Sometimes our physical and often superficial goals may not be enough to keep us consistent.
When I'm not feeling in my top shape, and I've made a point of my new goal being to, say.. reduce my body fat, the truth is, I probably won't remain motivated that long. I don't actually know how important it is for me to have very lower body fat or to have a six-pack.
Yes, sometimes, its very important to me, for example when I've seen social media photos and making comparisons or if i'm on the beach and im not in the shape I hoped i'd be, I would typically tell myself 'next time im at the beach, I'll be in that shape I want because I want to look better'.
This simply isn't enough for me, to keep me going the whole way.
I need something deeper, more powerful to help me to come back to exercise and focus on my health in general. Not to say that superficial goals don't motivate (me), but we often need a little extra help.
I have been fortunate enough to consciously link movement with feeling more connected spiritually. Here are some example, from my own experiences;
There's very little else you can do when exercising. Leave the phone and headphones at home or in your locker and you'll find yourself immersed in your exercise practice, whatever it may be. Whether you're pushing weights in the gym or practicing Yoga. This gives you a little break from technology and screen time and you start to connect with your body and your breath. Any exercising practice can bring these peaceful benefits of finding presence and connection.
Part of a Community
I can quite easily work out at home. I have everything I need there for an effective workout. Instead I prefer to go to a space where there are other people. I usually do not want to speak to anyone but there is something very connecting about being with others. I especially feel this community energy when I am in a yoga class. Everyone breathing together and moving in synch, there's something great about that.
Being in Natural Spaces
On occasion I make time to walk without purpose. I do not need to be anywhere. This feels very unnatural to me, as I'm often battling with not feeling productive. It's difficult but I can put myself in this space after a short while and I feel great. Am I more connected spiritually, I don't totally know what I mean by that, but at a guess, I'd say yes. I feel very spiritually connected. I remind myself that i'm not that different from the ducks in the lake, or the squirrels - the main difference being is that that have figured out life much better than us humans and we can learn a lot from them.
I also look at my life and wonder what's all this running around for. Life isn't that serious. Maybe I can slow down like that duck, chill, find some healthy food and spend time with the people I want to be with. Surely, it's that simple.
Have you ever ran and experienced runners high? I have, and its one of the best feelings in the world. Life feels pretty fantastic. This also feels like a spiritual connection to me. This can also be achieved through dance and other forms of movement.
I use to dislike cut flowers in a vase. I found them too depressing. They were simply dying. There time was very limited. Of course, this dislike probably came from my own fear of death. I feel a little different now. I like the reminder that life is short, everything is temporary and we are interconnected with everything. Gardening reminds me of the cycle of life and inspires me to do more of what I like - finding connection.
When I'm in the gym I often like to remind myself that i'm lucky to have a body that generally functions very well. Such times remind me that I have all the conditions I need to be happy.
There are more benefits to physical exercise and movement than losing weight, standing on your head in a yoga posture and building muscle etc. Take a moment, take a deep breath and explore a little deeper.