When it comes to getting into a workout routine, the hardest part is developing the habit. Even though staying active is an important part of what makes us happy, healthy, and functional people, it's the easiest thing to put on the back burner. It takes about a month for all of us to form a habit, give or take, so that means making a plan and sticking to it. No ifs, ands, or buts.
Realistically, we all get busy, but it's not about having the time, it's about making the time. Even if you do something small, you're still doing better than the couch potatoes at home.
Here's some tricks I use to keep myself exercising, maybe they'll help you too!
1. Always exercise on Monday. I know, I know, Mondays aren't everyone's favourite. But this sets the tone for the rest of the week. The times where I've skipped a Monday are the times when I hardly go (if at all) that week.
2. Never skip exercising two days in a row. It's okay to skip a day, and sometimes your body needs that little break. But the next day, you must exercise, no matter how inconvenient. (Even if it's a small workout)
3. Give yourself the credit you deserve. Results won't happen in a day. No matter how many times I wish they would. Reward yourself for the little things. I can't tell you how many times I've started cardio (aka my worst enemy) and I think "Okay, I'm just going to go for 15 minutes", and then end up going for 30. It's something to be proud of!
4. If you don't have time to both exercise and take a shower, find a way to exercise that doesn't require you to shower afterward. There are challenging workouts out there that don't make you sweat. I can see your eye-rolls now, but it's true! Some upper body workouts I hardly sweat at all but they still kick my butt.
5. Good music makes all the difference. This is so key. Sometimes I'll be working out and just feel discouraged. I can't get into it, I don't want to be there, it doesn't always come easily. And often times, I can just change my playlist and BOOM! I'm amped up again.
6. Have someone hold you accountable. This can make a huge, huge difference. When I first started working out seriously, I was working with a personal trainer. Those sessions stopped, and a couple months later, so did I. Now, Sebastian pushes me to keep going. Even if I don't want him to. Even if I complain. Even if I try to come up with excuses, he doesn't take my shit.
7. Set (short-term) goals. Rome wasn't built in a day! Getting that wicked bod you want will take a lot of time and dedication. Setting short-term goals can seem more attainable and will be easier to achieve.
8. Slow and steady wins the race. Don't push yourself too hard or you'll never want to walk into a gym ever again. If it's been awhile since you last hit the gym, go easy on yourself or you may do more harm than good. It's okay if you can't run for 5 miles straight. It's okay if you can only run for 5 minutes at a time. You'll get there.
9. Rid yourself of excuses. What excuses are allowed? Assess your priorities and decide what's acceptable ahead of time. Family emergency? It's okay to give yourself a free pass. Feeling a little too tired? Not good enough.
10. Be honest with yourself. Just because you have a gym membership doesn't mean you actually go. Just because you were in shape doesn't mean you are now. Saying you have no time to exercise doesn't make it true. Be honest with yourself. What's holding you back?
It's all a work-in-progress, but if we stick to it, we'll reach our goals in no time!
What do you do to keep motivated? Any tips? I'd love to hear! We're all in this together, after all :)