The hardest part of doing anything is often showing up. And when it comes to exercise, it’s easy to think up a billion and one reasons to put gym time on the back burner. There is a simple way to stay committed and turn workouts into a no-brainer, habit is to schedule them in. Research has shown that it it can take as little as 18 days (but an average of 66 days for most!) to form a new habit, and penciling in gym sessions ahead of time (like you would for an important meeting) is just one way to get your butt in gear.
Whether you love your paper planner, or you are more of a gadgets person, scheduling time in your day for exercise is the best way to stick to it. Forward planning is the absolute key to success.
- Use your time wisely. When the goal is making workouts consistent, even a shorter-than-usual gym session is better than none. So if you’re short on time, go for quality, not quantity. Try doing some interval training or some HIIT training to get the heart rate up and to maximise on your minimal time. If you commit to 10 good quality workouts per month, you will
- Be accountable always. Book a training session with a PT, or meet up with a friend to train together. It’s harder to ditch workout plans if someone is waiting for you. Bonus: Quality time with your mates will make the time go by even faster.
- Break it up. When life gets hectic, setting aside a solid chunk of time to work up a sweat at the gym can be tough. One solution: Try scheduling in shorter, 10-15 minute blasts of exercise at home – instagram and youtube is full of men and women who workout from home.
- Be realistic about your goals. Hate mornings? Don’t try and work out then! If you try and make something a habit, but you are hating every second of it, you will most probably fail! Try working out at a time which suits you.
- Add some spice. Schedules are great for starting a routine, but even the most exciting workouts can start feeling stale — and easier to skip after awhile. Whatever your goals, you can mix it up a bit. Schedule in leg days, cardio days and keep the routine fresh. If you go to a gym with a decent instructor they should be more than willing to regularaly review your programme and check your technique. If they don’t – change gyms!
- Stay flexi. Sometimes, its just impossible to get to the gym or to even squeeze in a workout. It happens, don’t beat yourself up. Just refocus and get back on track ASAP. One missed workout is not going to make a difference, just like one hard workout isn’t: Consistency is key!
- Have fun (seriously). No surprise here: The more fun the workout, the more likely we’ll keep at it. Hate running – don’t spend 30 minute on the treadmill! But do give activities a fair shot before writing them off for good. Though the first few minutes of a workout might be unpleasant, the exercise high at the end might make up for it and motivate you to do it again!
- Have a goal. Ask yourself what you are actually trying to achieve? If you have measurable goals you can ensure that you stay on track and get the results that you’re looking for. Dream big! But make sure your goals are challenging yet achievable.