How can we make working out into a part of our daily routine? We should think about exercise the same way we think of brushing our teeth or showering. We don’t need to talk ourselves into it and we don’t go a week without doing it because we’re not in the mood; it’s just a part of our day. So how can we get into that mindset? Throughout my fitness journey, I’ve found five tricks that really helped me to change how I view exercise:
As soon as you get home or when you wake up (depending on when you do your workout) immediately change into your sports clothes and set up your gear.
This way, we keep our brains in the mindset of working and getting things done. Personally, once I change into pajamas and sit in front of the TV, I’m done for the day. We don’t want our brains to go into relaxation mode and stop being productive until after we’ve done our daily workout. Furthermore, it’s a bit of a guilt trip as you’re less likely to spend the evening scrolling through social media when you’re in gym clothes and with your workout station all set up.
Treat your workout as your ‘me-time’.
Turn your phone off or on silent and make sure that the people you live with know that you’re about to work out and that it’s your time for yourself. This should be respected by you and the people around you as your daily self-care. In my experience, the people around me respect my workouts as much as I do. If I take it seriously and make it a requirement that no one bothers me during that time, the people I live with take it seriously too. Therefore, it’s important to lead by example; show others how you want to be treated.
Create an immediate reward for after your workout.
Long-terms goals and rewards are amazing and I highly recommend them, however, they don’t always work as a motivator for ‘in the moment’. When you’re in the middle of a three minute plank, the thought that you’ll have amazing abs in three weeks may not help to get you through those three minutes because it feels too far away. Think of something that can serve as an immediate reward that you get at the end of your workout. For example, a flavored protein shake, a bath with your favorite bath salts or a social media post bragging about the amazing workout you just did. The idea is to have something to look forward to at the end of the workout that’s a little more concrete than just the physical results.
Have an accountability partner.
Having an accountability partner does not necessarily mean you need to work out with that other person, if you prefer to exercise alone. An accountability partner means someone who knows what time you’re supposed to do your daily workout and they will check in to see if you’ve done it. This should be someone who you can rely on to tell you the truth and be blunt with you if you’ve skipped a workout without a solid reason.
Change up your workouts.
Doing the same type of workout every day can become tiresome and boring. Change up the style of workouts, the trainers you use and the equipment you exercise with. By doing different styles of workouts, you’re also hitting different muscle groups and developing your skill set. You can learn yoga one day, kickboxing another, do dance on the third day and so on. This will challenge both your body and your mind.
Those are my five tricks that I used to change my mindset and turn working out into a daily habit. Motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, says “It’s not what we do that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently”. Let’s make sure that our daily routines include time for self-care and investment in our health; in the form of exercise.