7 tips to make exercise a habit
How many of you are motivated 24/7?
Absolutely none of you. Correct?
We are only human. And that means that we aren’t motivated all of the time. Especially during a national lockdown!
How many of you brush your teeth every single day, twice a day?
Absolutely all of you…I hope.
Do you need motivation to do so? No. Because it’s a daily habit. Just like getting dressed or making your breakfast.
Habits are something we don’t even have to think about, we just get up and do them.
To make good habits aside from the daily ones we are used to it takes self discipline and effort. Self discipline will get you A LOT further than motivation ever will.
By including exercise into our daily habits we can ensure that we get it done even when we don’t want to. We won’t need the motivation to get up and do it, we won’t have to even think twice about it. It will become part of our daily routine.
So how can we do this?
1. Set a time and stick with it
If you have a scheduled time to fit in your workout you will have allocated minutes to get your workout done. You won’t be thinking about when you will ‘have time’ to get it done, you won’t be worrying about where you will ‘fit it in’ and you are also a lot less likely to put it off due to things like being tired or having lack of energy. Once it’s done you’ll have all the energy in the world to go about the rest of the time you have left in your day.
2. Make it a ritual
This is important if you want to make exercise a daily habit. If you do it willy nilly, at random or even as an after thought you will lose the momentum. Just like you know that the time you set out to work or the time you take the kids to school is a ritual…your scheduled exercise will become the same kind of thing. You’ll just get up and know it’s a part of your ritual for that particular day.
3. Lay out your clothes the night before
If you lay out your leggings and vests or have your gym bag pre packed then you are less inclined to put off ‘getting ready to workout’ when you roll out of bed or get in from work. Your routine will flow easier, you will be prepared ahead of time and you are already set to go!! What excuse have you then got to not get it done? You’re ready!
4. Make it enjoyable
Associate your workout with something that you enjoy to do. If you enjoy going to the cinema then you will look forward to it before you get there. The same with your workout. If you are doing something during that time that you know you enjoy you will look forward to getting it done. Remind yourself of how you feel once you’ve trained, amazing right? So get it done and you can feel the benefit of those endorphins…routinely.
5. Have your workout planned out
Be prepared. If you go into your workout blindly and not knowing what you are going to do you won’t give it your everything. If you wing it you are likely to have an unproductive workout and in turn end up feeling unproductive yourself and like you didn’t enjoy it. If this becomes a repeat process you’ll feel half arsed about working out and eventually you will give in. PLAN ahead.
6. Just get it done
Don’t think about it. Just start. Once you start you’re fine. You’re into the swing of it and you will just keep going. Trust me on this. I’ve never heard anyone say they regretted a workout.
7. Don’t skip a day/break the habit
The easiest way to keep going is not to stop. Simple. Don’t give in at hurdles. Know that this means something to you and that you value exercise highly as a priority in your life. Make no excuses and suck it up. Once you skip a workout it makes it so much easier to do it the following day. And the day after that. It becomes a whole new ‘bad’ habit of giving in. Don’t allow yourself to do it.
Habits take effort and discipline. That much is very true. Don’t rely solely on motivation…it doesn’t exist all day every day. Get shit done even when you don’t want to or when you can’t be bothered. Build good habits instead.
Every single week I have 4 weights sessions to complete, 1 hour steady state cardio and 7 hiit sessions. I have to weigh every single meal I consume, track every item of food or liquid that goes into my mouth and ensure I’m 110% spot on. Do I feel like it everyday?…No of course I don’t but I’ll be dammed if I’m not getting it done.
The process I’m currently enduring alongside good nutrition and exercise as a lifestyle is highly important to me. So I make sure I get it done. I schedule my workouts, I do them at the same time day in day out, I know when my meals are going to be consumed and each one is written down so that when it comes to cooking it flows and I don’t have to think about it.
Having all of this factored and fitted into my routine not only makes my day easier but it means I don’t even think of it as a chore. I get up knowing the structure of my day ahead and I don’t argue with myself about any of it. It’s literally like ‘brushing my teeth’.
This is especially important to me, and I imagine to every other parent out there who is schooling their kids from home. This lockdown had proven to be incredibly difficult to juggle every aspect of our daily life but planning my day as best I can does help.
Think about it, the secret to success is in your daily routine. You will never change yourself or your life if you don’t change something daily.
Plan, schedule and execute. Make it a habit.
And always remember: ‘Good habits are as addictive as bad habits…they are just a hell of a lot more rewarding’.