When I turned 40, I committed myself to a daily workout routine that would keep me fit, active, and healthy. I promised myself that I was going to exercise and get into great shape so that I could live longer and happier.
This, of course, did not happen overnight. At first, I thought I just didn’t have enough willpower, but science says: it’s not just about willing yourself into shape, you have to take active steps into ensuring that you don’t falter from your own promise.
One of the best ways to keep you on your path is to develop habits that will not only help you get fit, but also help you enjoy your workout routine.
Choose a Workout That’s Enjoyable for You
The first step to building this habit is to choose a workout routine that you enjoy. This is one of the reasons why many people fail: they choose workout regimens that aren’t a right fit for their fitness goals and their interests. Rather than building a healthy mindset about working out, many people begin to think of exercise as a burden rather than a fun and enjoyable activity that you look forward to.
Choosing a workout routine that you enjoy will make you look forward to it, thus helping you stick to your workout plan. Couple that excitement with a positive outlook, and you’ll soon develop a healthy habit that’s hard to break
The first thing to do is research. Go online and read up on the kinds of exercises that are perfect for your fitness goals. If you have active friends, ask them for tips and advice on what kind of exercises you could do to start.
Explore your options, you’d be surprised at the amount of fun activities you could to meet your goals.
Take it Easy at First!
Remember: you don’t have to go hard and fast on your first few months, take it slow and learn to enjoy it! A lot of people get turned off from working out because they set unrealistic goals on the get-go.
A better way to go about it is to start small and build from there. Don’t attempt to run a marathon in the first month of working out. Break down your fitness goals into smaller, more attainable goals that get bigger and bigger as you go along. You’d be surprised at how far baby steps can get you!
There’s also science behind it: achieving small goals consistently reinforce a positive outlook on your workout routine, thus conditioning you psychologically to pursue your routine more.
Again, consult friends about your workout routine. Find an easy regimen to start with and learn to stick with it. Once that routine no longer feels difficult, take it just one step further and get used to it. In this way, you gradually build up your difficulty level without you noticing.
Consistency is Key
There’s a reason it’s called a DAILY workout! Half the battle is getting out of bed and getting started. If you can do that, then you can start making your workout a daily habit. Once you’ve committed to getting up and showing up, you’re already well on your way to achieving your goals.
But what if you show up, you start, and you fail? It’s fine! Get up and do it again tomorrow. The key to any habit is consistency, and once starting your workout routine becomes a habit, then the rest becomes easier.
A trick that a lot of people do is getting dressed up in workout clothes as soon as they get out of bed. This conditions you to get out the door and start working out.
So get out of bed, put your shoes on, and show up to the gym! Once you do this, the rest is easy.
Set a 30 Day Challenge for Yourself
30-Day challenges are popular on social media now, and there’s a reason they’re so big: they work!
30-Day challenges are a great way to chunk up your ultimate fitness goal into smaller, manageable chunks that take up no time at all. It helps you build a daily habit and motivates you to take your workout one step further every time.
Most of these challenges involve doing one new activity every day for a month. In this way, 30 days can whizz by in no time, making your workout routine not just bearable, but also enjoyable.
It’s also a good way to see instant results; finishing an activity in the 30-Day challenge can feel great, and crossing it off your calendar and seeing how many you’ve done already might just be the push you need to push yourself even further!
Set Goals and Be Smart About Them
You can set as many goals as you like and as easy or difficult as you like, but make sure you are SMART about achieving them.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Every workout should follow this rubric, as this helps you achieve your goals in an efficient and effective manner.
Setting specific goals helps you visualize your wants and helps you cater a workout routine that is focused on achieving that goal. To help you know what you’ve achieved, make sure that you have measurable goals, as these help you assess how far you’ve gone and how much more is left.
Set attainable goals. It’s ok to want to look like Dwayne Johnson, but make sure you set up manageable and attainable steps to get there. Finally, make your goals time-bound, meaning, set a deadline. This puts a little pressure on you, but hey, a little pressure is good, especially if it motivates you to achieving your goals.
Having said that, if you fail your goal, it’s fine: start over! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not completing a workout goal if you get up and attempt again the next day. The only way to lose is to give up.
Remember: working out doesn’t have to be a chore or a burden; it can be a fun activity that you can look forward to. Do you have your own fitness tips? Hit us up in the comments below!