build a new network of people who support and push you to grow further. The “push” part of that equation is very important. You always want people around you that challenge you and motivate you to achieve your goals not just stand still! An example of a network that has helped me grow is my lifting classes. Those ladies, and my two Man Bicep Males!, have helped me grow so much. I also pride myself on believing that I’ve helped them also grow into stronger, fitter and more confident individuals!
So what changes have you made toward becoming a stronger, fitter, more empowered individual?
I love lifting heavy weights and workouts that nearly kill me. For me that is fun…as sick as that may sound.
But I do realize that my idea of fun doesn’t necessarily appeal to everyone.
And if you want to find the perfect workout routine for you, you have to find a form of exercise that you enjoy!
While I don’t think any workout routine is complete without at least two days of heavy lifting, I do think there are lots of things you can do to make your workout routine fun in general.
Here are 10 ways to make your workout routine more enjoyable:
- Workout with a friend. I find that working out with someone not only pushes me harder but makes any workout, no matter how torturous, more tolerable.
- Do activities that you enjoy! Do a Zumba class if you enjoy it. While lifting is important, you don’t have to lift every day, which leaves plenty of time to do the activities you love! Combine an activity that you love with a couple of essential, but maybe not as fun lifting days, and your overall program will be something you enjoy.
- Add music to your workouts. Create a playlist for your workouts. Matching up music to exercises can be motivating and make the workouts more fun. A playlist can both help you take the appropriate amount of rest and help you not take extra breaks during an intense circuit!
- Challenge yourself. There is no better feeling than pushing through a hard workout. When you complete a challenging workout, you feel successful and that feeling of success makes the hard work worthwhile!
- Mix it up! Vary what you do. If you do the same thing week in and week out, you are going to get bored. And if you are bored with your workout, you probably aren’t having fun. Keep it interesting and mix things up at least every 4-6 weeks!
- Try something new. Every time you experiment and try something new, you give yourself the chance to find something new that you enjoy. Trying something new also adds variety to your workouts, which keeps you interested!
- Take the workouts outside the gym. Try taking your workouts outside. Go for a run or hike. I always find that I workout for way longer when I’m actually GOING somewhere. Even just moving your workouts from the gym to home can make it easier to squeeze one in on a day when you aren’t motivated.
- Play. When kids play, they are exercising. What’s to say a workout has to feel like a workout? Go stand-up paddle boarding, roller skating or biking! Or even just go play on the playground with your kids!
- See results. When you see results, you are motivated to keep working hard. Find some great ways to measure your progress and do check ups every 4-6 weeks. Success is a great motivator!
- Don’t think that every workout has to be a marathon. Don’t pressure yourself into making every workout the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Also, not every workout needs to go on for an hour. Sometimes the best workouts are the ones where you go all out and are exhausted in 10 minutes. Vary the length and intensity of your workouts. Something is better than nothing. And not having to stress over the length of your workout can make working out more fun in general!
How do you make working out fun!?!