At the start of the new year, many are ambitiously setting fitness goals and formulating health-related resolutions with great intentions to set a routine for the entire year. January is not so bad. The buzz of new possibilities is still present.
But, as February rolls around, sticking to resolutions and keeping a routine is just a little harder to manage. Now of those who created New Year’s resolutions, Time Magazine found that 50% resolve to exercise (Waxman). In an effort to help out half of the goal-setting population, here are 6 surefire ways to stick to a workout routine and obtain those fitness goals.
- Do Something You Like!
No routine will stick if you don’t choose a workout you enjoy. Whether it is a jog through the city, a walk on a scenic path, snowshoeing a snowy trail, lifting weights in your basement, following youtube videos, taking a local class, you need to pick something you will look forward to doing. Feel free to think outside the box. But get your heart pumping and body moving.
- Schedule it!
Now that you have chosen something you don’t mind doing. Put it on your calendar. Period. This is a MUST! Sticking to a routine works best if you are mentally prepared for what you must accomplish that week. If you know you have a busy week ahead, strategically pick time slots you know work in your schedule.
- Keep it consistent.
For me, it is working out Monday-Thursday before work. I do workout videos in my basement. My favorites are free and take very little time. Try Bikini Body Mommy or PopSugar. Saturdays or Sundays I either take a local yoga class or run outside. With this fitness routine, I am active five days a week.
- Find an Accountability Partner.
This isn’t a necessity, but it will help with motivation. On Mondays and Thursdays, I walk the halls with my coworker. It’s a little bit of built-in movement and something I look forward to those days. On occasions when she cannot walk, I don’t do it on my own. For this routine to work, we need each other.
- Set Goals.
If you have to work toward a goal, you are more likely to continue your fitness routine. This might mean signing up for a race you have wanted to try (local winter races) or completing an entire workout program in the book you just bought. The milestone doesn’t have to be big, but it needs to have a completion date and be an attainable task. Having an accountability partner– as mentioned above– means you are likely to cross that finish line. As soon as my milestone is met, I find myself falling off the wagon and needing a new goal to accomplish. This is the perfect time to set a new goal.
- Give Rewards!
Once you have met your goal, reward yourself. It could be buying a new pair of shoes, taking a day off, scheduling a date night, or getting a pedicure with a friend. Maybe your reward is simply the crowd cheering as you cross the finish line. Having something to work for is motivating. Be sure to set your reward up ahead of time and check the boxes as you make your way to your accomplishment.
Working aa fitness routine in an already crazy, busy life seems impossible, but it is obtainable when you plan ahead. To keep a routine, I use these six things on a consistent basis and tend to have more success than without them in place.
So, what’s worked for you? How do you stick to your workout routines?