1. Put one foot in front of the other - Simple - right? It's much more difficult when you are faced with chronic pain and struggling to get going. But, the bottom line is - if you don't at least get started - you will spiral downward. Little at a time - you must push yourself to GET MOVING!
2. Set your mind - Decide what your overall goals will be. Pray over it and tell yourself you CAN do this. God wants us to be healthy. Place reminder cards or set an alarm on your phone to remind you. Be determined!
3. Set small goals - After you've set your mind for the big picture - break down your plan into monthly, weekly, and daily goals to help you get there. Needing to loose 30 pounds can be daunting; but exercising 20 - 30 minutes each day is easier to wrap your head around.
4. Bring in the reinforcements - I have struggled with this so much - I signed up for a group blogging event "Healthy Mom Series" to surround myself with other blogger moms who are also trying to get healthier. Some of them also have chronic pain - others are just moms who want to be their best. I also started my own group on facebook of moms who have similar goals and want to do this 12 week challenge with me. I even have a couple of ladies in my area to meet with locally. Rally the troupes with people who will show you support and encouragement!
5. A little bit can make a big difference - one of the things that has hindered me from getting started has been that I seem to think I have to set aside a big chunk of time or make a big deal out of my exercise time. This is simply not the case. Especially when getting going - even a quick walk or a short set of crunches counts for something. If we turn up the music and dance while cleaning the house - we are exercising! 3 ten minute bursts of time on the elliptical at various times during the day equal 30 minutes of great exercise. You can build up your stamina as you gain strength and get healthier!
6. Use your passion - I'll admit I don't like "exercise" much, but I do love the outdoors. I love the beach, my shells, and photography. One of the ways I've been able to motivate myself is by heading off with the mindset that I'm off to take pictures on a walk at the beach. I just carry my phone with me and snap a few along the way. I carry a bag to pick up shells - but I don't let myself stop to pick them up until I first walk a certain distance - on my way back I can scoop up shells until my heart is content. How can you combine what you love into your exercise routine?
7. No excuses - at any given time I can give you at least 10 reasons, off the top of my head, why it's not a good time for me to go get some exercise. Throw out the excuses or you'll be stuck! No excuses allowed - like Nike says (or did say many moons ago) "Just do it!"
8. Work it in - if you can't get up extra early or stay up extra late to fit exercise into your day - find a way to work it in to your day. If you are stuck behind a desk - you are at least allowed breaks! If you are homeschooling your children - don't just watch them at the park or send them outside - make yoga a part of your homeschool - or walk the circle while kiddos play on the playground. When there is a will - there's a way! (see #5 about cranking up the music to dance while you clean house)
9. Be creative - there are times when I just simply cannot take those first steps. My body just hurts too badly to get out for a walk. Sit on the heating pad and lift tiny arm weights! When I can't swim laps at the pool - I prop myself up against the side wall and do leg lifts. Your exercise doesn't have to look like everyone else's. Be careful - talk with your doctor - and find some ways to keep moving.
10. Lean on Jesus - meditate on His Word and pray for His help. You do not walk alone!
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’Isaiah 41:10