ONE. Know your why.
To make any good habit stick, you should be absolutely clear why you want it. What does that mean? You should understand why exercising is important to you right now. Ask yourself: why do you want to make the switch?
- Is working out important for you to achieve a personal goal?
- Do you want to acquire healthier habits and believe that working out is one of them?
- Do you want to get stronger, leaner, tougher, build more stamina?
- Do you want to have more energy when you go to school or work, and your current lifestyle is just not cutting it for you any more?
- Did you recently experience a change in your life circumstances, for example, did you start a new job, school, degree program, moved to another neighborhood or city, and now want to create new habits to go along with it?
TWO. Make it personal.
Don’t think that you need to get motivated to work out just because you see other people doing it, or because others are telling you to do it.If you want to do it for other people, then it will be much tougher to get motivated beyond the first few times when you hit the gym. Why? Because nobody else is there with you 24/7 to tell you what to do and why to do it. If you really want to convince yourself, be honest. Come up with good reasons – personal ones – to stay fit. When you have the reasons, move on the the next step.
THREE. Make it simple.
The best way to build a habit from scratch is to make it easy to do on a regular basis. The benefits? Instead of making it intimidating, you make a workout routine doable. Instead of aiming too high (“I have to spend two hours at the gym!”), start with a super simple 15-30 minute workout session, either in the morning before you head out or when you’re done with work or school. Pick a shorter activity that requires your body to move, such as:
- a set of hindu pushups
- a set of
- a set of lunges and squats
- a 20-minute power walk or bike ride
- a quick run through the neighborhood
FOUR. Be consistent.
Do this small workout session every day for a month. When you see that it doesn’t take much time, you’ll be motivated to keep it in your schedule. When you’ve had a full month of these small wins, you can move to a slightly longer workout of 30 minutes: a longer yoga session, run, bike ride, swim, strength training, Pilates session, etc. Then stay at this level for another month or two, until you build the habit. You’ll see just how easily you can build this routine when you make gradual changes, and that will motivate you to keep your new workout habit for much longer.