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Four Things to Keep in Mind As Gyms Start to Close…Again

“The only constant in life is change.”
- Heraclitus

Whether we accept it or not, we are currently living in a time of constant change. Gyms are open, then they’re closed. The first time this happened, we had two choices: blame everything on the pandemic or adapt and make the most out of it. (I know a lot of us probably started with the first option) Now, as we’ve entered into a new wave of the pandemic, our “making the most out of it” attitude is probably tiring out and our “normal” workout routine might be getting stale. One of the biggest questions I’m seeing from clients is: How can I start a routine again?

At CliffHanger Academy, we identified 4 key factors to help get you started on a new and better workout routine, without all the setbacks you encountered last time.

Find Motivation

The most important step is to find your own motivation to exercise. We often find ourselves making excuses that we “don’t have time today” or “we’ll make up for it tomorrow,” to which I reply “show me tomorrow.” We can’t control tomorrow, but we can control today, in that moment. If you need that extra push to get yourself into the right mindset, find a motivational speaker or blogger that you can relate to, or an inspirational quote. Here’s a great one from Derek Jeter: “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you.” I like this one because it encourages you to focus on what you can control (your hard work) and not other people. The goal is to find something that speaks to you. Once you’ve found your quote, put it somewhere you’ll see it frequently; your bathroom mirror, sticky note on your computer (my favorite) or even your car steering wheel (a mentor of mine did this).

“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you.”
-Derek Jeter

Set Goals

Goal setting is what separates the pros from the amateurs, the successful from the unsuccessful. Goals can sometimes be big stretch goals (run my first marathon) and also small victories (eating one better meal per day). In any instance, it’s designed for YOU, which means it is in your control so that you can focus on moving forward in any way possible. Researchers at Harvard studied the success rate of people with goals (written or unwritten) and people without goals. They found that the people who had written goals (less than 3%) had a net worth three times higher than the ones with no goals and people who had goals not written down (13%) still had a net worth two times higher than the 84 percent of people who did not have a goal. Basically, by simply writing down your goals, you can increase your net worth by 200–300%!

Just like your motivational quote, write down your goals and put them somewhere you will see them frequently.

“…people who had written goals (3%) had a net worth three times higher than the ones with no goals”

Be Open-Minded

Being open-minded and persistent are key characteristics to strengthen both your mind and body. Living this way also allows for more opportunities to arise that you previously would not have considered or were afraid of trying. To become more open-minded, we must adjust our understanding of the world, also known as accommodation. Instead of assimilating, where we just place new information in pre-existing categories in our mind, accommodation creates new categories. These categories allow us to take on different perspectives that we were not aware of before. We are creatures of habit so this is definitely not an easy thing to do, but keep in mind that growing mentally is just as hard or even harder than growing physically so once you break those barriers and come out of your comfort zone, you’ll be surprised how much you’re capable of accomplishing.

Trust the Process

For me, this has always been one of the most difficult things for me to do, but always reaps the most benefits. It’s important to remember that growing physically and mentally is a journey! Just like any journey, it may have some small bumps along the way. Trusting the process will enable a healthy mindset so we can look at the bigger picture instead of stressing the small details. It is essential to recognize that not everything is within our control and THAT’S OKAY.

For example, when I get injured, I frequently deal with frustration and anger which typically lead to unhelpful thoughts like “you’re not going to come back from this” or “even if you do, you won’t be as strong.” Even though I don’t want to, I force myself to feel these feelings and then use them as fuel to come back feeling stronger and better than ever. Instead of succumbing to my feelings, I say “challenge accepted.” Then I find my motivation, set a goal, and trust the process.

Let’s face it, the country is shutting down again and there’s nothing we can do about it. If we focus on what we cannot control (political policies, rules, laws) we’ll end up discouraged, disheartened, and depressed. If we focus instead on what we can control (our daily actions) we give ourselves the chance to be motivated, uplifted, inspired AND in better shape physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Which will you choose today?



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David W Mykel

David W Mykel

I’m your personal psychologist, personal trainer, meditation guide, breath-work instructor, personal motivator & accountability partner all in one.