5 Tips To Help You Build an Exercise Habit

It's almost the end of the year, which means you have long forgotten your resolutions, and have decided to wait until next year rolls around to recommit to your health and fitness goals. 

Here's the thing, that sounds all well and good, but what is going to make 2017 any different than 2016...and 2015...and 2014? 

Why not start moving towards your health and fitness goals now? What is so magical about January 1st? NOTHING!

Building any type of habit takes time, intentionality and focus, but it doesn't take a Monday, or the a beginning of the month, or a January 1st. So, I want to help you get your fitness booty into gear. 

Before we get into the hows of working out, we need to get you ready to build a workout habit into your lifestyle. While that may seem daunting, I promise you, it ain't no big thing! 

Here are a few tips to keep you moving in the right direction.


Decide on a meaningful “why”.

Lots of people want to lose x number of pounds. They arbitrarily chose a number that has no real significance. They're aiming for a shallow “why” that won’t hold up very well when that warm bed is begging them to stay just a few minutes longer. So dig deep and really think about why you want to exercise. Maybe it’s so you can be in better shape to keep up with your children or grandchildren. Maybe you want to spend your retirement years traveling. Maybe you want to be stronger, tougher and more energetic, so that you can do your work more heartily. Whatever the reason, come up with a why that is a little more meaningful than a fleeting number on the scale.

Schedule exercise into your day.

Write it on your calendar. For reals ya'll. If you don't schedule exercise in, you won't do it. Tell your spouse or a friend when you are planning to work out. Have your gym bag ready, and some cute workout clothes laying out in a prominent place. I promise you this, If you don’t intentionally plan on exercising, it isn't going to happen by accident! So, put a workout on your calendar at least three times a week. Now. I mean it.

Do something fun.

I have tried CrossFit. Twice. I should love it. I love a hard workout. I love people, and team and community. But I hated CrossFit. Both times. Two different places. It just wasn’t my thing, even though I know so many people love it. But I love bootcamps, weight training, metabolic conditioning, and barre classes. When I can’t afford to go to them, I grab a friend and I make-up a workout for us to do together. We get to hang out AND break a sweat: so it’s like killing two birds with one stone. Running makes me miserable, functional training and barre make me happy. So, I don’t run. I train functionally and take barre classes.  If you find workouts you like (it is okay to look around for a while) you are much more likely to stick with them.  Do something that's enjoyable and you'll have no trouble finding the time to build that into your week.

Get some accountability.

Find a friend who wants to work out with you. Hire a personal trainer who will tailor workouts to meet your needs. Commit to attend a specific class, and get to know the instructor so that they wonder where you are when you don’t show up. Get a FitBit or Jawbone and start walking like a crazy person. Having someone give you a little kick in the pants when you want to give up, or stay in bed, will do wonders for your workouts. I highly recommend joining an online program if you are pressed for time and money. I recommend this one of course!

Just do it.

At the end of the day, you just have to show up. Once you find something you love, and get some accountability, that will be a lot easier. But you will still need to get to work. No one will do that for you. It’s okay to miss a day or two. Don’t beat yourself up for stuff like that. Just get back in the game and keep moving forward. Building a habit takes time and effort. You can do it if you are willing to invest both of those things.

If you exercise regularly, what keeps you going? If not, what are you wanting to try?