So you’ve decided it’s time to start on a new exercise routine – you’re on the way to a healthier and happier you! You may be feeling excited, nervous, or a bit unsure about how much you’ll actually enjoy this new habit, all of which are normal. So what are the keys to finding and maintaining that inner motivation?
Create a schedule and stick to it. When you put working out into your calendar and plan accordingly (i.e. bring the proper clothes to work and avoid scheduling other appointments during that time) you’re more likely to follow through with the plan.
Make a list of reasons you’re starting this routine. It can be helpful to reference this list on days you aren’t feeling quite as excited about working out. Hang it on your refrigerator, put it on your desk, or set a reminder that pops up with these encouraging words on your phone or computer!
Find an activity you enjoy. People who choose an activity they enjoy are much more likely to be motivated to do it regularly and to create long-lasting goals. When you’re first starting out, try different activities to gain exposure to new means of exercising and new people too!
Create healthy incentives for reaching milestones. Treat yourself to a massage, an appointment with a personal trainer, a healthy cooking class, or an afternoon of relaxation when you reach milestones. For example, you can celebrate weight, distance or # of days per week exercising milestones!
Ride the roller coaster. Remember, it can take 28 days to create a habit, and it may not be smooth sailing the entire time. If you have an off day – emotionally or physically – remember that the following day can be completely different. Make a commitment to get up and go to your workout regardless and remember that each day you keep to your schedule you’re inching closer to creating that new habit. It may not always be easy, but it will be well worth it!