How to Make Exercise a Habit

Sticking with your workout is the key to success

Start Slowly and Make a Plan

The New Year is almost here and many of us are resolving to live a healthier lifestyle, including more exercise. But how do you ensure that your newfound fitness becomes a habit and not just a passing trend? Here are some tips to get you started and help you stay on track:

  1. Schedule Your Workout – when you’re filling out your weekly planner, whether it’s digital or the good old-fashioned paper variety, be sure to include your workout plans. It’s just like making an appointment. You’re not likely to just skip a meeting or doctor’s appointment, right? Don’t cancel on yourself either. By writing it down, you are holding yourself accountable.
  2. Involve Your Family – it’s pretty tough to start something yourself. So, make it a family affair! If your kids are going out for a bike ride, join them on your bike or even jog with them. Sign up for a local fun run and celebrate your success together. Even just taking an evening walk with your spouse can become an enjoyable exercise routine.
  3. Start Slowly – this one is crucial. We know you’re excited and there is a lot of enthusiasm right now. But don’t start out doing too much so that you’re too sore to continue and give up. Start by doing less than you’re capable of. You are far more likely to stick with it.
  4. Find Friends – similarly to working out with your family, your friends can be a great source of motivation, inspiration, determination and conversation as you begin your journey toward a healthier you.
  5. Harness Your Energy – if you’re a morning person, try to do your workout then. If you have a lot of energy at the end of the day, wait until then to workout. Know your own energy cycle and use it to your advantage. If you know that getting up early to hit the gym is going to be a battle, don’t do it. You will only let yourself down and give up. Really think about when the best time is for you to exercise and target that time three to four times a week.
  6. Forgive and Forget – true in so many aspects of life, but especially with exercise. If you miss a workout, don’t wallow in the fact that you didn’t do it, and use it as an excuse to give up. Forgive yourself and forget about it. There is always tomorrow. By forgiving yourself, you are more likely to let it go and continue with your workout plan.