For many people with fitness goals, sticking to a consistent routine gets difficult. Sometimes it’s an illness or an injury that sets you back, or maybe you just get off track because you can’t be bothered this week. There are two ways to combat this, and they both involve changing your perspective.
1. Treat your workouts like your job.
Ask yourself this – would you go to work on Monday and give it 100%, then skip the next three days, then drag yourself in Friday and go through the motions until you can leave? Probably not, but you’ve likely done exactly that with your fitness routine. We seem to have a difficult time applying the same behavior that brings us success in the workplace to our health goals. When it comes to health and fitness, we’re “trying” but still seem to come up short.
If we treated our jobs the way we do our fitness goals, we would be fired. And it would only make sense, given our poor performance. Work isn’t always exciting and stimulating, but we keep showing up and we keep doing our job. Success in fitness is achieved in the same way. When you treat your workouts like your job, you reduce the likelihood that you’ll blow them off. To do so is to risk the status of a very important project – your health. And if you don’t maintain that project, it will have long-term consequences.
Best practice: Schedule your workouts into your calendar just as you would work, special projects and appointments.
2. Be very clear about motivation.
One of the most common ways we stumble over reaching our health and fitness goals involves motivation. But motivation itself is merely an emotion. It’s impossible to be happy or sad or angry 24 hours a day, and it’s also impossible to be motivated all the time. When motivation wanes, you rely on habit instead.
A habit is generally comprised of three parts:
- The cue, which sets your habit in motion.
- The routine, which are the steps you take after the cue.
- The reward, which is the reason for your habit.
Understanding these three parts mean you can be mindful about changing bad habits – the ones that translate into missed workouts – and fine-tuning good habits. When you develop good habits about health and fitness, and couple them with building your workouts into your schedule, just as you do your job, consistency becomes that much easier.
Best practice: Consider working with a personal trainer. It’s a structured method of developing good habits and learning to schedule fitness. Plus, you’ll enjoy the benefit of your trainer’s experience and expertise. If you’re considering working with a trainer, we’re excited to answer your questions.