I think one of the toughest parts about working out is getting into a routine. Without a routine, it is hard to stay committed to a plan. Since moving to Austin, I feel like I haven’t been able to schedule a good routine yet (hey, it’s only been a week) for any part of my life. With the right workout routine, hitting the gym or trails can feel like a natural part of your day like brushing your teeth or your hair.
As I create my own routine, I thought I’d share some tips that help me along the way:
1. If you work out in the AM… gradually wake up earlier. After living in NYC, I became a morning workout person. With our schedules, I used to get up at 6 a.m. to go run. I’ve been sleeping until 9 a.m. lately. Which doesn’t leave much time to work out because other real life things (work) have to start. Oops. So the idea of getting up three hours earlier just sounds… impossible. I’ve started to get up a little bit earlier so I can still have my AM routine. Earlier this week, it was 8:30… today it was 7:50. By doing it slowly, it isn’t quite as painful.
2. Have everything ready the day or night before. Laying things out makes it easier to get up and go. If you work out in the afternoon, having it ready in a pile for you to grab is much easier than spending time thinking about what you need to get. That makes it easier to dawdle. And that makes it easier to suddenly get distracted and focus on something else… organization is so important to keep your motivation high.
3. Tell people you are working out. Talk about accountability. I hate telling people “OK I’m going to run 10 miles today…” only for them to ask later that day how it went and to use some wimpy excuse why I didn’t work out.
The more people you tell, the more obligated that you feel to work out. Even if it is just to save face.
4. Give yourself time. They say that it takes three weeks to make a habit. This three weeks will be tough. There will be days you turn off the alarm clock and go back to bed (true story, me yesterday) and other days where you try to think of every excuse in the book.
This is when it takes heart over mind… and you have to push yourself to make sure you are getting the workouts done. It takes time for you to fall in love with working out or exercising. Once you do, it will become a favorite part of your day.
5. Reward yourself. I am the queen at negotiating things with myself. Setting up rewards for yourself for meeting goals is so important and helps to keep you motivated… especially when you are starting a workout routine. Sometimes I’ll even do super simple rewards… like if I run, I get to play Candy Crush for 15 minutes before having to do chores on the list. If I accomplish something big, I may get to buy something on my wish list (like this amazing shirt from Brooks). Make sure it’s something that supports your healthy lifestyle — if you promise yourself cupcakes after every workout, that won’t be very good for your results.
What are your tips for getting into a workout routine?
What’s more challenging: starting a workout or doing it?
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