How to Reorient Your Brain

More focus means more results.

Talk about déjà vu. You’ve been here before. You jump into an exercise program, ready to push yourself past any limit like any self-respecting Reps guy, only to realize that you can’t get yourself past the front door. So, what’s wrong? Here are a few tips to get you back on track.

1) Lose the “I Shoulds.”

You may want to shift your focus away from what you “should” do to be fit, functional and healthy and think about the top 10 things that make you thrive and how being fit and active supports those activities, suggests Margaret Moore, founder and CEO of Wellcoaches Corporation, which trains fitness professionals to help motivate clients.

2) Focus on “Meaning.”

Moore also suggests linking fitness to what is most meaningful in your life: your contributions to your family, your workplace, your friends and your community. Being fit gives you the energy and calm to be your best. Being fit allows you to excel without the need for a lot of drama. “This will replace ‘I should’ with ‘I really want to exercise,’ says Moore.

3) Learn from past mistakes.

Some honest soul-searching might also be in order. “Recall past cases of exercise programs gone wrong, determine what happened and why and determine if there’s a pattern or similar reason for your dropout,” suggests John Raglin, PhD, a professor in the department of kinesiology at Indiana University who researches exercise psychology and human behavior. “If there is, you need to strategize about what to do if the event or feeling occurs again.”