By Karen Creasey

If you are anything like me you have set a fitness goal only to look back at it and wonder what happened. Sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring to keep me from reaching my goal. Can you relate? Even the most passionate fitness enthusiasts face challenges to stay active. Sometimes life just interferes. Sometimes our friends and family interfere. Other times we sabotage ourselves. Saboteurs come in all shapes and sizes; learn to recognize them. Here are a few to consider and some fresh ideas on how to combat them with practical strategies.

Temptations – Whether it is the leftover birthday cake, the friend’s invitation to have another drink, or the movie that is showing at the same time as your fitness class, temptations can be real saboteurs. Making healthy lifestyle changes in the midst of assorted enticements can be tough. Using willpower, sticking to your plan and reviewing your goals frequently will keep you on course through the temptations.

Stress – When you are up against deadlines or carrying a daunting workload; when your kids are sick or your good health is in question; you may feel as though you cannot handle one more thing, including exercise. But at the most stressful times a good brisk walk may be the best thing for you. Exercise can alleviate stress, boost your mood, and change your thought patterns. It can be the very tool that gives you the strength you need to face whatever is challenging you.

Negative Self-Talk – Nothing destroys your confidence and motivation faster than your own negative self-talk. It interrupts your ability to visualize success. Next time you catch yourself having negative unbecoming thoughts replace them with positive uplifting ones. Give yourself some credit. Tell yourself you are proud of the progress you’ve made or the steps you’ve taken towards your fitness goals.

The Unexpected – Life is not always predictable. Unexpected changes like being called into work or your child catching cold has the potential to sabotage your workout schedule. Instead of throwing your hands up in defeat or frustration, look for ways to bounce back. Modify your plans and be creative. Pull up a YouTube exercise clip and workout in your front room for instance, or walk up and down a flight of stairs during a break at work.

Behavior change is hard. Complement yourself for what you have done well so far. Stay strong, focused and true to your goals and aspirations.

For more tips call Karen at the Palm Desert Aquatic Center 760-565-7467.