2: How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise [Podcast]

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

Motivation is fleeting, especially when it comes to something you may not want to do, such as working out. Exercise is one of many activities that we know we should do, but life gets in the way.

This episode provides doable tips on how to motivate yourself to exercise. Among these tips,  keep the benefits of exercising on the forefront of your mind. Exercise, for instance, can increase energy, decrease chronic stress, lessen depression and help control type II diabetes to boot.

Your environment also spurs you to move toward your exercise goals. Pictures, alarms, text messages and so on can motivate you to put on some running shoes or go to the gym.

There are many ways you can become and stay motivated enough to pursue exercise and other life goals. The solution is to find your own personal motivation.

How to Improve Your Mood on Your Down Days

How to Improve Your Mood

The way you start your day dictates your mood, behaviors and surroundings. Many of us experience this on Monday mornings. The dread of return to your regular routine inevitably leads to you spilling coffee on your favorite blouse, sniping at an overly chipper co-worker and succumbing to the annoyances of bumper-to-bumper traffic.

For the most part, we live unblissful and unaware. Outside circumstances dictate inside performance. Sadly, the negative circumstances that weigh more heavily on our mood and behavior. One snide comment, for example, can derail your whole day, and cause train wrecks for the people around you.

So what can we do about a bad mood and a terrible day?

  • Do a preemptive strike. Rather than go to sleep in a state of anger, worry and anxiety, concentrate on positive things before bedtime. Search your mind for the things that went well. If possible, turn off news programs after 9 p.m.
  • Start the morning off on a good note. You can do this several ways. Exercise for ten minutes. Read or watch inspirational material. Eat a leisurely and beautiful breakfast. Drink iced green tea with a crazy straw. Go outside, and get a dose of fresh air and sunshine.
  • When you find yourself in a funk, go through a mental list of the things you’re grateful for in your life. If this seems hard, start with the big stuff like your family and friends and work down the list to things like the smell of fresh flowers.
  • Keep a set of quotes, sayings and pictures handy. This can serve an instant mood boost. I’m partial to funny cat pictures and inspirational graphics. You can keep them in a journal. Or, go a bit more technical and use a Pinterest board.
  • Be around positive people, in the real and virtual world. Recently, I was sucked into a bad mood after following a set of online comments that quickly turned into a flame war. Although it sometimes may be entertaining to watch, being around such negativity may influence how you see the world.

1: The Importance of Positive Emotions [Podcast]

The Importance of Positive Emotions

I’m not going to tell you that negative emotions have no point, because there is a purpose for each emotion we have. But there comes a point when we may take negative emotions and thoughts too far. And instead of acting on them in a positive way, like coming up with solutions or taking action, we dwell on them. This is what causes a negative spiral. Negative emotions distort reality and limit our choices.

This podcast covers the importance of positive emotions.  I discuss tangible ways of dealing with negative emotions and injecting more positive emotions in our lives.

As discussed in the podcast, here’s your action challenge.

  • Be mindful of your thoughts and emotions
  • Dispute negative thoughts.
  • Do at least one thing that brings a smile to your face.

What story do you tell yourself?

Story Self TalkWe all have a story we tell ourselves. The story either inspires us, coming from a place of love or discourages us, coming from a place of fear. Many of us, including me, aren’t aware of all the narratives that traipse through our minds, just the momentary self talk. The tragedy is most of the time we think our stories are our truths. Unfortunately, the fear-based stories tend to rule the areas of our life that we want to change the most.

As with everything, the first step to changing and knowing your story is awareness. Is your self-talk script similar to this?

• That’s just not for me.
• I’m not good enough.
• I have always been this way.
• There’s something wrong with me.
• I just don’t think it’s appropriate for me to this.
• So and so in the fifth grade told me on a cloudy Friday afternoon this about myself. So it has to be true.

If my story, for example, is that trying something new would be too overwhelming and scary to even try. Chances are I will avoid novelty, eventually becoming bored and unfulfilled.

Our story is only true if we think it is. Essentially our entire life is a story. We might as well have story that works for us, and not against us.