I want to talk about something that we have probably all struggled with from time to time – and that is the fear or intimidation of getting started. I know that I can definitely relate to those feelings.

After I had my daughter, I tried to go for a run and I kept falling. Like, actually falling down when I was trying to run. Even though I had been working out during my pregnancy, I had lost so much strength, and I remember feeling really defeated by it. I remember thinking, “gosh, I am so far away from my goal,” and it was overwhelming. The negative self talk I had at that time was paralyzing.

Here are three things that helped me set the right pace for getting back on the health and fitness horse:

Find a Mantra

In the beginning, it can be super helpful to create a mantra, or find a quote or a song that you like that inspires you to try. Print it out and put it someplace you will see it regularly, like your bathroom mirror. Find something that resonates with you and inspires you to get out there and try your best. Sometimes I even just simply say the words, “yes, yes, yes, yes” as I do each rep or “I believe in myself. Believe. Believe. Believe.” It might feel cheesy but I promise you, it works.

Set Small Goals at First

You have to have a “day one,” so to speak. What I try to do is really step away from the “all or nothing” mentality and set small, realistic goals. When the pushups and run didn’t work after I had my daughter, I made it a goal to just walk to the stop sign and back with the baby in the jogging stroller. Once I was comfortable with that, my goal became walking around the block; the next goal was jogging between streetlights, etc.

I slowly made my goals bigger, which helped me hit little “victories,” and those small wins inspired me to move on to harder things.

Give Yourself Permission to Fail

Remember, especially when you are starting out (but even if you are a pro), that you are striving for progress, not perfection. When you give yourself permission to fail, you open up the opportunity for you to practice, hone your skill, and succeed.

Nobody starts off perfect at anything. We are all beginners at some point, so keep that in mind when you feel intimidated at trying something new. And remember – whether you start now, or you start three months from now – either way, you are going to have to start. You’ve got this. I believe in you.

Your friend,