8 Tips To Stick To Your Health And Fitness Routine
Making the decision to get fit and healthy is HUGE, and something to be proud of. It means that you acknowledge that there are things you need to change in your life, and we all know that acknowledging is the most important step. The thing is, once you make that decision it can be really hard to know where to start, and especially hard to keep yourself going. I wanted to share with you 8 tips that kept me going AFTER my initial decision to start!
I started and stopped many fitness journeys before my last one, which I have now stuck to for almost 3 years. Each and every time I started, I was serious about wanting to change my health and fitness habits. I knew I needed to make a change, and I had that 'want' inside to do so...but just wanting something doesn't make it reality. You then have to put the work in, and stay motivated.
So what did I do different the last time that made me stick with it?
#1 Set Goals
Setting a goal, and a time frame was crucial to me sticking to my plan. I set one BIG goal, and then several mini goals. My big goal was to start and complete a 90 day fitness program without missing any days. The program I chose was Les Mills Pump. Aside from the big goal, I also set little goals like only drinking alcohol once a week, only having one cheat meal a week, and measuring my progress every 30 days. I rewarded myself by making my cheat meal an event. I earned it, so instead of wasting it on fast food, I made it an experience by choosing restaurants I had been excited to try. One specific goal that I set during my second 90 day program, P90X was to be able to do "the crane". Achieving that goal was better than any cheat meal I've ever had. I also remember having a 'goal shirt'. This was a shirt that I had bought online, and it was too small. My goal was to fit into that shirt!
#2 Make It A Habit
Have you ever heard that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit? Well it's true. If you can stop biting your nails, swearing, or start following a health and fitness routine for 21 days...you are more likely to succeed. I knew this, and had it in my head that no matter what for AT LEAST the first 21 days I was going to do everything in my power to stay on track. The thing is, just doing it for 21 days is not the answer to all of your problems. The 21 days shows you that it is possible, but day in and day out you have to continuously keep making good choices, and stay on track. I think a better word for habit in this section would be routine. Think about your daily routine now...I am sure there are things that you do regularly. Wake up, put coffee on, shower, get dressed, get in the car, stop at Dunkins, head to work, check into facebook and so on... now think if you replaced some of the not so important parts of your routine, with things that are going to get you closer to your goal...
#3 Put It In Writing and Scream it from the Rootop!
It's funny the lengths we will go to in order to prove things to others or keep promises, but when it comes to promises that we made to ourselves...we constantly break them. I was the biggest culprit of this. I would never break a promise or not show up for someone else, but when it came to the things that I wanted for myself, they would always go on the back burner. So...a way to get yourself to stick to your routine is to put it in writing, and tell everyone you know. Tell you husband, your boss, your mother, your best friend, cat, sister, aunt, the guy at the coffee shop...it really doesn't matter, just tell them. When you tell other people that makes it real, and will hold you accountable. Letting yourself down is one thing, letting others down is a whole new can of worms. I joined a fitness challenge group and told my coach as well as the other challengers. I was expected to check in daily to make sure I stayed on track, and boy did it work. I did NOT want to be the weakest link or the only one who didn't follow through on their commitment. This had a huge impact on me because if I skipped my workout, or ate junk, I wasn't only letting myself down, I was letting everyone I told down as well. If you aren't in a challenge group find a friend that you can check in with daily. Have them hold you accountable. Accountability is a key factor in succeeding and sticking to your plan!
#4 Get a Buddy
Find a friend that wants to start at the same time as you. Have them be your workout buddy! Do you workouts together, and if you can't call each other every day after you do! Keep each other on track, and hold each other accountable. When one starts to make excuses, put them in their place and vice versa. I have my challenge groups. They are my workout buddies. At first it was people I didn't know, but now they are filled with my friends and family as well!
#5 Make it Fun
If you have ADD like I do, you need to be constantly entertained. Some times doing the same thing over and over can get boring, and cause you to not want to do it. Switch things up every now and then, make it fun!
Some things you could do to make it fun:
- Go for a hike
- Do an obstacle race
- Get your friends together for a game of beach volley ball
- Join a flag football team
- Try out that new rock climbing place
- Rent a Stand up Paddle Board
- Chase your kids around the back yard
- Hula Hoop like the lady to the right. (I had to put that picture in there, I find it so funny!)
The list goes on and on...I know you all are creative, you can think of something!
#6 Change your Thinking and Plan to Succeed
Often times when we think about eating healthy and working out we look at it as a chore. We think eating healthy means depriving ourselves, and that working out sucks. Change those thoughts now. If that is how you feel, it WILL be a chore to stick with it. Eating healthy does not mean depriving yourself. It does not mean that your food will taste like cardboard, and working out does not have to be a chore. When we have those thoughts in our head, we are less likely to try new things. One of my favorite things to do is take "unhealthy" recipes and make them better for you. Like a good quarter pounder from McDonalds every now and then? Why not make your own version. By tweaking minor details you can make healthy AND delicious food without feeling deprived.
Also...PLAN TO SUCCEED. If you already have it in your head that making these changes are too hard, and that you can't do it...you won't do it! Change your thinking...have some faith in yourself...and believe that you can!
#7 Make a Schedule
Fail to plan, plan to fail. Plan your week out ahead of time. Schedule in the time that you will be doing your workouts, and meal prep...then stick to that schedule. When you have it on a schedule, and your meals prepped and ready to go you will never be caught off guard. Every Sunday I have 2 hours blocked off for my food shopping and meal prep. I portion everything out, wash and cut the fruits and veggies, and do everything I can in order to make the week go as smoothly as possible. I tried it the other way, and it didn't work for me. If I didn't have things in my fridge, I found myself ordering out. If I didn't have things pre portioned, I found myself going for processed pre packaged options when I was in a rush. Planning is a huge in this process!
#8 Find Your WHY
I believe that this is the most important tip on this page. Really think about WHY you want to get healthy. What made you come to that decision? Is it for your kids? Did you have a health scare? Whatever it is, pin point it. Whenever you want to quit, bring yourself back to that WHY. You made the decision to start for a reason. You obviously thought it was important....remember it always!
Those were some of my tips to stay on track. Being a part of a challenge group was a huge part of what kept me on track. I run several challenge groups a month and would love to help you! If you are interested in joining an upcoming challenge, please fill out the form below!
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