Making the Most Out of Your At-Home Fitness With Small Wins
, 8 min reading time
, 8 min reading time
You have untapped potential waiting to be let out into the open. The problem is, for most of us, potential and excitement surrounding fitness goals isn’t everlasting. There will be a time when you can’t rely on motivation for your at-home fitness routine. You need consistency.
How can you generate the consistency that leads to long-term success? Lifespan Fitness is here to remind you that you’re not failing and you can conquer any fitness goals you have, but not do in one day.
Small fitness wins turn goals that seem insurmountable into a cakewalk. They’re what can turn someone who hates walking into an avid treadmill desk user or turn someone from a candy and fried food fiend into a vegetarian.
At Lifespan Europe, we believe in giving people a partner on their road to health and fitness. Our small company can give you the tools you need to feel more energized, increase productivity, and improve your mood throughout the day. Our selection of treadmill desks, standing desks, and under-desk bikes fit in any at-home or corporate office and simplify the small wins. Continue reading to learn how Lifespan Fitness can help guide you on your fitness journey, regardless of your goals.
As a 2011 survey conducted by Steven Kramer and Teresa Amabile attests, the number one determinant of employee motivation and engagement is whether or not employees believe they achieve something worthwhile throughout their day. The study also found that meaningful achievement didn’t have to be a large thing. It was often the simplest pleasures that kept employees motivated. That’s no different with at-home fitness.
To accomplish our goals (whether professional or fitness-related), we don’t have to come up with grand changes. We can take it one step at a time. Consistency is the key to sustained success.
How do small wins pertain to at-home fitness? Why can working at a standing desk make you feel a boost of energy, outside of the numerous proven physiological benefits? There are a few key reasons why small wins lead to success more often than the massive changes we say we’re going to make.
When you have an at-home fitness setup, it’s easy to workout. But it’s also easy not to workout. Small wins develop the habits that help you avoid excuses. If you workout every day – even if it’s only for twenty minutes on a treadmill desk – you’re creating a routine.
Neurologically, you’re establishing pathways in the brain that make twenty minutes of exercise a natural act. Physiologically, you’re increasing your cardiovascular endurance. Mentally, you’re receiving the endorphin hit that comes from remaining active. These three elements create a repeatable routine for daily happiness. Twenty minutes a day on a treadmill desk is repeatable, sustainable, and it will release endorphins that improve your mood.
In the face of a towering mountain, consistency and discipline can seem impossible. The key to summiting the mountain is to break it into smaller hills. You might be eager to climb the mountain, but what happens when the inital excitement about your climb wanes? What happens when you get tired and feel like you can’t continue? Do you turn back or take a break or regain your composure and continue?
If you use your treadmill desk or under-desk bike – even when you don’t feel like it – the action becomes easier over time, until eventually, you do it automatically. Our brains need positive feedback to continue a challenging task. If we consistently feel like we are failing at something, it will overwhelm us and we will wind up quitting. If we focus on the smaller achievements, we achieve the victories that keep us tackling the larger challenges.
Part of the problem with the way we approach fitness is that if we don’t experience monumental changes, we tend to give up on our goals. Think about the last time you failed when you really wanted something. Losing weight, increasing your energy, making more money- how long did it take before you decided it was too difficult?
Why didn’t you stick with it? Well, science explains part of the reason. A study published in the European Journal of Psychology, found that making a habit automatic can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days. That leaves a lot of room for failure. Most people are under the impression that you can create a habit within three weeks. While you can create habits in as little as three weeks, for most, it takes much longer.
Some habits take longer to form than others. For example, drinking a glass of water when you wake up is likely easier to stick with than performing 50 sit ups before breakfast. Some people are more likely to stick with habits, as well. How difficult it is for you to maintain habits can depend on multiple factors including your neurology and environment. Performing smaller tasks takes your mind off the more grandiose aspects of your goals and helps you focus on incremental victories that lead to habit creation.
To avoid quitting your at-home fitness routine, you need to sharpen your focus on the details. We’ve become conditioned by the news and media that large successes are the only ones that matter. Whether it’s the musician who makes it because of a viral video or the millionaire who only works three hours, they’ve convinced us success is instant. It’s not. It takes time and that’s okay. When we decrease the size by which we measure our goals, we see success more frequently.
Instead of measuring your success by how many pounds you lost, focus on how good you feel each day after walking on your treadmill desk. Study your productivity on a daily basis. You will likely notice a change in how you define success and shift from a quantitative analysis to a qualitative one.
If you want to achieve your goal, you have to stay aware. Your brain functions similarly to a filing cabinet. If you don’t organize and catalog your thoughts, things get lost in the shuffle. Recording your goals and the small achievements along the way ensures you can focus on your wins during times when you feel like giving up. In fact, in another study published by the Harvard Business School, researchers found that the simple act of reflecting on business activities improved productivity by 23%. It’s no different for fitness activities.
Consider the following scenario. You lose 15 lbs in the first month of a three month goal to lose twenty-five lbs. You’re feeling ecstatic, but when the next month rolls around, you’ve only lost 2 lbs. The overwhelming pull is to quit.
However, if you’ve been recording the small wins along the way – 50 pushups when you could only do 20 before, walking 3.0 miles when you could only walk for 1.5 at the start – you can quickly refocus. Recording these wins boosts your motivation and compels you to keep going. Without their record, you think the month is a loss simply because of the overarching number.
Those who enjoy social media might feel compelled to share everything and wonder why they don’t feel fulfilled afterward. Those who don’t typically share on social media might feel like no one cares or listens when we want validation. Neither of these approaches are sustainable.
Announcements of your successes can backfire but withholding self-praise can also zap your motivation. Research shows that when we share our important goals with others, our brains get tricked into thinking we’ve already accomplished our goal. That’s why oversharing can backfire.
However, you don’t want to feel isolated in your goal approach, either. As one study shows, you should record your goals with at least one witness for accountability purposes.
It’s March and you’re worried that you haven’t accomplished the large goal you swore you would when you were jotting down New Year’s resolutions. Don’t sweat the big stuff. Start focusing your attention on small, achievable wins with Lifespan Fitness today. Our wide selection of treadmill desks, under-desk bikes, and standing desks can keep you focused as you continue your at-home fitness journey.
Contact Lifespan Europe today to gain a partner in your small wins.
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