Have you ever worked towards a fitness goal where you realized the more fervently you worked toward it, the harder it became to achieve? Do you feel like sometimes you are working AGAINST YOURSELF with your fitness goals? Are you experiencing anxiety or nervousness towards achieving a life or fitness goal? If so, your good intentions might actually be the cause of your failure or lack of results.
When we set out to loose 15 lbs, fit into that swimming suit from last year, or run a marathon, it’s human nature to focus more on the results than the actual process. I mean we constantly hear the quote floating out there, “Keep your eye on the prize”. But is that REALLY the best way to reach your fitness goals? I would like to have you perhaps, to look at this from a different perspective. It might be a game changer for you!
The pressure that comes with focusing on the results of a goal can sometimes lead to anxiety about getting it right. We become SO fixated on the actual end goal, that we neglect the process. And what happens when we neglect the process? The process starts to become a negative experience. For example:
Mary wanted to loose 15 lbs by her next birthday. She was dead set on achieving it. She joined a gym and every spare moment she wasn’t working, she was at the gym. She did interval training, because she knew that was the best for weight loss, however she absolutely hated it. There were numerous times where other gym goers tried to make conversation with her, but she was dead focused on her workouts and cut the conversations short so she could focus on her workouts.
Work started getting really busy one day, and she had to start working out less frequently. She started to become stressed out because she wasn’t getting all the workouts in that she thought needed to hit her goal. This stress caused her to lay in bed at night unable to sleep, figuring out when she could fit gym time in her upcoming days and weeks. She started eating more than usual because of the lack of sleep. She weighed herself every morning, and to her dismay, the scale was barely budging. She started having a negative attitude saying things like, “I hate working out, I’m never going to reach my goal.” She had a fear of failure at this point.
So as you can see Mary was focused only on her end goal, and a couple of things happened because of this:
1) The pressure she put on herself to reach the end result caused her to have so much anxiety that it started working against her ( no sleep, eating more).
2) She lost meaning in the process. She had a chance to meet new fitness friends that she could have possibly established good relationships with that could have supported her. Heck they might have possibly been knowledgeable enough help her with her goal!
3) The heightened focus on reaching her goal, made the process of working out a chore rather than a pleasurable experience. She was doing activities that she didn’t even enjoy, which made her hate going to the gym. She could have explored other fitness activities that she would have enjoyed to make the process more pleasurable.
When working towards your fitness goals, use the following exercises to help alleviate the anxiety and pressure that comes with wanting to achieve your results (So you can focus on the process!)
1) Diminish your anxiety of reaching your goal by using Paradoxical intention, This is where you persuade yourself to exaggerate the anxiety or pressure of reaching your goal. For example, if you become stressed because your life becomes busy and your workout time is cut in half, instead of going into panic mode, Say to yourself “I am going to see how many times next week I can skip the gym”
Or if you weigh yourself and the scale isn’t budging and you become frustrated, “I am going to see how many pounds I can gain in the next 2 weeks”. The absurdity of this exercise trains your mind to alleviate the pressure and anxiety that goes along with focusing on the results. I have used this same exercise for my panic attacks, where I tell myself I am going to make myself have a panic attack, in the midst of when I felt one coming on. I promise you, it lightens things up and it works.
2) Use the trash can exercise. First write down your worries, anxieties, fears about your goal on pieces of paper. Then either throw them in the trash or place them in a box. You will find through this exercise that you have not only effectively identified your worst fears about your goal, but that you have also decided to hold them at bay by letting go of them. This will allow you to ENJOY the process towards your goal!
Reaching your fitness goals doesn’t have to be a negative process. Check out my SERVICES page where I can help make your experience a pleasurable AND get you the RESULTS THAT YOU WANT!