So you want to get fit, huh? Maybe you’ve tried getting in the groove before but ended up totally failing after a week. I feel you. I’ve been flirting with fitness on and off and have had weeks (well, months kinda) where I wouldn’t even glance at online workouts, yet alone my gym. Whether the reason for failure was a lack of motivation, lack of time, or something else, you can choose to hop on the fitness train anytime you’re feeling up to the challenge again. You don’t have to be a die-hard gym-goer—or even go to the gym at all—in order to succeed at developing fitness habits that last.
Below you’ll find some kickass fitness tips to stay on track and develop habits that outlive the first couple weeks of the new year by a long shot.
Take it easy!
Don’t come out of the gate sprinting, or in your case, through the neighborhood. Pushing yourself early on in a fitness routine is a rookie mistake that leaves newbies burnt out after a week of training. Don’t be like them. Overexercise at first can lead to fatigue and pain. If you build up an association of unpleasant pain with exercise, you’re bound to avoid it. Take your time when starting out. Your body will thank you.
Start off with a couple of online apps and do some workouts at home. Try not to overdo it, because it’ll get overwhelming after your honeymoon fitness phase (that exists too).
Wrangle up time and watch the clock
If you start out fitness habits on the wrong foot, you’re going to have problems. Finding the time for a workout sesh can be tough to manage at first and it takes a lot of self discipline and accountability to make it all happen.
One effective solution for this is setting aside time in the day when you’re sure to be free of any obligations.
Now set an alarm on your phone. The key is to set the alarm for the same time everyday you plan to workout (I’m looking at you, 6AM alarm clock). Once that alarm goes off, drop what you’re doing and perform your planned exercises for the day.
This will keep your workouts consistently timed, which will eventually seem as natural as waking up in the morning.
Piggyback your habits
Do you already have habits ingrained into your routine? Drinking your morning coffee? Watching your favorite show? If so, you’re in luck.
When you’ve got established habits, it’s easier to attach new habits rather than starting them separately. This will greatly increase the chance for the habit to stick. For example, your show comes on at 8:30 PM. You can tell yourself “I will complete my 30-minute exercise routine before my show starts.” Or if you’re a workaholic like me, take those 30 minutes as “me time” and then go back to work if you have to.
Not only does this keep your habits connected, it rewards you for putting in the effort beforehand. These positive reinforcements will have your mind trained like Pavlov’s dog in no time.
Invest and get a personal trainer
If you really can’t baby yourself into your habit, get a personal trainer. I decided to really focus on my confidence with gym equipment and wanted to gain knowledge in how to perform certain moves. As soon as I came back to London, I decided to hire a personal trainer that would help me stay accountable.
So. Totally. Worth it. We meet every Saturday for an hour and that Saturday makes me feel so motivated. My slot’s at 9am, which also forces me to get up early and helps with a bunch of other goals.
Highly recommended if you can afford it!
Don’t hesitate to motivate
Do you keep putting off your workouts? Just remember that whatever excuse you can come up with won’t be compatible with your fitness habit goals. Don’t worry though, because we both know you’ll get through this slump without missing a beat.
A great way to overcome the slump is by motivating yourself with external factors. In other words: watch some videos, check out pictures, and inspire yourself with motivational quotes to help you power through your off days.
My favorite YouTube fitness channels to get motivated:
- Blogilates (Healthy tips + fitness at home workouts)
- Nikki Blackketter (My favorite bae ever)
- Buff Dudes (TONS of useful advice, especially if you’re into weightlifting)
- BroScienceLife (Just fitness humor, but it’s my fave)
Don’t expect to look like these experienced fitness fanatics overnight. The truth is, you won’t look like anyone but yourself. They are here to remind you why you’re doing this. It makes no difference whether it’s for weight loss, strength, or general well-being.
Your specific goals are what matters here, and watching others who have gone through the pain already can be a great spark of motivation when you’re feeling the pressures of maintaining fitness habits. Keep your head up and keep moving.
Remember: the more momentum you build up, the harder it will be to stop this fitness train.