What If You Think Your Goals Are Lame?

Exploring Intensity

Image by Blue Specs Studio

What If You Think Your Goals Are Lame?

Image by Blue Specs Studio

What if you think your fitness goal is lame? Like so lame you would not even tell a friend about it?

If you sometimes play host to the voice of negativity and it’s whispering that your accomplishment is no big deal, it’s no marathon or anything, you need to find a polite way to tell your internal voice to f**k off. First of all… because: #pandemic. 

Everything is harder now that we are shut-ins, even the things that aren’t harder seem more challenging. 

View yourself with more compassion. Shame, contrary to what many people reflexively believe, is a terrible motivator. Do not strip naked and stare at yourself in the mirror and mock the way you look. If you must strip naked, find something nice to say. Shame decreases dramatically the likelihood of continuing a health and fitness routine. 

The antidote to shame is recognition. Write down all that nonsense that your inner voice says to make you feel bad. Don’t worry whether it’s accurate or not. That is moot. It’s not EFFECTIVE. And that’s the goal. 

Work in some mini-celebrations for what feel like relevant milestones to you. Take time to read something you’ve been keen to read. Paint your nails. Or sit back and enjoy a couple hours of hockey, football, hoops or bad tv. 

Expect the tiny voice of bile, and let it blab as you do your thing. You are correct. The tiny voice is self-doubt and shame made audible. Ineffective. If you have a coach who tries to motivate you with shame, flush that coach down the toilet. 

Keep it up. Unless it’s a race, it’s not a race. Forward is forward whatever the pace. 

This is the best way to get off the couch repeatedly: to succeed at small fun goals you’ll build on. 

Now, if you have a history of regular exercise, my motivation steps are actually still the same. Know that a strong muscular and cardiovascular base will make it easier to escalate the difficulty of your goals. But inertia is cognitive. It can’t tell how strong your quads are. To begin, employ the same concepts. 

– Dr. S.

Dear Dr S. –

Wait wtf? We are supposed to write down stuff like “I’m a f**king slob who can’t stop eating chocolate covered almonds…” We write down our negative thoughts? Is there going to be a “burn this shit up party…?” Why do we do this? Is it like an exorcism?

Are we supposed to counter shame thoughts with positive thinking like, “I know I can do this crap. This is hard, but I know I can do it. I’m awesome and getting more awesome every day.” Or do you not go for the Tony Robbins style positive thinking stuff?

-Mark G.

Dear Mark G. –

Yes, you’re supposed to let you worst fears see the f**king light of the miraculous day because within every “I’m a f**king slob” lies many many other thoughts. If you want to know what you’re up against, you have to look at it, not wallow in it. Don’t do it all at once if it’s too much. We are mean to ourselves. As with exercise, pace yourself.

Saying generic positive platitudes to yourself doesn’t work. Customized, genuine self encouragement does. I encourage that.

-Dr. S.