“Exercise isn’t an extra, it’s not a have-to-do. It must become who we are, a habit, something we get to do.”
I just returned from Boston where I attended the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum. Great conference, great energy, great ideas being shared. And my favorite session ended up having a message that was especially relatable to me.
David Meerman Scott is kind of a big deal in the PR and marketing world. I’ve been reading his blogs and trusting his opinion for years, and I had the opportunity to hear him speak live at this conference. He gave a lively presentation on newsjacking which, as a PR gal at heart, was like a rock show and rave rolled into one.
At the heart of Scott’s message was mindset. In order to achieve newsjacking success, a marketer has to shift his or her thinking into real time. And it can’t be something done once in awhile, infrequently; it has to be consistent. In other words, one must adopt a real-time mindset. “Yes, that makes sense,” I thought to myself.
He then compared newsjacking to exercise. In order to achieve health and fitness success, one must adopt an exercise mindset. “OMG David Meerman Scott just spoke directly to me,” I thought to myself. YES!
I’ve been saying it for years but maybe I’ve been using the wrong words. I always tell people that health and fitness is a lifestyle. It’s not a 21-day fix or doing a couch-to-5k program once; it’s not going to the gym every day for a month then burning out, nor is it going for a walk once a week, consistently, but never pushing for more. It’s making exercise part of your daily lifestyle – but how does a person do that?
What makes one person consistently go to the gym while another doesn’t? Why are some people constantly setting new goals while others don’t give it a second thought if they skip the gym for three weeks? It’s mindset. Getting to a lifestyle where exercise is just part of a daily routine isn’t a physical process, it’s a mental one. Yes, your body has to cooperate but you have to get your mind onboard with what you want your body to do. After all, it’s our minds that tell us we’re too tired to go for a run or we just can’t make it to the gym or we simply don’t feel like working out.
Okay, great, that makes sense – now getting yourself to that exercise mindset, how do you do that? Truthfully, I can’t tell you that. I mean, I know how I got there (I recently wrote a blog about why I run) but I can’t tell you how you’re going to get there. Just as there’s no “one-size-fits-all” exercise program that will work for everyone, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” mindset that will work for everyone.
The best advice I can give is to figure out how exercise makes you feel at your best. Is it stress relieving? Is it that high of trying on your favorite pants and having them fit comfortably? Is it the pride of setting a good example for your kids? Is it the rush of adding one more plate to the squat rack? It can be a combination of several things, just concentrate on those moments and know that regular exercise is why they exist. And, like anything worthwhile, remember that it’s not going to come fast or easy. Be patient. Keep pushing. Allow your mind time to make the adjustment.
Exercise isn’t something you’re going to magically fall in love with and want to do every day. Even the most exercise-minded people have plenty of rough days. But it’s absolutely possible to change your mindset to one that sees exercise as a great part of the day vs. something you dread all day. As something you want to do, not have to do. As something that makes you feel great instead of something that feels like a chore.
Side note, David Meerman Scott doesn’t just preach it, he practices it. Over the past few years, he has lost more than 50 pounds, kept it off and strives to get in at least some exercise every day – no matter how busy. #respect!
Have you achieved the exercise mindset yet? How long did it take you to get there and what strategies do you feel helped? Or, do you still struggle with exercise – because that’s okay and you’re not alone! Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @runlikeagirl311 on Twitter.