One of the reasons that crossfit worked for me on the first go-around was the community vibe. I am a social person, and having a space to work out that also lends itself to developing friendships with people was the key to reaching my fitness goal. I knew that if I didn’t show up, people would notice. I knew this because, over the last year, as I took on more work, I stopped going to the gym for long stretches of time, and those few times when I did show up, my crossfit friends would ask, “where have you been?”
I didn’t like that question. I liked that I had developed relationships with people who cared enough to notice my absence, but I didn’t like that I had been gone for so long to warrant it. That was enough motivation to get back it and stick with it. If I feel like I’m being held accountable, I will show up. This isn’t exclusive to crossfit. There are many fitness classes that are open to forming relationships – pilates, martial arts, pop physique, etc. Even if you just get to the point where you can say to someone you’ve sweat it out with, “I’ll see you here Tuesday” – there is so much power in that commitment. Not only will you be doing your mind and body a disservice by not going Tuesday, but you might have guilt as well. And if you’re not a social person, you can still apply the integrity of showing up to yourself, holding yourself accountable, and committing to YOU.
When I tell my friends at the gym that I’m back and in it for the long haul, to get physically and mentally fit, they hear me, and I hear myself. The more I say it out loud, the more I believe it, and the more it holds me accountable, increasing my success rate.
Marie Forleo gives great advice on 5 key steps to get a healthy habit going:
- Have a clear, specific vision of what you want, and kill uncertainty (I see myself mentally healthy, free from bouts of anxiety and depression, and physically fit again – a healthy weight, energy, good sleep habits, great eating habits. I know I can do this, and I now there will be moments of doubt. And in those times, I breathe through it, and I put my damn sports bra on.)
- Set trigger goals 5x week (Not just “I’ll go to the gym 5x/week” but something that triggers that, such as “I’ll get out of bed and put on my workout clothes 5x/week” From there, you will most likely move in those clothes all the way to the gym.)
- Have improvement goals with a date attached (I will have shed five pounds of fat by 3/1/2016.)
- Gather a tribe around you (This is key! Gather your tribe, your friends and family that can join you on your quest. Those who you can check in with when you’re experiencing highs and lows, that will listen and motivate you (in some cases, just listening is enough). And those that want to workout with you, those that want to truly see you succeed, and those who won’t give you crap if you work hard to say no to cake or the extra beer. Your tribe is everything.)
- Have a scripting setback. (It’s hard to say “no,” especially when you enter those “fuck it” zones – “Oh, fuck it I’ll have one more, why not? Oh fuck it I’ll have a piece, I mean, life is short right?” My script is “No thanks, I’m good,” and carry on. “No.” is a complete sentence. Or when it comes to planning, “I’m going to the gym but I can meet you afterward…” Once I started planning around the gym and not the other way around, it became a priority, and a habit.)
My tribe is fierce, and my goal is clear. There will be setbacks – shit, it’s only been two weeks and there have been moments of weakness with too much chocolate – but I am continuing to move Imua.