For most people, starting a workout routine is easy. It’s easy to find the motivation to go to the gym once or even for a couple of weeks. Often, the problem isn’t getting started. It’s figuring out a way to stay consistent.
It’s not easy to develop discipline and stay consistent with your workout routine. It’s also a lifelong process. You don’t get to keep discipline forever; you have to constantly work on becoming more disciplined.
The good news, though, is that there are steps you can take to become a consistent exerciser and make fitness a part of your life.
If you have a hard time being consistent and developing a sense of discipline around your workouts, these four tips can help:
Often, when people decide that they’re going to start exercising on a regular basis, they dive in headfirst. They tell themselves that they’re going to exercise six days per week for an hour per day, no excuses.
This might work for a couple of weeks. Then, people get busy. Or they get hurt. Or they’re too tired. Eventually, six workouts per week turns into three workouts per week, which turns into zero workouts per week.
If this sounds familiar to you, I recommend taking the opposite approach. Instead of committing to a bunch of long workouts every week, try committing to just one or two short workouts per week.
Will it take you longer to see results if you’re only doing two short workouts per week? Probably. Will your results last because you spent time building a habit and making exercise a regular part of your life? Probably.
Remember, it’s better to start slow and gradually increase your workouts over time than it is to overcommit and then stress yourself out as a result.
Pick Workouts You Enjoy
You’re going to have an easier time sticking to a workout routine if you actually enjoy the workouts you’re doing.
If you hate running, don’t commit to running five days per week. If you hate lifting weights by yourself in a sweaty gym, don’t convince yourself that that’s your only option. Walk instead of going for a run, or do bodyweight workouts at home.
If you’re at a place where you’re just trying to be consistent with your workouts, pick what you enjoy and don’t get hung up on what’s considered to be the “optimal” workout.
Eventually, once you’ve made a habit of exercising, you can work on adding in other types of movement. For now, though, just try to find something that you like doing a few times per week.
It helps to plan your workouts before you go to the gym, too. This helps you to save time, and it can help you to avoid feeling intimidated at the idea of going in and working out with a bunch of other people.
Planning your workout ahead of time also helps to give you something to look forward to.
If you know what you’re going to be doing during your workout, you’ll be more likely to feel excited and prepared for what’s coming later in the day or first thing the next morning.
Know Your “Why”
Finally, know why you’re working out in the first place. If you have a specific goal that you’re working toward, you’re probably going to have an easier time sticking to your workout routine and being consistent.
Sit down and think about what you want to accomplish, then think about how exercising will help you to accomplish that goal.
Remember, goals don’t always have to product-oriented, either. Goals can be about the process, too. For example, you could set a goal to just show up at the gym twice a week for six weeks. Once you’ve achieved that goal, you can reassess and adjust your goal to three workouts per week.
There you have it! My top four tips to help you stay consistent with your workout routine.
What tips do you have for staying consistent with a workout routine? Let me know in the comments down below!