Many times, we start a new exercise program full of energy and zeal, ready to take on the world. But after a couple of weeks pass, we might let other things get in the way of the program, or unexpected events get us off track. What are some of the things that you can do to make sure you stick with your program? Here are some of the things that helped me, and might help you too.
- Learn to love it – if the idea of running for 30 minutes on a treadmill just seems like complete torture, then you most probably will not stick with that program. It’s key to find something you love doing. When I first started exercising, I made heavy use of the Wii Fit because I like playing video games. Today I play soccer as part of my cardio program because it’s fun. So incorporate what you enjoy doing into your exercise routine. It could be a playing on of the exercise games for Xbox, playing basketball or golf, dancing, or anything that you would enjoy.
- Make it a habit – For me personally, the more I do something, the more likely it becomes a habit for me. The reason for this is what’s known as the habit loop. To sum up, if you do something, and there is a reward, then eventually that activity becomes a habit. For me, the reward was seeing the pounds drop each day as a result of exercise. Another trick you might try is rewarding yourself with a smoothie right after a trip to the gym. Eventually, your mind will adapt to exercise as being a habit and you’ll look forward to doing it.
- Put it in your schedule – To make exercise a priority, you have to make it a part of your daily routine, and don’t allow anything else to interfere. Block off the time in your calendar, and don’t accept meetings or other events that conflict with your allotted exercise time.
- Do it for yourself – When I started my exercise program, I had a of of people tell me “you look fine, you don’t need to lose weight, etc.” This was counter to what my doctor said. I had to make a determination that I was going to do this for myself no matter what anyone else said or did. You can take this journey to become fit to make someone else happy, or you will not stick with it.
- Don’t let a set back stop you – If you miss a workout, or have a bad meal, don’t just think you’ve failed and give up. The next day or the next meal is an opportunity to make the right choice and go to the gym or make a better meal decision.