The worst feeling in the world is standing in front of a closet full of jeans, and having to decide which one to choose based on which pair you really think you’re going to be able to squeeze into that day….ugh. None of us likes that feeling, do we? I know I don’t.
We all know the pretty simple way to avoid that unfortunate circumstance….eat right, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, etc, etc….
Easier said than done, huh?
But you know what? It really doesn’t have to be that hard – It really can be just like any other routine you’ve got going on in your day: brushing your teeth, taking a shower, eating breakfast….. ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah,’ you’re saying, ‘heard that one too many times before.’ Well, you’re right. We have heard it over and over. And I know you probably didn’t think you’d hear this typical spiel coming out of my mouth in this blog….but this is something that I honestly know to be true – I’ve seen it in my own closet – umm – I mean, my own life. You just have to commit to a few simple rules.
Make exercise a habit.
Discipline and will-power only work in the short-term. That’s the secret. And that’s what this post is about — ways to build the exercise habit.
What do you want to achieve? Exercising can be used for several means. Before you start, set a definite goal. What is it that you want? For our purposes, let’s say it’s fitting into that pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans. 🙂 Once we’ve attained that, we can work towards the Sevens.
Set a Deadline.
Set a date by which you will reach your goal. Write your goal and deadline on a piece of paper and put it somewhere you can see it multiple times a day. (I’m thinking big sharpie poster on the closet door?)
Make a Plan.
Once you have set your goal, you must back it up with a plan.
Your time is precious. Any minute exercising must bring you closer towards the achievement of your goal, so choose a solid training program. A combination of cardio and strength training is a great way to go – running/pilates is my combo of choice, but you can start out walking or biking – as long as you get moving! Pilates is ideal because it’s gentle on your joints, but you will be amazed at how strong and defined it will make you.
Exercise First Thing in the Morning.
When you’ve just had a tough day at work, it can be hard to train for another hour at the gym. A solution is to exercise first thing in the morning. One hour later, you’re another step closer towards the achievement of your goal. And you have your whole day to do whatever you need to.
It makes me feel so good when I’m driving down the road and I see someone running, and I can say to myself, ‘I did that today too!!!’
Stick to your Plan.
This is the biggest challenge. The days you don’t feel like exercising, are often your best days. Maybe it’s the mind-body connection: the body says no, so you have to talk your mind into go.
Whatever it is, when it’s the day to train, it’s the day to train. Make no excuses, don’t cancel your pilates session! If you don’t feel 100% healthy, still go the studio, but tell your trainer you need to take it down a notch. The fact that you’ve been there, is more important than the quality of your training. And as I wrote above, sometimes it can turn out into one of your most productive workouts. (yes, Carla, I’m talking to myself 🙂 )
The more you exercise, the more you build the habit. Stick to your plan.
Train With Someone Who Has The Exercise Habit.
If you’re training partner quits, you’ll probably end up quitting too. But if your training partner hangs on, you’ll take it as a challenge.
Next time you go the gym, look around you. Look at the people who exercise. Find someone who is serious with his training. Take the initiative: ask her if you can train with her. If you choose the right person, she’ll accept your request. Most people know that getting into exercising is not easy; they know because they’ve been there.
A good training partner will motivate you & help you achieve your goal. That’s one reason why the Duets and Trios at Studio Be are so awesome. You get to know your exercise mates and help motivate each other – and it’s a lot more fun!
You can achieve whatever you want if you believe that you can do it. Having a clear goal and a plan will already arm you with self-confidence.
Know that it will take 30 days to build the exercise habit. During the first 30 days you’ll need to push yourself to do it. After 30 days it will become easier: the habits start to take over, pushing you to the gym.
The good news is, that it usually doesn’t take the full 30 days to start to fit into those skinny jeans….and once you see the light at the end of the tunnel, that’s a great motivator too!
So….I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a Pilates session in about 30 minutes that I’ve got to get to….and a closet full of skinny jeans that are waiting.