We’ve all been there.

It’s been over 6 months since I’ve done any exercise and I’m out of shape, and out of motivation.

Why is the first step getting into shape, so hard?!

For some of us, starting to a new fitness routine can be as daunting as public speaking.  It’s worse than going to see the dentist because at least that’s over in 1 hour and you don’t have to go back for another year (hopefully)!

But a fitness routine entails going to the gym 5 times a week, for at least 1 to 1.5 hours of misery and suffering for months on end with barely any noticeable changes to how you look or feel.

What a raw deal!

But don’t despair.

I know sometimes the task of getting into shape seems unsurmountable – especially, if you’ve never in your life felt like you’ve been in good shape.  That future image of a fit-you seems almost unimaginable.

But it isn’t impossible and in fact, can be quite simple.

The key concept that you need to grasp is the idea of consistency.

Nothing matters more than this one word that holds captive so much of people’s affliction; and when starting a new routine, it’s even more important.

What you need to realize when you start out a new routine is to make the first action step to be as small as possible.

In BJ Fogg’s book Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (Interactive Technologies), the head of the Stanford University Persuasive Tech Lab, calls this

“Minimum Viable Effort.”

Basically, you want make that action step as simple and as easy as possible so you have no excuses to not do it.  It’s so quick and easy to do – and that’s what makes it successful.

Don’t get ambitious now and do a full workout at the gym.  You don’t want to set yourself up for failure.  Keep to the minimum and build the habit into your routine first.

That should be your only goal.  The focus should be building the habit itself and not the actual quality of the workout – that will come later.

When executing this simple exercise routine, shed off all expectations that you have of yourself.  Again, the goal here is to just complete the routine and move on with your day.

Don’t allow yourself the time dwell on thoughts of how strong you used to be or how weak you are as that will only hamper your efforts to get the exercise routine started.

Don’t think, just do it and get it over with so you can get back to watching tv, surfing the web, or whatever else you were doing before.

Ok, so now you have your priorities straight, what does your simple exercise routine look like?

Drum roll please…



That’s it.  Sounds ridiculously simple, right?  Well, that’s the point.  Just do push-ups – and if you can’t do even one, then do them on your knees instead of on your toes.

Here’s how you do a push-up properly.

Do as many as you can for one minute.

No joke.  You can spare one minute in your 1000-minute of your waking day, can’t you?

No complicated movements, no elaborate sets x reps structure, no time under load guidelines; just do as many push-ups as you can in one minute and do this everyday.

Do it before you brush your teeth in the morning, do it before you hit the showers, or do it before you go out for lunch in the office.

You can literally do it anywhere, anytime.

I don’t think you can come up with an excuse to avoid doing this even if you tried.  It’s just too simple!

Stay tuned for our next week’s blog on how to do a push-up properly, but in the meantime, just do it.  Remember, it’s not the quality of the workout, it’s just about you doing it on a regular basis.

If you manage to do this everyday for a week, then by the time my next weekly blog comes out, I wouldn’t be surprised if you begin to feel a difference, and maybe even notice some changes happening in your body.

I would love to hear back from you if you are going to take up this habit.  Let me know how you fare, if you were able to keep to the routine, and what your challenges are if you’re finding the routine difficult to maintain.

Once you get into a solid routine, things will get much easier, and your motivation will increase.

Then we can talk about more ambitious goals.

And if you feel extra-motivated, you can always show-off your push-ups in our ACT class!


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