Tips on how to keep the commitment
When starting something new -- like a new fitness plan -- we are initially enthusiastic about the commitment. Then we go through four phases before this type of commitment becomes internalized and part of who we are.
Be Prepared to Experience All Four Phases
The four phases we experience when making a commitment to a fitness plan are Form, Storm, Norm, and Perform.
The Form phase is marked with the excitement of beginning a new program. During the first week after a commitment to a fitness plan, sticking with the plan should be easy.
You may even feel you can handle more training than the plan suggests. Don’t do this! Not only does overstraining risk injury, it risks your motivation and continuation of the fitness program over time.
One main mental deterrent occurs in this phase — waiting for all the lights to turn green before beginning. While preparation is good, pick a start date, go for it, and don’t look back.
The Storm phase follows a few weeks later. When we learn the program is hard work (on some days), and we just don’t want to train — this is the storm phase. It happens to everyone. Be prepared.
In the Storm phase, we begin to create excuses (conscious and subconscious) for missing workouts. This is by far the toughest phase.
How should you get through this phase? Mentally prepare ahead of time. The Storm phase is a natural phase that everyone experiences.
The key to overcoming it is to make the commitment now to press through the Storm phase when it occurs, and it will occur. Don’t let this natural human emotion deter you from your fitness goal.
Consistency is a must for a lifetime of fitness. Following one of the Synergy Fitness plans will improve appearance and produce fitness gains rapidly. The positive results will increase satisfaction, motivation, and, subsequently, improve the results of training.
The Norm phase is adapting to your fitness training commitment by learning that you can press through the tough days when you do not feel like training - and still get in a great workout.
Every successful, long-term fitness training individual knows — feeling bad at the beginning of the workout, often means this will be the best workout of the week.
The Perform Phase is achieved when fitness training becomes internalized, and fitness training becomes a part of who you are.
The Perform phase occurs when you have experienced the first three phases and begin to train consistently.
Repetition eventually becomes habit, and that should be the goal of every fitness program.
Training can’t be a choice. Fitness training is just something that you do. It must become a part of who you are.
During the first eight weeks of beginning a fitness plan, you will not only be making positive physical changes, but there will be positive mental changes as well.
Don't Make This Mistake!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will bypass the first three phases and go straight to the Perform phase.
When this happens, the Storm phase seems forcefully to pop up and pull the person back into this phase.
The Strategy that Works
The best strategy is simply to be mentally prepared to experience all four phases ... in advance.
Identify the phase you are currently experiencing, and with maturity and confidence, work through the mental aspects of fitness training by sticking to the plan even on the tough days. This is the real test!
When you reach the Perform phase, maintaining the fitness plan is much easier. But you can’t get there until the first eight weeks are completed and fitness training begins to become apart of who you are.
The Take Home
Mentally, prepare in advance for the four stages that everyone experiences as they begin the follow-through after making a fitness plan commitment.
Have a great day!
Phil Campbell, the author of Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness offers a Free online Health & Fitness Newsletter at Ready Set Go Fitness.
Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A., FACHE, AGE 50