“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in the finishing an activity but in doing it” -Greg Anderson-
How do you feel after you exercise? Do you feel energized, happy, and accomplished? Do you feel depleted, unsatisfied, and bored? Checking in with how you feel is a crucial step in discovering what truly motivates you to exercise and stay fit. Your motivation and mindset are they KEY to lasting change.
Lets take a deeper look at finding joy and gratitude in your journey to becoming fit versus focusing purely on the end result.
I recently took a Zumba class at the studio where I teach. It was so wonderful to take a class and be a student, especially a class out of my comfort zone. I had so much fun shaking my hips, pumping my arms, and moving my booty up, down and all around. When the cool-down song started to play, I was shocked with how fast the class went by and how much FUN I had. (Side Note: I am very comfortable with being silly, so I was in what I call the “Zumba-Zone”). I left class and had an “Ah-ha moment”. I wasn’t just taking Zumba to get a ‘ripped six pack’ or to get the ‘perfect butt’, I was motivated by joy and fun. I could enjoy my journey of transforming my body and exercise my gratitude along the way.
Starting any type of personal transformation is exciting. It seems women always begin any exercise program with vigor and excitement. Maybe you can relate to these thought patterns, “This time I am going to stick with it. I am going to go to the gym 7 days a week for 4 hours each day. This time I am going to attain my perfect body. I will deprive myself and do whatever it takes. I will be so much happier when I finally lose all that weight.” Sound familiar? I LOVE the determination and goal setting from this mindset, but what is missing is the same determination to support and be grateful during the process of change. It is amazing how quickly women forget all they have achieved and continue to focus on how far they still have to go. If your body could talk it might say something like this, “How about a little appreciation for the changes so far? Lets do something fun to celebrate our accomplishments. Our body is looking and feeling good, lets look in the mirror and really FEEL it.” Listen to your body.
The KEY is…can you stay motivated and in the state of gratitude along the journey to becoming your fittest most fabulous self? Can you celebrate your small accomplishments and be your own biggest cheerleader? Can you be grateful when you slip up or progress and see it as a chance to learn more about yourself and the adversity of life. Can you continue to set goals for yourself and be motivated by self-love? Yes, you can! Emphasize all the positive changes! Soak up the compliments you receive without thinking to yourself, “Yeah but…..”. Feel empowered and proud of yourself.
I have many clients that are so set on the destination of perfection for their “body” that they lose joy in the actual movement, classes, and exercise. Women love to use the word “perfect”. I believe if we weren’t so focused on being perfect, we would actually be happier and embrace our bodies for the miracle they are. The ability to move your body is such a blessing. Bless your body with love and appreciate it NOW.
I know that I personally always feel confident, sexy, and happy when I am in good shape. I also know that I want to take care of my body and continue to exercise for the rest of my life. Gratefully, I NOW KNOW that the best way to do this is to focus on the joy of the journey and appreciate each step along the way.
Are you enjoying what you are doing for exercise ? Are you appreciating your progress? Are you willing to look within to discover what motivates you? Please share your thoughts and feelings.
Tips to Exercise your Gratitude:
1 Celebrate your small accomplishments and make them BIG
2 Give gratitude for each time you are able to move your body
3 Focus on feeling joy
4 Feed your body thoughts of gratitude
5 Continue to set new goals for your fitness level
6 Try new forms of exercise