Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi

Tips for Fitness Success: Part II

Wendy Mistretta, MC, CWC

When it comes to being successful in our health journey, seeing the success of others can play a huge role in how we learn to be successful ourselves. One researcher suggests that most human behavior is learned by observation through modeling. Simply put, we learn how to perform certain skills and behaviors by watching others. This is called a vicarious experience. We learn to succeed by watching others succeed and doing what they did!

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Wellness Coaches work with hundreds of Mississippians to help them reach health-related goals. We have compiled a list of success tips based on their results. You'll notice, those who focused on emotional health and learned to connect with their motivators achieved the most success. For Part I of our fitness tips, we focused on health goals, self-reflection, data collection and forming a fitness plan. For Part II, we will dive into forming a solution to your fitness goals, finding a support group and having fun! Read Part I

Goal: Instead of focusing on what you are not going to do, shift your focus to doing new things. Write down 3-5 things you’d like to do each week, and commit to doing each one at least once. Some examples include trying a new slow-cooker dinner recipe, walking at the park for 30 minutes, etc.

One coaching client shared the following tip: “I’d email three friends on Monday morning, just letting them know where I was on my motivation and what I planned to do that week. It was great! They’d give me ideas & feedback and check up on me during the week to see if I was sticking to my plan! Eventually, one of them began exercising with me. It was a great support!”

Goal: Find 1-3 friends to share your journey with. Set up your support as you see fit, email them your plan, add them as a friend on a fitness app (some apps allow your friends to see your progress), email them your plans for each week, etc.

Note: Making this kind of change is an intimate process, so you’ll want to keep your support system to close friends or a health coach/professional. Pick someone who has these three attributes: Experience (they’ve had a similar life change or know about it through their lifestyle or work), Strength (they share from a place of strength & accomplishment), and Hope (you leave your conversations with them feeling hopeful!).

Goal: Make a list of 5 things you could do to stay motivated and make your journey more fun! Then, commit to doing at least one of them each week.

Ideas to add fun:

  • Embrace a motto – “Be Intentional” or “Radical Responsibility.”
  • Share funny sayings with friends who are on the same journey.
  • Try new activities until you find the one you enjoy.
  • Dress the part! Get some colorful and comfortable workout clothes.
  • Join a support group. Many local shoe and clothing stores now offer opportunities to participate in group runs and training programs.
  • Get competitive – sign-up for an event like a 5K or local fitness bootcamp.

What’s the key to fitness success? This collection of tips and goals may be a good starting point, but it’s certainly not an exhaustive list. Hopefully we’ve given you some food for thought. Ultimately, only you can discover what will work for you in the long run. So, try some of these ideas, tweak them or invent some of your own. Experiment with enjoyable ways to connect with what motivates you while satisfying your emotional/mental health and physical health will likely follow.

Here are some additional resources to help with your journey:

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Health & Wellness Articles
Health & Wellness Programs
Health & Wellness Resources