How often do people make New Year’s resolutions to start working out more, only to stop by the end of the month? If working out were easy to do, then everyone would be super fit. There would be a shortage of gyms and sports leagues. For many people, life already has plenty of daily challenges, whether that’s a crazy work commute or being a hero to their kids. When tired people can barely squeeze in enough time for themselves, it’s no wonder that working out falls to the wayside.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Despite the busyness of our daily lives, it is possible to stick with a workout and live a healthier life. It’s not something that’s easy to do, but if done in a smart and consistent way, is definitely a more-than-achievable goal. This post explores some ideas and shares some tips on how to do this.
Have a Reason
In order to build good habits and stay motivated, you need to have a reason. This motivator should be something that can convince you to get up earlier, or head over to the gym even if you’re tired out by the end of the work day. Maybe you want to look better for your significant other. Maybe you want to be healthy enough to be around for your kids when they’re a little older. Too often we focus on the what and not the why - without the why, it becomes so much harder to stick to something that at times will be tough and uncomfortable to do.
Attach It to Another Habit
Take a good look at your life and observe your habits - things that you consistently do day in and day out. Chances are, there are some habits you can use to build another new habit. For example, if you commute to work every day already, consider walking to work once or twice a week instead of driving. Or if you listen to a lot of podcasts, you could hit the gym while listening to one of your latest ones. There are a lot of possibilities here. The key is to make your workout a habit, and attaching it to another habit is a little shortcut that speeds up forming the new one.
Find A Workout You Enjoy
Many people go into a workout with the mentality that it’s bitter medicine they have to put up with in order to be healthy. While sticking to workouts you don’t enjoy is possible through willpower and good habits, it’s just so much easier when you find a workout you actually enjoy. Think about it - do people gravitate to people that they like or that they hate? It’s the same with finding a sport or athletic activity. Be open-minded, try out new workouts, and you’ll find something that’s just as fun as your other favorite things.
Go With Friends
There’s a saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Sometimes the biggest motivator comes from good friends. Whether it’s a friend who already works out consistently or a friend who’s also on the path to building a new habit, pick someone to go with who will keep you accountable and encourage you rather than put you down. Going with friends makes the activity more fun and at the very least you’ll have another reason to stick with a workout.
Working out is not easy. Hitting the gym, sticking to a training plan, or heading to a rec league, day in and day out, are achievements that should not be taken lightly. One of the most important things to keep in mind is to not be too hard on yourself. When you first start out, you’re starting from square one, so you won’t see progress happening overnight. But build good habits and put in the hours, and you’ll very soon start to notice the positive changes to your body and health.
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