While virtually everyone acknowledges the importance of exercise, few have the motivation to keep it up for more than a few days. This is most noticeable at the start of a new year, when resolutions are quickly forgotten. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make it more interesting. Here are 5 simple ways to kickstart your fitness regimen.
1) Set a Specific Goal
Stating that you simply want to “get in shape” is too vague to feel like a priority. If you’re ever forced to schedule your time, you’re likely to forget all about working out. Examples of specific goals might include running a 5K in six months or losing a specific amount of weight. Whatever you decide upon, it should be realistic enough that you know it can be achieved with time and effort. Remember that if it’s important at all, it should be important enough to know exactly what you want to get out of it.
2) Find a Partner
It’s much easier to flake out on yourself than on someone who’s waiting for you at the gym. Once you’ve made plans to work out with that person, you’ll have some explaining to do if you don’t show up. In fact, a good partner will grill you to make sure you’re not just being lazy. Find someone who’s as serious about their fitness goals as you are, work out a schedule that suits both of you, and get to it.
3) Document Your Workouts
Nothing defines a priority more than writing it down. The mere act of putting something into writing implies that it’s worth tracking and remembering. Start by scheduling workout time in your calendar the same way you would schedule a meeting and don’t let anything encroach on that time. You should also keep a notebook with a list of exercises or activities for specific days, as well as a log of what you’ve done and any progress you’ve made. The more often you look at it, the more you’ll want to beat those numbers.
4) Exercise Early
The way you start your day tends to dictate the way the rest of it will go. For this reason, it’s a good idea to get something challenging out of the way as soon as you get up. You’ll probably hate this part of the journey at first, but that’s exactly why it’s so effective. If you want to make a challenging habit stick, you need to rack up some early victories. You’ll also find you’re more productive, once you’ve won the battle against your own laziness. This can be a powerful motivator to keep at it.
5) Try Something New
There’s no quicker way to grow tired of something than to do it the same way, day after day. You have to change it up now and then to keep things interesting. One of the best ways to do this is to add something new and different to your routine, like a martial arts class or fencing lessons. As long as it’s fun, challenging, and makes you fit, you’ll find yourself wanting to do it, instead of fighting the urge to do something else.
These suggestions can help get you fired up, but you still have to get started. The longer you put it off, the sooner your mind will begin looking for excuses to quit. Remember that while getting fit might seem like a long and arduous journey, it gets easier as these practices become habits.