An essential key to achieving a goal is consistency. Whether you want to lose weight, get fitter or stay healthy, the same element is needed. Consistency means to adhere or stick to a principle or course, to show uniformity. Being consistent means staying on the path and keep doing what you set up to do regularly.
The following are some concrete tips to help you stay consistent with exercise:
- Set Your Goal: Write down your goal using the S.M.A.R.T. acronym (Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Time-limited). Connect your goal to something significant so it takes root deep within you. Proceed to write down the reasons why you want that goal, your pain points, and the foreseen benefits for you and others when you achieve the goal. For instance, instead of having the goal to exercise more, plan to exercise 3 days a week for 45 minutes for the next 90 days because it’s going to help you normalize your blood pressure and give you more energy to play with your kids.
- Make a Commitment: In order to set yourself up for success, you must be committed. Being committed means doing something even when you don’t feel like it and even when it’s not convenient. You should commit to exercising for at least 30 days. Whether you train 2 days a week for an hour or 5 days a week for thirty minutes, doing it for a month will help you to stick with exercise.
- Attach Exercise to a Current Behavior: Connect exercise to something you already do and give yourself visible cues. Let’s say you want to start working out after work. Then, you should keep a gym bag on a passenger seat so you are reminded, once you get in your car heading home, that you should stop at the gym or park first.
- Schedule Exercise & Create a Routine: You probably heard before “What gets scheduled, gets done.” It’s easy to say that you want to exercise more but implementing it is another story. Scheduling your workout on your calendar or planner makes it more real, makes you more accountable and keeps you on track. It, also, allows you to view exercise as the priority that it is. Plan on a time to work out and create a routine. For example, if you want to workout before work, you have to realize that you must get up earlier. Is that sustainable and realistic for you? If you are not an early riser, it may not be. Schedule a realistic time and plan a routine around it, like a pre and post-workout meal.
- Set Reminders: It’s easy to forget to do things when they haven’t developed into habits, when they are not part of your daily grind. In order to remember to exercise and to make it habitual, you can set reminders so you don’t forget. You can write down Workout with the time on a post-it note and place it on your mirror, computer, desk, refrigerator, or car dashboard. You can also set a reminder on your phone, calendar, or smart assistant – Alexa.
- Address Negative Thinking: Many times, we can be our worst enemies and allow our minds to sabotage our plans, goals, and even relationships. Thinking negatively makes you less likely to be able to remain consistent. Learn how to Identify Unhelpful Negative Thinking & Stop Self-Sabotage.
- Plan for Obstacles: Be proactive and think about all the possible stumbling blocks that you may encounter and how can you address them. This helps you be prepared and ready to move forward. For instance, if you have occasional events after work, set up your calendar where your schedule is less hectic. Additionally, plan for changes in the weather or other time constraints.
- Make Exercise Part of Your Identity: In order to incorporate exercise into your routine, you have to frame your whole persona with exercise in mind and believe that exercise is part of your weekly routine – no matter what. See yourself as a person who regularly exercises, not a couch potato. We are what we repeatedly do
- Get Accountable: People are more likely to follow through with a plan when they are observed by others. Get a coach or an accountability buddy to get fully committed to implementing changes.
- Make Exercise Satisfying: Plan different ways to make exercise enjoyable and get more exercise in unnoticeable ways. Connect exercise to something pleasurable and reward yourself to reinforce your regular effort.
- Be Patient: Be patient with yourself if you are not sticking to the plan 100%. Understand that establishing a new habit can take time. Simultaneously, be patient with the process. Many times, people presume that results will take place right away but that expectation is unrealistic.
Exercise should be part of your life so you can be healthier, fitter, and leaner. Follow the tips described above so you can stay consistent with exercise and experience long-lasting change. Check out 28 Days to a New Life to incorporate a holistic approach and make changes in all areas of your life.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor