is where I see most people stumble….. and get shot down.

Sadly — because this key component is right at the beginning of the getting fit process … it’s typically the single biggest reason why people fail right out the gate.

I recently did a consult. Sue was having problems. Her exercise programme wasn’t happening.

She had tried everything.

It was like trying to squeeze water from a rock. The knee pain that had stopped her from enjoying walking had been getting more and more severe. She had become even more inactive.

She joined a gym.

Indoor and outdoor classes. Weights. Treadmill. Stationary bike.

Cajoled, coerced and captivated to get up and about, running in short bursts, push-ups in the park, sit-ups by the sidewalk. Stressing to make it on time for the class, or to almost elbow her way to the equipment she wanted to use in the gym at the end of a day’s work.

And with all the pain, sweat and tears, she still wasn’t enjoying the exercise, nor the way her body responded to it.

So after nine long weeks, she let the gym membership lapse.

She was frustrated.

At the prompting of her husband, who just wanted his wife to be happy, she booked a one-hour consult with me.

Five minutes into the conversation it was clear to me why Sue was fighting a losing battle.

She’s a very clever woman.

Yet … Sue had made a rookie mistake. She’d chosen a vehicle (the gym) because it was the obvious thing she could do to get strong and healthy. After all, weren’t those personal trainers and gym supervisors supposed to know how to get fit?

Rookie mistake. “Presumption is the mother of all …”

So I asked Sue — if you wanted your child to get more active, what would you be suggesting?

I turned to her 8 year-old daughter, who was had just popped in toward the tail-end of our session with a skipping rope in hand.

“You like skipping?” I asked.

“Love it!” she squealed, “I can’t wait for playtime so I can play with my friends”.

Sue: Oh wow! Obviously I’ve never really thought about the activities I actually find fun.

We didn’t need to dig any further.

I had revealed why getting fit was so hard. Sad part though … Sue had already ploughed a fair bit of chump change into signing up for the gym membership, and rearranged some of her work hours so she could make it to some of the less-daunting gym classes.

Listen … I’m not suggesting that it’s impossible to get healthy through the usual fitness channels if you’re not really geared up to be a gym-junkie.

But one thing is for sure — it won’t be easy.

Why battle like this when there are so many other heart-pumping and power-building activities where that are fun and easy to do.

At least 5-20 times each week, I need to motivate all sorts of individual clients to take up exercise so they will feel better and get moving even more.

Over 80 per cent of the time they take up my recommendations and STICK with it long enough to get the result they want.

The biggest tip I can give you is this …

… instead of starting with a fitness programme in mind — like everyone does — start by identifying what environments and lifestyle habits you enjoy.

Did you get that?

Never start with a specific exercise in mind and then attempt to find a way to force yourself to do it. No. That’s not the most effective way to approach a long-term plan to get fit and well.

Identify your go-to moves FIRST. Start by noticing what you ALREADY enjoy – either doing or the environment you love being in … then simply get into a space that puts in the frame of mind to get you moving. It really doesn’t need to be much more complicated than that

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