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Exercise: That All or Nothing Mindset

by jenny sansouci on February 7, 2012

“Hell or glory, I don’t want anything in between.” {fall out boy}

Oh, all or nothing mindset…you’ve made me feel, at times, both fiercely motivated and hopelessly paralyzed.

The all or nothing mindset goes along with my little friend perfectionism. Either you do it the best way possible, or you don’t do anything. Have you ever felt that way? Chances are, you have. I see it every day in myself and almost everyone else in my life.

Especially when it comes to exercise.

Sometimes, I get an idea in my head of what the “perfect” amount of exercise is - whether it’s a 60-minute jog, a 90-minute yoga class, or something else. If I do anything less than that, it’s not worth it, so why bother doing anything?

That mindset can lead to being inactive on days where I could have easily gotten in a nice 20 minute run or done 15 awesome minutes of yoga at home.

Do you find, that if you have too many days in a row of not exercising at all, it suddenly turns into two weeks? The thing is…if you just make SOME type of movement or exercise a priority in your day, you’ll get into a routine where it’s not even a question - you just do SOMETHING. That way you won’t wake up 2 weeks later groaning and stressing about not working out for so long.

Things to remember for people who have the all or nothing mindset, like me:

  • Walking is exercise. It truly is. Even if you can’t fit in your usual workout, take a break and walk somewhere.
  • 15 minutes of yoga at home can get things flowing.
  • Push ups or crunches don’t take long. You can even do push-ups against the wall in bathroom stalls, like Tim Ferriss in the 4-Hour Body.
  • The Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred DVD is just 20 mins long – totally doable.
  • If you’re going out to run errands or going anywhere that you don’t have to dress up, wear your running shoes. Walk a little faster than normal. Take the long route. Walk a few extra blocks.

I know how hard it is to bust out of that all or nothing mindset, especially with exercise. I always want to get my “ideal workout” in – but it’s not always the reality, so these are great things to remember!

Anything else to add? Do you have the all or nothing mindset when it comes to exercising?



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