Approximate read: 4 minutes;
(Note: This blog post is part of a series of articles looking at how to set clear, motivating and purposeful goals.
Check out the Ultimate Guide to Goal setting for a blueprint to help you set goals in line with your likes and dislikes)
Your likes and dislikes when it comes to exercise may very well be influenced by your personality. And if you don’t pick things that fall in line with what’s best suited for you, your personality may very well be sabotaging your fitness goals.
When you do something you naturally enjoy you are more likely to stick to it and want to do more of it. When you have to do something you dread it becomes a chore – and no one likes chores!
In this article I go over several personality traits and outline why certain types of exercises might work best than others. See if you can identify which category you fall into.
Fitness goals and the shy/introvert
The problem: People in this category typically don’t feel comfortable working out where others can see them, judge them or offer unsolicited advice. Since exercise is already outside their comfort zone, they also don’t like the unfamiliar environment that comes with a big box gym. They typically like being in familiar environments that makes them feel comfortable in their own skin.
- Work out in your home. If you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a treat: it’s a familiar environment, no one is watching and most importantly, the shower is private and just in the next room! I worked out in my home for years and still do. Personally, I do a combination of my own workouts and favorite workout videos that I’ve curated over the years.
- If you do go to the gym, put together a plan before you go. Write down a list of exercises – that way when you’re in the gym you’re moving around with purpose from machine to machine rather than awkwardly trying to figure out what to do next.
- If you’re still struggling book a few sessions with a trainer (some of us are quite nice and not intimidating) to show you how to use the machines and put together a program you can then do on your own.
Fitness goals and the extrovert
The problem: Extroverts get their energy from other people. They need to be around others to talk, exchange ideas and feel like they belong to a group. They are outgoing and love meeting new people. Working out by themselves can make them feel isolated.
The solution: Join a class! You have lots of options here: from bootcamps, to spin and Zumba, to yoga, a class might be just the thing to help keep that energy level up!
Fitness goals and the routine-driven
The problem: Routine is the name of the game for this person. They have their morning pattern, their work pattern, their after-work pattern. They don’t like complicated things and they don’t like change.
The solution: When it comes to fitness, after a while routine doesn’t work to your advantage. You need to challenge yourself a bit in order to grow and to get better. But if you like routine, there are certain activities that you might enjoy more than others. Here’s a couple:
- Running: it doesn’t really require much thought and everyone pretty much knows how to do it
- Yoga: many of the movements repeat themselves over and over again: down dog, sun salutations, warrior I, II and III – repetition is a very important aspect when it comes to yoga
- Strength training: Put together a list of favorite exercises. Challenge yourself by keeping the exercises the same but increase the weight or number of sets
Fitness goals and the monotony hater
The problem: The exact opposite of the routine-driven, this person HATES doing the same thing over and over. Put this person in a pattern of routine and you’ve killed all their excitement for life. They thrive on trying new things because they need that kind of excitement in their lives. Monotony haters can’t ever be bored.
The solution: If you’re this person, you’re in luck because there is a TON of variety in fitness! From dancing, to traditional weight lifting to mixed martial arts, to classes, to using all sorts of funky equipment, the sky is the limit for you! You just have to push yourself to actually go out there and explore!
A couple of final notes!
“But wait! You might say! I am all of the above, depending on my mood!” And you’re absolutely right! I often find myself falling in a different bucket depending on how my day went or what’s going on in my life at any given time. For example if I’ve had a crazy day and there’s too much going on, I might choose to go for a run because that’s the kind of brainless activity I need to clear my mind (sorry runners). If I feel super low energy, maybe a jumping routine isn’t the best option – but a mellow yoga routine might be just the thing.
There are also times when doing something super fun isn’t possible. For example if you like doing stuff outside but it’s the rainy season. Or you hate doing leg work because it hurts too much, but your goal is to climb the Grouse Grind. Sometimes you have to do stuff you may not enjoy in the moment, because they tie in to a greater purpose. In these cases, it’s important that your goals have meaning and purpose. Check out my previous article on the secret behind setting motivating goals.
More articles in this series:
Three principles which drive motivation, and why they are crucial in your goal setting: The secret behind how to create motivating fitness goals
The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting
Uncover your likes and dislikes and set goals that are motivating, meaningful and purposeful
- Understand the 3 key principles of motivation, and why they are crucial in your goal setting process
- Uncover your interests, likes and dislikes, which will then guide you in your goal setting
- Get clear on the reasons why you want to achieve your goals
- Identify barriers that will prevent you from reaching your goals, and come up with solutions
- Learn ways to motivate yourself when you don’t really feel like exercising
- Learn ways in which you can prepare yourself for failure
Yes! I want to create goals that are in line with my personality!