WHAT IS YOUR PROGRAM DREAM?
Though in our modern times, the majority of our population live sedentary lives, so increasing physical activity would be a necessary factor to improving one’s health, especially if your occupation requires you to sit or stand for long periods of time. However, there are some qualifying questions that must be thoroughly explored before one hops into an exercise program or activity:
- What do I want to accomplish by doing these activities?
- What exercises and activities do I enjoy?
- What exercises and activities do I need?
- How much energy do I have to perform an exercise program?
- How much time do I have to perform exercises each day?
DO YOU HAVE A REALISTIC GOAL?
The average person will make a fitness goal to exercise more or “go to the gym 5x a week” and after 2 weeks, statistics show a 70% failure rate. The reason for this is lack of putting realistic and defining terms into the goals, but also more importantly, there isn’t a greater dream that illuminates or energizes this goal.
“ if you only want to look ‘good’ for a day because you believe that some photographs will aesthetically immortalize you, then the sore-button truth is this:
You don’t really believe you can or should do anything in reality because the goal is about the illusion of a photograph that people will potentially see or look at forever. Not you.
Does that make sense? You are creating goals for a piece of paper that very few people may look at- maybe- a few times. It isn’t REAL.
In all actuality, what everyone – including you – are going to see and look at everyday forever is the living, breathing, tangible reality that is you.” Sara Gustafson
You have to be brutally honest with yourself otherwise there is a very good chance that you are setting yourself up to fail. What do you really want to accomplish? What is your dream for moving your body? To be more flexible or get stronger? Do you want to be faster, more conditioned? Do you want to exercise to lose weight? Based on the what, ask yourself:
- Why do I want _____?
- Why do I need to _______?
- What will achieving this do for me?
- Mentally / spiritually
- What will happen if I don’t achieve this goal?
- Mentally / spiritually
- How will it support you in all aspects of your life?
- Career or Occupation
- Home & Family environment
- Relationships & Social
- Health & Longevity
- Creativity & Learning
- Fitness & Performance
- Emotional Wellness
- Spiritual Development
If you have established what you want to accomplish with authentic terms to define your “why”, then it’s time to figure out how to do it!
The Five Program Factors:
The principle of thought teaches us that if we’re searching for articles on spin class and yeast infections because we heard from a friend of a friend 6 years ago that there’s a correlation between regular attendance of spin classes and onset of yeast infections, then there’s a pretty good chance we’re gonna get a yeast infection! It also provides the not-so-subtle clue that we’re actually not all that into spin class.
So my point is, make a list of the activities and exercises that bring you joy and leave you feeling energized and good before and after you do them. This is the list from which you begin!
Next, and this is really important, you must recall your why and determine if all of those exercises above will actually support that.. Do they? If you are in a lot of pain, and are experiencing knee problems- but you love running, then is that a good idea?
What do you think you need? What exercises, movements and activities should be incorporated into your program?
Although this is only one example of so many we could put in here, this is a factor of movement where you may need to call in the expertise of someone who can assess your needs and support you.
Our egos love to subjectively deflect us from these things with, “well any movement is better than no movement,” and “running allows me to relieve stress which is actually healthy so,”.
Great, and both of those are very true and both of those truths will be laughing in your face when you will be forced into a full leg brace for 6 weeks after surgery and not allowed to move at all, followed by 6 months of frustrating physical therapy doing menial exercises while paying off your $6,000 in insurance deductibles and you’ve lost over $9,000 of income because you only had 1 week available to use in sick leave so now you’re out $15k. I’ll ask again: should you be running on a bum knee?
TIME & ENERGY
These two factors are required for anything we do so to prioritize movement into your life you have to take a very good look at your energy levels and how much time you have to do any kind of exercise program.
- Do you have enough time to move everyday?
- If so, for how long?
You must factor in a lot of things when it comes to time such as where you will workout, what equipment you have and/or need, how long it will take you to get there, get ready, as well as clean up and get to the next activity in your schedule. So realistically, how much time do you have?
- Do you have enough energy to exercise everyday?
- If so, how much?
The energy you have to workout must come from the awareness of how much energy you are using vs how much energy you are restoring each and every day.
If you are not sleeping consistently, drinking coffee throughout the day everyday certainly doesn’t count as “restoring energy” into the body.
You cannot fool nature!
That’s like pouring cheap fuel into a gas tank with holes in it and then speeding circles around a race track. Eventually you’re gonna wonder why you’re spending so much money on repairs and the ‘check engine’ light keeps coming on right after you got it back from the shop.
- Did you get less than 6 hours of sleep?
- Are you sick or have an injury?
- Did you have a stressful day?
- Do you feel tension anywhere in your body?
- Are you finding it difficult to relax and breathe?
- Are you having difficulty with digestion/elimination?
- Are you sore or still recovering from a workout?
- Have you skipped meals today?
- Are you dehydrated or not confident about drinking enough water?
If you answered YES to more than one of the above questions, then you are not ready to workout until you can address those issues. And if you cannot address those issues prior to exercising, then today is REST DAY!
If you don’t have the time, or energy, to eat, sleep, poop, relax, recover, drink water, clear your thoughts or breathe, then you do not have the TIME or ENERGY to workout!
BUDGET & RESOURCES
Resources refers to what you need to do a program such as hiring a coach or a trainer, having physical therapy done, getting physical assessments completed or a program written as well as memberships to gyms, libraries, online learning platforms, equipment, grocery stores and markets nearby, services that can support you such as water delivery.
These are the items you want to figure out that will be your resources. People are resources and they are either going to be positive or negative ones, so know who they are in your life!
Based on the resources you have, and the resources you may need, you will now need to set a budget. Daily, weekly or monthly. What will be a comfortable budget for you to work with so it does not cause you additional stress?
Stress reduces your willingness factor.
So no matter how low you think your budget is, do what you know is within your means. You can review it later to determine what can be reduced and modified so you can make room for things that support your dream.