Some people think you need iron self-discipline to follow your chosen fitness routine. But really, it’s all about tapping into your own desires for fitness and being creative about that. Here are some tips for keeping your fitness routine in the front of your brain, every day, so your inner couch slouch can’t make you “forget” it.
Keep It In Sight
Lay out your fitness gear each night before you go to bed, so it’s the first thing you see when you get up. Whether its trainers or shorts, make those the first thing your sleepy brain can lay its hands on when you get up. If you have exercise items in your house, like a yoga mat or exercise ball, place them where you will use them as move round the house. Put coloured dots or stickers on your bathroom mirror or inside a cupboard door to remind you to balance on one foot while cleaning your teeth, for instance. Keep dumbbells next to your phone so you can use them while talking. Put an exercise routine sheet on the coffee table, so you can practise stretches or body weight exercises while watching the TV.
Get The Right Clothes
That doesn’t mean squads of money on a new fashion look, it means having enough of the useful stuff. If you are going to lay out your exercise clothes each night, you need to have them clean and ready to go. Get a few extra sets of shorts, tops or whatever, so you don’t have to think about where your clean set is. Make exercise an important part of your life. You know you wouldn’t skimp on clothes for work or social events. You say you think exercise is important? Then demonstrate your commitment to it, make exercise just as important as your work or social lives.
Get An Exercise Buddy or Group
Find someone, or a group of someones who want the same exercise goal as you. You won’t want to let them down and that can push you to attend classes or go for a jog or cycle when your couch slouch would rather stay in bed. You also get a social workout in the same time, which can help with moods and feelings, more so than similar social interactions on media.
Keep A Fitness Journal
If you don’t know where you started or how you are doing, then how will you know whether you are achieving your goals? Keep a record. You can keep your journal or record physically or online. And you can share it or not as you choose. Keeping an online record of your fitness routine in a place where others can see it can keep you committed and accountable and help you feel supported in your decision to exercise. You may find an exercise buddy or some cheerleaders to keep you going when motivation is low. If a journal or social record keeps you committed then make it a part of your daily routine. If you want something less exacting, keep a motivation chart where you can tick off the reps or the minutes or the miles. You can always transfer the info to social media or a journal later. It’s keeping the records that keeps you going.
You know that failing to exercise has health implications down the line but if those far-off negative consequences don’t lift you off your franny, then set some public commitments to pay a penalty or make a donation to a cause you don’t support if you fail to achieve your goal or stick to your routine. Whatever your goal, to lose a certain amount of weight or to exercise so many times a week or run or swim a certain distance daily or weekly, if you post it publicly, together with your chosen penalty, you can help yourself stick to your chosen path because the immediate negative consequences and tougher to you than getting your exercise done. There are sites where you provide your credit card info and you get charged if you don’t reach your goal!
Challenge Your Friends To A Contest
This takes the exercise buddy or group a stage further. Hold a competition between yourselves to see who can achieve your joint goals best, whether that is to lose a percentage of body weight, raise money for charity from entering sponsored events, move the greatest number of miles or laps, whatever floats your boat and suits your fitness levels. Of course, there is no point in setting a competition for the greatest number of marathons run if none of you can run any but you could enter local 5K and 10K runs or fun runs or even stage your own events. If you want to increase the sense of competition, charge a fee, pool a kitty or set some money aside and announce the results regularly, whether it’s each week, each month or every couple of months. That keeps the motivation and the sense of competition high. Competition is fun, provided it doesn’t get TOO serious and you are all encouraging each other. If you have to do it yourself, create a motivation chart for your own goals, record what you do and pay yourself for each goal you achieve daily, weekly, etc. The amount soon adds up to a nice sum you can use to treat yourself.