Many people think that it's difficult to start a fitness routine – it is not! You most likely have done it more than once. The problem comes with sticking with it. More often than not, the initial enthusiasm and energy wanes, and then we get distracted by other things going on in our lives.
Yet many people still manage to hang in there. What's their secret?
Good news is, you are not the only one having trouble beginning an exercise plan or following through. It is a very common struggle. But there are ways that can help you take the positive steps to change. Here are some things you can do to break through mental barriers:
Forget about the all-or-nothing attitude. You don’t have to spend countless hours in a gym or force yourself into painful activities you hate just to reap the benefits of exercise. A little exercise every day is better than nothing. You can add modest amounts of physical activity to your usual routine and you’ll discover the profound effect on your health.
Always be kind to yourself. No matter what your goals are, never beat yourself up. No matter what type of body, current fitness level, or willpower you have, always try to see the good in you. Simply look at your past mistakes and unhealthy choices and use them as opportunities to learn.
Manage your expectations. You won’t get back in shape overnight. Expecting too much, too soon will only lead to frustration. Don’t be discouraged by what you can’t do right now, but focus on your journey to reach your fitness goals. Focus on consistency. Payoff will come in due time.
How to make exercise a habit that sticks
It’s not easy to stick with a fitness plan. Though there’s a right way to build habits that last. Follow these steps to make proper exercise one of them.Choose activities that make you feel happy
If your workout routine makes you feel clumsy or inept, you’re unlikely to stick with it. Don’t choose activities just because you think that’s what you should do. Instead, go with activities that fit your lifestyle, abilities, and personal taste.
Start small and build momentum
Don’t push yourself too hard at first. The more ambitious your goals, the more likely you are to fail, feel bad about it, and eventually give up. It’s best to start with easy exercise goals you know you can achieve. As you meet the easier goals you set upon yourself, you’ll start building self-confidence and momentum and move on to more challenging goals.
Triggers are simply reminders that set off an automatic reaction. They put your routine on autopilot. You spot your sneakers right by the bed and you’re up and running. Find creative ways to build them into your day to make exercise a no-brainer.
Log your activity
Record the things you find important. It could be how long you exercise each day, how many steps took, how far you ran or cycled, etc. Some people even make a game of it.
After all the hard work, it’s important to give yourself immediate rewards when you accomplish a new fitness goal. While exercise brings a lot of rewards in the long run, you should not forget to treat yourself for a job well done every step of the way. It can be something as simple as having your favorite cup of coffee or enjoying a good movie.