How To Make Exercise A Consistent Habit
We can all slack off a bit from an exercise regime. One week turns in two, which turns into month, which turns into a solid three or more months without exercise and now you’re tired, stressed and feeling super lazy. Been there, right? How in the world do you get back on track? You try to pick it up where you left off but those muscles are now a lot less resilient, your energy levels are not keeping up and, wow the couch sure looks comfy.
The colder weather is starting to set in and what feels better than being cosied up in a blanket on the couch watching tv? But how is the lack of exercise in your life, starting to take its toll? Are you missing that feeling of being vibrant? Have you been able to keep an exercise habit long enough to know what that feeling is?
Here are a few tips on how to get yourself exercising so the habit can stick. As always, start small. But before you even start putting on those runners, I’m going to need you to work on the mental side of things first if you want this habit to set in stone.
What is your why? Is it compelling enough? Why do you want to exercise more? How is it going to make you feel? How is it going to help enhance other areas of your life? What are your biggest values in your life right now and how is exercising more going to help you make those a main priority? When you tie a new habit that you are trying to make with what is already highly important to you, you will find much more compelling reasons to stick it out when you are struggling for motivation. You can make what is called the Hottest 500. Five hundred reasons exercising more is going to enhance your life. Sure you could only write 10 or 20, but when you write a list as extensive as 500, you will find very little room for excuses not to follow through on your goals. If you struggle to create the 500, tie them in with your values. What are your top 10 values in life? Now list 50 reasons why exercising more is important to each of those values. You need to become your biggest advocate for your own goals and the reasons behind them.
Now if you are someone who decides they are going to be the healthiest person they know. Every day this week you are going to exercise for a solid hour at a time. Then you are going to mediate for 30 minutes, then you are going to eat the most nutritional meals and everything is going to be amazing. But all of that is different to what you are doing now, I’ll give you 2 weeks before your old habits set in. If you are someone who really does want to consistently exercise but struggle to maintain it for longer then a week or so. What I want you to do is start really small. And I mean really, really small. If you struggle with the consistency of the habit first you must work on just that. Being consistent with showing up for the habit rather then the habit itself. Instead of expecting yourself to do an hours work out, but then you find yourself coming up with every reason under the sun not to and for the last month now your new plans have gone absolutely nowhere. Start with 5 minutes.
You make it your goal to exercise for 5 minutes and that is it. Sure the aim is to keep going once you are already there, because starting is the hardest part of completing a workout. But if you are someone who can outthink your way of those mind tricks and you tell yourself you are only going for five minutes but you know deep down you really intend it to be 30 minutes and when who actually has time for 30 minutes of exercise right now? Not you right? I want you to exercise for 5 minutes and stop. Completely stop, do not do longer then 5 minutes. Do that for the first few weeks. These habits are something you are trying to make long lasting and consistent. A few weeks of only doing a few minutes at a time is not going to be the worst thing in the world. What you are trying to do is just get used to being the person who gets ready for exercise and follows through with starting it. You can build on your endurance as the habit builds.
The final tip is to remove all foreseeable obstacles. Get your clothes ready the night before. Put your shoes at the door. Leave you yoga mat and exercise DVDs near the television. Make everything as smooth as possible for you to follow through with the habit. If you know you have a habit of talking yourself out of things, have some internal come backs ready to go. Be prepared to overcome your obstacles and have strategies set in place. When you are setting your goals you are also figuring out what obstacles could get in the way and what is the best strategy to overcome those.
If you want to do more in your life, accomplish more, be more vibrant, exercise is a really great place to start. How are you going to build on your exercise habits this week? What fitness goals are you going to start working towards? Find an exercise that brings you joy, not one that you dread doing. There is an abundance of different types of workouts available on YouTube, that is a really handy place to start if you are feeling a little lost. It is time to get your body moving.