One year ago, YouTuber Craig Benzine set himself the challenge of getting into better shape by implementing a series of changes to his daily lifestyle, one of which was the challenge to do some form of physical exercise each and every day. Following on from his 200-day update, he has just shared a video after 350 days in which he speaks about the things he has learned over the last year, and the ways he has managed to keep himself motivated.
Benzine admits that he doesn’t actually like exercise or even thinking about exercise, and so he did two things: firstly, he started working with a trainer who could do that thinking for him, and he then turned a small room into his house into a home gym so that there was less of a barrier to starting a workout. Once he had that dedicated space, he then attempted to make the experience of exercising more enjoyable by watching TV, or listening to an audiobook, while he worked out.
He also did his best to think less about achieving specific goals or milestones in his fitness, and more about integrating it into his routine as an ongoing, consistent part of his life. “If you’re so obsessed with physical results for a specific goal, a specific weight, you could find that you’re not getting close to it, or you’ll be constantly reminded how far you are from it, and that will demotivate you,” he says. “I’m not doing it for a specific, physical goal, I’m doing it for the long term.”
Ultimately, Benzine has worked on cultivating a mindset that is less about chasing numbers or focusing on the difficulty of what he’s doing, and more about trying to experience the positive effects of the consistent new habits he has built.
“I pay attention to how I feel after a workout. I almost always feel better, less stressed, with more energy,” he says. “I feel sturdier, stronger, and I haven’t been skipping leg day so I don’t get fatigued. I think I sleep better on days I work out. Just, more energy. I feel good.”
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