Make it effective. Look for exercise methods that deliver a combination of strength, stretching, and stamina. That might mean weight training, yoga, and some sort of aerobic activity. Be realistic. The group-centered leader, because he tries to remove the threat of evaluation from group members, accelerates this process. Thus, some of the members in the group which was studied by the writer stated: I think I feel less compulsion to solve problems tomorrow. I think I may be impatient on occasion but that I will now be able to attribute my impatience in part to myself, not to the situation entirely. I think I am looking at things more honestly, evaluating myself more honestly. I'm more willing to accept my part in bringing on frustrations in a group. These persons seem to be feeling safe enough to look at themselves, to evaluate their own roles in groups. It is difficult to conceive of situations, though there may be some, in which a person who feels that he is being evaluated against someone else's standards does not feel threatened. It appears that whenever responsibility for judging and evaluating a person lies outside of that person, some of his behavior must of necessity be directed towards meeting those standards, towards conforming to a pattern prescribed by the standards, or towards defying them. The situation is usually complicated by the fact that a person seldom is sure what standards another person has for him. If there's no reward, why go to the trouble of eating or having sex? The main chemical that mediates this process is a neurotransmitter called dopamine. When you have a pleasurable experience, an influx of dopamine signals that something important is happening that needs to be remembered. The memory is recorded by the hippocampus and the amygdala creates a conditioned response, making it easier to repeat the activity again and again without thinking about it. This leads to the formation of habits. Trigger, behavior, reward.

Simple, right? See attractive human. Have sex with attractive human. Trigger, behavior, reward. The biggest mistake is to attempt to run a half marathon the first time out, even if that's something you were able to do years ago. If you bite off more than you can chew, you may get discouraged--and could even do some physical damage. Take it slowly at first, and work your way up. Set goals and deadlines. It's easy to say, I want to get in shape, but that's not specific. What do you want to accomplish, and by when? It helps to set separate deadlines for different goals--some short-term and some longer-term--so that you can stay on track without overwhelming yourself. For example: This week I will go for at least two walks and In six months I want to lose ten pounds and have more energy. This takes the big picture and divides it into doable pieces. The best way to change exercise from a burden to a habit is to do something you enjoy. Consequently, he is forced to act on the basis of what must always be an approximation or estimation of how another feels he should behave. In groups, this uncertainty about how one should behave is a serious barrier to creative participation and free communication. All of us have seen this uncertainty operate in groups, especially in those that are in the early stages of development. Members refrain from participating because others who know so much more than they do will evaluate their contribution as inadequate. Their energies are wasted in attempting to conceal from the group how little they know. This phenomenon is most easily observed in the classroom, but it can be discovered in all kinds of groups or organizations.

A new employee in a business office, fearing that his supervisor will discover how little he knows, stumbles through his new job not daring to ask questions which might prevent him from making costly errors. A military pilot attempts a hazardous flight for which he is not competent, rather than face being evaluated by other pilots as less competent than they. A committee member consumes the time of the group by holding forth at great length on a subject about which he has some knowledge in order to cover up his lack of knowledge about the topic under consideration. A junior executive spends his energies figuring out what will please the president, rather than behaving in ways appropriate to the problem on hand. Negative experiences and associations are certainly common, too. You're smart. You've figured out that you can use reward-based pathways for more than essentials like acquiring nourishment. You recognize that when you feel like crap, this same eating pathway can help you feel better. So you reach for the chocolate when you get that credit card bill. Can you stop getting down on yourself and recognize how brilliant this is? The chocolate works in the short term! This natural tendency to usurp biology's pleasure pathways also comes to the fore when we use methamphetamine and other drugs. Some drugs can stimulate the release of double or even ten times the amount of dopamine released by food or sex. The resulting neuro-flood causes the high that occurs with drug use. Try new things like cycling or hiking or walking with friends. Mix it up occasionally to keep things interesting and to find the activities that are most enjoyable for you. Stick with it. Take your intention seriously, but be kind to yourself. If possible, find a friend who is willing to share your routine. This will serve two purposes: motivate you and keep you company while you get fit together.

Again, the more you enjoy your fitness routine, the more likely you are to stick with it. My Fitness Game Plan The iceberg beliefs I hold about fitness that I need to melt are: I will melt them by doing this: External evaluation has another effect which acts as a deterrent to effective group functioning. Evaluation, either positive or negative, can be such a threat to an individual that he reacts with hostility. Using theoretical constructs, the individual seeks to defend his existing organization of self-attitudes -- his self-concept -- by attacking the source of the threat -- usually the evaluator himself. This type of reaction to external evaluation can have several effects upon a group. The group member who has been evaluated reacts to it by behaving in the group in terms of a new goal -- defense of self through attacking others. No longer is his behavior appropriate to the group problem. He has his own problem, and quite often his problem remains unknown to the others in the group. For the time, then, this member is lost to the group. His hostility, however, may even have a secondary effect, that of producing counter-hostility in other members. So actually the effects of evaluation may not be limited to merely the effect upon a single member. I still remember the first time I tried cocaine and the feel-good burst that came along with it. I felt joy. My sadness disappeared. I then, of course, wanted to repeat the experience. I didn't know how to access that soothing or joy on my own, so I was vulnerable to craving drugs. It's a simplification, though, to consider dopamine to be purely about pleasure and reward.

Dopamine is really more about anticipation of reward, and even more precisely about the effort you're willing to expend to get that reward. As neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky describes it, Dopamine is not about pleasure; It increases your general level of arousal and your goal-directed behavior. Another neurotransmitter pivotal to this reward system is serotonin. The iceberg beliefs I hold about fitness that I need to steer around are: I will steer around them in these ways: The iceberg beliefs I want to keep, but need to shave off the trouble spots for, are: I will do that by using these mantras: The negative thoughts that crop up for me when I am attempting to exercise are: I will counteract those with the following thought zappers: The fitness activities I will explore or begin are: I will do that on these days, at these times: The benefits I know I will get by developing and sticking to this plan are: Strike a Work/Life Balance One rotten apple spoiling the barrel may be an appropriate analogy here. We have all been in groups where the hostility of one member set the tone for the entire group and made it impossible for the group to accomplish much of anything. Group Members Gain Understandings of Themselves. It appears that another effect of group-centered leadership may be that group members acquire new understandings of themselves or else understandings become reinforced or clarified. This would parallel the client's experience in individual therapy. Whenever an individual experiences a situation from which the common sources of threat have been removed, he apparently begins to look more at himself and gain understandings of his attitudes and behavior.