Here is something you probably didn't know about me, I don’t love exercising. Even though it has been a fundamental part of my life, exercising isn’t something I particularly enjoy. There have been times when I’ve had fitness goals like running a sub 5 minute mile or bench pressing 275 pounds, but the joy I pulled out of the was the achievement after each session and not the act of doing it.
Despite not really enjoying exercise, I’m still very consistent about it, at least 3x a week and every evening with my pushups. But I don’t want to rely on my will power and discipline to get it done. I’d prefer to have authentic motivation and be pulled to exercise rather than forcefully push to exercise.
So, this is what I started recently. Anytime the idea of exercise comes up, I choose to smile and think, “Oh yay, I get to exercise today!”. It’s hard to do because it feels inauthentic, but my subconscious doesn’t know the difference. And with enough repetition it will eventually generate an excited, positive relationship with exercise. Or at least that’s my theory.
So, when I look at my calendar and it says “exercise”, I smile. When I start taking my first few steps on my run, I say to myself “Finally I get to run!”. In my goal sheet, if I write down ‘exercise’ as an action item, I put a smiley face next to it. It’s simply an adjustment of perspective that reinforces the identity I aspire to have. I think it’s starting to work!