Getting in shape ranks right up there with the most popular resolutions we make to ourselves. Pretty much everyone wants to lose a few pounds, become more fit, look better and feel better. As an added benefit, regular physical activity certainly helps us manage stress better.
We have the best intention, we want to get in better shape, but most of us wane in our regimen about a month into it. You would think it’s the motivation to get started that’s so difficult, but it’s the lack of consistent follow through that gets the best of most people.
Believe it or not, there are those individuals who are not only able to begin an exercise regimen, they are able to make it more than a few week fad. They stick with it month after month, year after year, and end up with the best and most lasting results.
So how do they do it? How do they stay so committed?
Following are five ways chronic exercisers help keep themselves on the road to fitness.
- THEY MAKE A VERBAL COMMITMENT WITH THEMSELVES TO BEGIN EXERCISING AND TO STOP THE EXCUSES. Write your commitment down on a post it note and put it somewhere you go often as a constant reminder. Think of how much time you can devote to exercise each day. Be honest with yourself. Now say it out loud to yourself and make it a hard fast rule you will stick to no matter what.
- THEY SET THEIR CLOCK. If you’re going to exercise first thing in the morning, then make sure you set your alarm the night before. Set the schedule before you go to sleep and prepare your mind for your exercise routine the following day.
A word of caution, if you’re like me and love the snooze button, be sure to keep your phone out of reach. Before I go to bed I often have to toss my phone across the room so there is no way I can reach out and delay the alarm the next morning. By the time I get out of bed to get to the phone, I am able to convince myself to stay up, get dressed and go exercise.’
3 THEY FIND EXERCISES THAT FIT THEIR LIFESTYLE. There are so many different types of effective exercises out there that appeal to any number of people. Find one that looks interesting and FUN and that is also accessible. For example, new moms will find they are much more likely to exercise if it’s one in which they can bring their baby. Going out for a walk using the stroller or doing some mother-baby yoga classes are two ways you can accomplish two things simultaneously.
The better the exercise assimilates into your day to day routine, the greater the likelihood you will be consistent. The more you enjoy your exercise,the greater your chances of long-term success.
4 THEY WRITE IT DOWN. Be sure to keep a log of what you do. As time goes on you will be able to see in the form of numbers how you have improved in strength, endurance and flexibility. You will have a reminder of how far you’ve come, and also how much more you want to accomplish. It’s a wonderful motivator and keeps you wanting to challenge yourself even more.
5 THEY REWARD THEMSELVES. It is extremely encouraging to cheerlead yourself along your road to fitness. Congratulate yourself every time you are through, and even if it wasn’t the best workout, give yourself a pat on the back for showing up. Those days when you are tired, resist the temptation to talk yourself out of your exercise routine for fear of not being able to have your most effective workout. Remember, a less than perfect workout is MUCH BETTER than no workout at all.
Reward yourself with something you really like such as new clothes, a massage, a movie, whatever it is that gives you the sense of a job well done. It also helps to put some type of marker on your calendar each day you complete your routine. At the end of the month when you look back at all the days you persevered and did it you can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment.