A Story of Jill: Creating an Exercise Habit - Part 1

How to create a freakin Exercise Habit… Where the hell do I start here..? Well.. I have been working closely with a very lovely friend of mine with her exercise and lifestyle habits. The interesting thing is, it hasn’t been focused on the training programs I have been sending her. In fact, she hasn’t really been doing them at all! I have been guiding her through accountability, motivation, creating habits and through her own efforts she has been going on hikes, walks and has been more active than she has been in a long time.

I think there are some really valuable lessons in Jill’s story. A story of struggle, discovery and persistence! A story to potentially help YOU, and propel you into a new positive direction.

Where Does Step 1 Start, Jill?

In this case, step 1 started with this exact message below.

“Hey Jill!!

How have you been!?

If your training week hasn’t gone how you wanted again, the first thing I want you do to is to not worry about it.
The second thing I want you to do to make up for it is:
1. Do a session today (no excuses)
2. Next week get at least TWO sessions done for me including the Testing and I want a photo after you have done them for accountability!”

As you can see in the above message I had sent to Jill, she was struggling to find a groove and get going. The way I thought I’d approach it is trying to eliminate guilt, guilt can be both productive and destructive. in this case I wanted to try eliminate the destructive side of guilt and self-loathing by being direct and saying “The first thing I want you to do is not worry about it” and then following it up with an instant action plan that will further help ease the pressure driven from the lack of action in the past.

Step 1. Cut the noise straight away with an INSTANT ACTION PLAN, no matter how small it is.

For example: If you haven’t exercised for a week, make a decision right now to exercise for even just 10 minutes TODAY. The decision alone will ease some pressure, completing the ‘instant action plan’ will further ease the feeling of guilt.

Step 2. Create and execute a plan for the next 7 days or so. Schedule in the times you are going to do it and NOTHING goes over the top of it. That is YOUR TIME!

Now with steps 1 and 2 in place, guilt is somewhat eased and the potential of moving forward and building momentum is much higher.

Step 3. TURN UP, no matter how you feel or what happens in your life, you need to turn up to the scheduled times you have made. No excuses at all. If the excuse ridden voices start talking, cut the noise straight away and turn up anyway!

Step 4. There is no mother f**king step 4! You know why!? Because it can be that simple. Don’t mistake ‘simple’ for ‘easy,’ because it isn’t going to be easy, it will be hard.

‘It’s only hard, not impossible’ – Jake Fisher

Personal Story of an ‘Instant Action Plan.’

As a recent example of myself, I hurt my back about 4 months ago, a suspected herniated disc, I went to hospital and I couldn’t walk for 4-5 days, quite scary. The 4th day after the injury I implemented an ‘Instant Action Plan’ and messaged a Bench Press specialist and got coaching right away. I could instantly start training 3 days per week because we could isolate my back and work other areas of my body. I needed a few days to be miserable and let the circumstance sink in, but there comes a time when you need to step out of it and do what is f**king right for YOU!

Training for me, like a lot of people, is something that provides me balance and keeps my mental and physical health in a good place. By understanding this I place training on top of my hierarchy list of ‘must do’s,’ this puts a sense of urgency into preparing the next plan post back injury.

Simply put: Priority turns into Urgency > Urgency turns into Action > Action turns into Results.

Instantly, with my action plan in place and my new temporary coach, my mood lifts! I am off again to build momentum which maintains my positive lifestyle ‘balance.’

BUT, enough about me… On to Jill’s story and the next part in her journey.

But, It’s So Hard! ☹

Jill after her first attempt at hiking:
“I literally just couldn’t breathe, and my legs were so sore. So rather than straight away giving up, I sat down and looked at the view and went “I bet the view is better up there too”. And I tried to keep going but couldn’t. But I’m going to try again on the weekend, I’m very sore today! Haha”

My Response:
“Good on you, proud of you.

An option could be to alternate with some lighter hills or even flat ground, so you don’t get discouraged and it gives you a chance to make progress.

But at the same time, you can continue to do alternating hill walks of walking 50m, resting 60s, walking 50m, resting etc… You aren’t going to die… It is only pain and in fact, you will do the opposite of die, it makes you a stronger and healthier person physically and mentally.

You got it Jill! Challenge yourself and show that mother f**ker of a voice who is running the show. Don’t you dare give up.”

Now, what I loved about what Jill had done here is she STARTED! She had a freaking go! This is a huge step! But commonly enough what comes with a first step, can come with it discouragement from starting somewhere that is to challenging! What we needed here was some linear progression, somewhere she can build from and feel good about herself. A sense of progression!

The way I approached my response was to firstly re-assuring Jill that she was on track by saying “I was proud of you.” Secondly brainstorming alternative options for what level she is at. Thirdly, re-assuring that the pain and effort is a great thing. Lastly, empowering her with some strong empowering words that SHE is in charge of her own destiny!

So, How Can This Help You!?

Think of a time when YOU first started a new exercise routine and then felt discouraged because it was really hard. Really have a proper think… I want you to really imagine and feel it…
Now, When this happens to you again… Because it will… It is what life does.. I believe these steps below could help you immensely:

1. Be F**king proud of yourself for making an attempt. Really feel it!

2. Brainstorm, research or seek guidance on how to break it down into realistic progressive steps.

3. Re-assure yourself that the pain and effort is a great thing. In fact, you want to chase pain and discomfort directly, this is where the results are at!

4. Empower yourself. Tell yourself: “I CREATE MY DESTINY AND I AM IN CONTROL.” Use strong empowering words that cut the noise! I am a big fan of positive morning rituals for this sort of subliminal messaging.

A KEY POINT to add to all of this: PATIENCE! As humans we are pathetic at being patient, we want results yesterday. This is why I believe it is so important plan your exercise habits around something you can see yourself doing for a long time… A lifestyle habit. Otherwise it is just another 3-4 week fad that has no hope. This is what ill be blogging about in Part 2 of Jill’s Story: Creating an Exercise Habit.

Thank you for reading and I hope you could taking away something from it! 😊

– Jake Fisher


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