If you’re interested in harnessing the benefits of exercise, one of the best things you can do is develop a routine. Routines help ensure that we consistently get the most important work done each day, week and month. But be warned! Daily routines are easy to create—and not so easy to follow.
Whether you have decided to exercise in order to lose weight or to maintain a healthy lifestyle, committing to a schedule tends to be the hardest part of the workout. The key to success is learning to maintain your exercise regime by identifying your self-sabotage techniques and addressing them.
Remember, there’s no magic pill that brings discipline and motivation to your workouts. It’s all in the way you think.
Step 1 – Make a Commitment
Commit to three months. It’s not that long, but it’s long enough so that you will see changes as a result of a regular exercise routine and healthy eating habits. This will help facilitate long-term adherence.
Step 2 – Manage Priorities
Protect your schedule against sabotage by refusing to bargain with yourself. Maintain the schedule that you set for yourself and do not allow friends, work or family to intrude upon your exercise time—unless they are joining you for a workout! Remember, putting yourself first does not mean you’re being selfish. Becoming fit and healthy is a gift to yourself and your loved ones.
Step 3 – Block Time
Consult your schedule and construct an exercise plan that fits into your current routine with a minimum amount of change. Make sure you pick times that you know are distraction-free so you will not have an excuse to skip your routine, and only commit to what you are able to accomplish. Also, when it comes to something as important as your health, beware of procrastination.
Step 4 – Keep a Log
Keeping an exercise log will keep you accountable because you will clearly see what you are doing. You should also write your exercise schedule on your family calendar. Not only will this help you remember when to exercise, but it will also let your family know your plans and see that you are honouring your commitment.
Step 5 – Set Goals
Set a fitness goal and be specific about what you are trying to accomplish. If you make realistic short-term goals, you can see little victories easier and, over the long term, achieve the big victory that you are striving for.
Step 6 – Reward Yourself
Rewarding yourself with a shopping trip or a movie gives you something to work for. Do not make the reward something that will negate your efforts.
Step 7 – Keep Motivated
Re-evaluate after 6 months to see how you are doing. You may find that the schedule you constructed for yourself has been challenging to keep; if so think about why and consider scaling back to a more achievable schedule.
Step 8 – Enjoy Yourself
Ask yourself, what kind of exercise you would enjoy. Don’t be afraid to try different things. Try going for a run and see how you feel afterwards, or check out an exercise class.
Step 9 – Add Variety
Variety will keep your muscles from getting complacent and can prevent workouts from becoming monotonous.
Step 10 – Meet with a Professional
A certified personal trainer will put you on the right exercise program that will best help you achieve the results you’re looking for.
Step 11 – Avoid Negativity
Change your attitude and stop focusing on the ‘can’ts’. Focus on who you are and what you expect in your life, not just the change you want to make. This shift in thinking calls for action and helps foster your success.
On a final note, you have to be patient. You didn’t get in your current shape overnight, so don’t expect to change overnight. If you develop a routine you will be well on your way to success.