Motivate Yourself with Positive Talk
Six Things You Shouldn’t Say
Words have consequences. The things we tell ourselves can change how we behave in different situations. Constantly repeating negative things can contribute to feelings of failure and make us less likely to give our best effort. If we’re destined to fail, why try?
One of the fundamental reasons people work out is to improve themselves. You may not be where you want to be, but by showing up, you’re making an effort to change. Reinforce positive feelings and you’re more likely to stay on track. Here are a few of the more common things we should quit saying, and what we should believe instead.
Wrong: I just don’t have enough time to work out right now.
Right: I’m going to make my health a priority.
Everybody starts with the same 24 hours in a day. The difference is how we choose to spend that time. Some things we can’t change, like our obligations to work and family. But there are very few people who can’t set aside 30 minutes, three or four times a week for exercise.
As we age, our bodies break down. Working out keeps us in better health and helps us live more enjoyable lives. Exercise doesn’t take time away; it extends our lives and makes those extra years more productive and fulfilling.
Wrong: Everyone is going to stare at me when I start to workout.
Right: People will admire me for showing up.
Starting any exercise program can be intimidating. We think everyone who’s there will look down on or judge the newcomer. The truth is, most people are far more concerned about what you think of them. They’re too busy with their own workouts to pay attention to you. Become an inspiration and keep going back. Over time people will appreciate you for the person you are.
Wrong: I can’t do it.
Right: I’m going to keep trying until I can.
Quitting without trying guarantees defeat. Break down the task you’re attempting to accomplish into smaller steps. Then take actions to get better at those smaller steps. Over time, all those little improvements lead to big achievements. The only time you’ve lost is when you quit, so don’t quit.
Wrong: I’m just going to diet, I don’t need exercise.
Right: I’m going to explore different types of exercise, to see what works best for me.
Trying to drop fat through diet alone is a losing proposition. Your metabolism, the rate that your body burns calories, is influenced by how much muscle mass you have. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns.
Going on a diet can help you lose weight, but it also slows your metabolism. Without muscle to counteract the weight loss, you’ll have to remain on that diet forever.
Wrong: Life isn’t fair.
Right: I’m going to use my situation to succeed.
It’s easy to get caught up in self-pity, blaming our luck for the situation we’re in. But focusing on things we can’t change, doesn’t improve anything. Muscles grow when we tear them down. Succeeding in the face of hardship, makes you stronger than someone that’s been given everything without a struggle. It’s amazing how lucky people become when they’re persistent. Face the hardships and rise above them.
Wrong: I’ll start tomorrow.
Right: I’ll start now.
It’s so easy to imagine ourselves doing things perfectly, in the future. Tomorrow I’ll stick to my diet, go to the gym and get enough rest. That often means today you won’t do anything.
There used to be a bar in Key West with a huge sign that said, “Free Beer Tomorrow.” When someone would go in asking about the free beer, the bartender said; “Is it tomorrow? If it’s not tomorrow, the beer’s not free.” You never wake up in tomorrow. You only have the moment you’re living in now.
You don’t have to do things perfectly. You don’t have to do everything at once. You just have to get started… now.
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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.