You swear over a glass of rosé that this week you’ll work out five times. You’re going to spend an hour at the gym/yoga studio/boxing circuit, only for Tuesday to roll around and then Thursday and then… well. Sound familiar? For me, too. I used to be the kind of person who regarded exercise as another thing on my to-do list to tick off on the road to healthy living, but this kind of thinking wasn’t improving my health. I just couldn’t, for some reason, make exercise a daily habit for myself.
I decided to rethink exercise on a fundamental level. I spent some time really tuning into my thoughts around exercise, and giving that resistance a voice. I began to notice that it was this ‘all or nothing’ approach, the idea of working out hard every day or not moving at all, was the root cause of my struggle. Once I understood what was standing in my way—namely, myself—I could formulate a plan that would make me want to move, to actually look forward to hitting the gym.
Flash forward a few years: I have honed my exercise habits, and make them a part of my every day. Movement is a non-negotiable. It impacts all aspects of my life, from my career and my emotional well-being to my relationships.
If you’re someone who moves out of obligation rather than joy, read on. I want to share with you my top five ways to make exercise a daily habit.
1. Schedule your workouts. We all live such busy lives and plans can change at a moment’s notice. To really commit to movement and make it a part of your life, you need to treat it as though it’s as important as that meeting with your boss. Each week look at your schedule and plan your movement. Put it in your diary and make it a priority.
2. Get up early. It’s important to make time for exercise, and the area we most often have control over is the morning. Set your alarm for an hour earlier than you NEED to wake up, and dedicate it to some kind of movement. If it’s cold and/or raining, or you’re otherwise unmotivated, spend that time doing a YouTube workout in your living room. If waking up early really isn’t your thing, try putting your alarm forward half an hour and doing your meal prep or washing then so you have time in the evenings for movement.
3. Know your why. Exercising to get ripped isn’t usually a great motivator. The idea of a six pack might not be enough to have you out pounding the pavement in the middle of winter. When you think about your motivation for movement, dig deeper: How do you want to feel? Energized? Alive? Sexy? Confident? Strong? Exercise is a conduit to all of these feelings. The ripped abs are just the icing on the cake.
4. Think beyond the gym. Exercise doesn’t have to be a 60-minute sweat session; it can be a lot of small movements throughout the day, like taking the stairs in your office, playing with your kids or doing the house work. Make exercise as convenient as possible and you’ll find it far easier to stay motivated.
5. Leave your activewear in plain sight. Putting your activewear in a place you can see will act as a visual reminder of your commitment to your body. As soon as I get home from my work out, I set out my activewear for the next day. This makes my morning far simpler.
How do you make exercise a daily habit?
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