It’s no secret. The biggest challenge for you and I is finding the motivation to begin an exercise program or continue one recently started. Together, how can we inspire each other to make fitness a priority everyday?

Our health is so important. Let’s get started. First, we’ll both need to accept the fact that living a healthy lifestyle is a process and not an event. Fitness is the end result of our daily habits and our everyday behavior. We rarely question why we do certain things, its just habit. So first of all we’ll need to alter our habits. How?

You and I are going to take action! I’m getting motivated just thinking about taking action – action breeds motivation. We’re in this together. What’s next?

Do we even know why we have certain habits? Changing our behavior is going to take time so the sooner we’re able to focus on making small changes the sooner we’ll see results. I’m making one small change today. I’ll walk just a little more today and tomorrow in addition to my regular exercise program. I’ll take a little extra time to enjoy the world around me while walking. I’ll keep my head high and see things as I’ve never seen them before. I can see this is going to pay off. It’s the right path and we’re on it. That was easy, now what?

Now that I’m walking more, I need the right fuel. My eating habits need to change, but not all that drastically. Let’s agree that you and I will spend a little more time making better choices while shopping for groceries. After making a selection in the grocery store, we’ll pause and ask ourselves, “Is this the best choice?“ Are there similar products that are still enjoyable, but just a little healthier? We have the power to choose and we’re now choosing more wisely.

If you and I are going to stay motivated, we need to constantly remind ourselves that a pay-off lays ahead. I can see its already working. A new, healthy, stronger you is emerging.

We can’t forget that consistently making the right choices combined with an exercise plan will not only improve our overall health and fitness, it will also improve our appearance, energy level, and attitude. We’ll reap psychological benefits as well: more confidence, better self-esteem, and relief from anxiety and stress. So let’s start some planning.

Our fitness is a priority so we’ll need to set aside 30 minutes a day for exercise. The mornings are best, but lunch is also a good time to exercise. You and I are not going to wait until the end of the day to exercise any longer. Our goal is to exercise before 2:00 p.m. whenever possible. On the days we can’t exercise before 2:00 p.m., we’ll schedule 45 minutes of exercise for the early evening or an hour the following day if we miss a day, but we won’t.

When you’re not available, I’ll find someone else tthat can exercise with me that day or I’ll exercise alone because it is important for me to stay committed to the plan. We’ll need to tell everyone we know our exercise schedule so they can encourage us to stick with it. Sharing our fitness goals with others will help us achieve our goals. We’ll feel compelled to exercise because it’s now part of our lifestyle. Exercise is now on our schedule as a “high priority.”

Thanks for offering to help me stay motivated. I’d like to share a few things I’ve found that might be helpful to you also:

1. Check with your doctor if you are starting a new exercise routine to play it safe, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions of potential concern. Share your fitness goals with your doctor.

2. Write down a few fitness goals and post them on your refrigerator. Keep them short and sweet. Sign the paper like it is an important contract, because it is. “I commit to these fitness goals on this the ___ day of ______.” It really works.

3. Contact a personal trainer at your workout facility and ask them to show you the proper form for all of the exercises on your routine. If you haven’t prepared your routine yet, ask a personal trainer to help you prepare a customized workout plan. If you would like a customized workout plan you can obtain inexpensively online, contact me and I’ll hook you up with my personal trainer. He offers online training.

4. If your personal trainer suggests exercises you don’t really enjoy, don’t be shy. Ask him or her for an alternative exercise. I don’t even think of walking or running in the rain, so plan to see me in the gym at a spinning class or aerobics workout on rainy days.

5. Get to know a few of the people at your gym by name. You’ll enjoy going more frequently when you develop relationships with others living healthy lifestyles.

6. Ask a local nutritionist to prepare a sample weekly meal plan for you. If you don’t know a nutritionist, contact me and I’ll help you find a resource that allows you to prepare one online.

7. Don’t have time today isn’t an excuse any longer. Studies suggest that several 5-10 minutes exercises spaced throughout the day can be just as beneficial as a regular workout.

8. While the water is warming up for your shower, run in place for a few minutes, drop to the floor for a few sit-ups or push-ups. It’s a great way to get five minutes of exercise in everyday no matter what your day brings.

9. Try to workout around the same time everyday. It becomes a good habit you can live with day in and day out.

10. Reward yourself after reaching a milestone goal. Fitness isn’t dull and boring for you or I. It’s fun and we’ll stick with it because we want to and that’s all that matters.