Stick With Your Fitness Goals
Here are a few tips on how to stick to set yourself up for success so that you can stick with your fitness goals!
Plan to exercise in the morning!
People who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick with their fitness routine because it's less likely that you will have something interrupt your schedule. How many times has a birthday party or impromptu happy hour come up after work that you want to attend. Exercise in the morning and you can do both! Guilt free. Exercising in the morning also sets the tone for your day, as you have already accomplished something worthwhile before 8am.
Set your clothes out the night before, or better yet, sleep in your workout gear
Go to bed at a decent hour so you're not tempted to skip your AM sweat session
Decide ahead of time what your reward will be (not food)!
Everyone likes rewards and we all enjoy having something to look forward to. Pick 3-5 rewards that you will allow yourself to have after reaching certain milestones. The key to this is to reward yourself frequently in the beginning and most importantly to reward the action NOT the result.
Ex: Action: Go to the gym 3 times this week
Reward: Manicure and Pedicure
Action: Go to the gym 10 times this month
Reward: A cute new gym outfit
Pick one day a week that you absolutely DO NOT miss!
For me this day is Monday. Ever heard the phrase "Never miss a Monday"? By committing to one day per week you're conditioning yourself to keep your commitments. Put it on your calendar! Getting started on Monday also sets a tone of positive expectation for your week. If you believe in the slight edge principle, committing to exercising one day per week for an entire year is 52 times per year!! If you commit to exercising 2 times per week then you're at 100 times a year.
Find an accountability partner
The ideal accountability partner is one who can meet you at the gym so you can work out together, however, just having a friend that you check in with daily or weekly to let them know your goals and the status of your progress also works. Another way to get built in accountability is to join a group fitness gym such as Pure Barre or Burn Bootcamp. Many of the women that attend these gyms tend to go the the same class at the same time. Once you've gone so many times, you become familiar with the other faces in the class and may even form a few friendships. They may start to notice if you've been skipping class recently and call you out or even call to offer additional support for your fitness goals.
Use visual aids
This is one of my favorite things to do. I like to make a powerpoint slide with my goals, my rewards and some motivational phrases and photos (I do this for every goal, not just fitness). I will tape this to my mirror and look at it daily. Underneath it I will have a calendar of the current month with the amount of times I plan to exercise along with the rewards I will get once I have reached my goal. I love to use brightly colored heart stickers from Target to keep track of each workout.
One last thing....
According to Charles Duhigg, Author of The Power of Habit, it actually takes closer to 60 days to build a habit and in some instances it make take 60 repetitions, depending on the habit you are trying to form. Start now and keep going!