One of the hardest parts of implementing fitness into your daily life is making it a habit you return to every day. Even with the evidence that a regular workout regimen has the potential to make you happier and healthier — easing symptoms of depression and limiting the effects of stress on the brain — routine can fall away quickly. Humans are creatures of habit, but often we stick to the ones that are easiest and most familiar.
With a little determination and mindfulness, it’s possible to carve out time for your daily workout and use it as an avenue of self-care. When it comes to getting into the groove, these tips will help you find that spark you need to lace up those running shoes or roll out the yoga mat.
1. Set an Intention
The practice of intention setting is popular in yoga, but you can apply it to just about anything in life, including workouts. When you decide how you want to feel when finished with your exercise, you become more aware and are more likely to return to it.
Say things to yourself like, “I am using this workout to take time for myself today” or “I want to feel more energized so I can play with my kids.” This practice can get you into the headspace of seeing your fitness routine as a blessing, not a chore.
2. Carve Out Time
Whether or not we want to admit it, most of us operate best on a fixed schedule. Setting a specific time for things you want to prioritize is an excellent way to ensure they don’t get lost in the fog. You can make exercise, such as a quick pilates or yoga session, part of your morning routine. You can also carve out an hour when you get home from work.
3. Mark Your Calendar
Like carving out a specific time, putting something on your to-do list or calendar can make it feel like a productive task. Crossing off that workout from your schedule will increase your satisfaction.
4. Find Something You Love
One of the best ways to ensure you feel motivated workout every day is to find an activity you enjoy doing. Simply put, when you love the task, you’re more likely to make time for it. Even if this tactic makes your workout less intense, it’s much better to sneak in a joyful thirty minutes of dancing than to force yourself to go on a dreaded run.
5. Choose the Right Clothes
If you’re going to the gym or jogging around the neighborhood, feeling good in your own skin can be the push you need to get out and get your sweat on.
Not all of us can afford to dish out a pretty penny for a closet of LuLuLemon. However, finding a few choice pieces that make you feel cheerful and comfortable can undoubtedly boost morale. If you find yourself feeling unmotivated, put on that tried and true outfit that makes you feel fantastic.
6. Have a Designated Playlist
Sometimes the music makes the workout. Whether it’s a soothing playlist for yoga or a set of rockin’ jams for pumping weights, having songs you love dedicated to your workout will help you associate your fitness routine with your favorite music. You’ll soon find yourself looking forward to your workout more.
7. Join a Class or Group
Fitness can serve as a social activity, just like it can be alone time. Finding a class or group of people that you like and are excited to see can make a habit out of your workout, even if it’s only once or twice a week. Set up a routine where your workout class is a getaway to social time and make it feel like a treat.
8. Find a Partner
Just like a group or a class, finding an accountability partner is an excellent way to hold yourself to your word, even if you’re working out alone. Find a buddy to connect with or someone in your household that you trust, and set up an accountability system that works for you.
If you’d rather not report to a real person, use a fitness tracking app to follow your consistency. With MyFitnessPal, you can track what you eat and take control of your diet. You can also use 8Fit to find personalized workouts based on experience level.
9. Start With Baby Steps
When it comes to how to make fitness a habit, don’t be too hard on yourself and expect immediate perfection. Some days, things just won’t get done, and that’s totally okay.
It’s more productive to congratulate yourself for working out four days this week than beat yourself up for missing three. Be kind to yourself, and you’ll be more likely to get back to it.
10. Reward Your Work
The feeling of endorphins rushing through you is nice, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to treat yourself! Get creative with your rewards.
Is there something you’ve wanted for a while but haven’t taken the plunge to get it? Set the goal of working out almost every day for a few months. If you hit your objective, buy it. You can also use the incentive of a latte at the end of a successful week.
Get Started on Your Fitness Journey
Getting into a fitness routine can be hard. However, the best part is that it gets easier the longer you stay with it. Believe in yourself, find something you love and get moving!