How to Turn a Once-In-Awhile Workout Into a Lifelong Habit

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Exercising consistently can be tough already but even harder when you don’t see results rights away. Focusing on extrinsic factors like how much you weigh every week or how your clothes fit, isn’t what’s going to keep you motivated long term. Seeing great results one week can leave you feeling elated and extra motivated but what about when you don’t see any progress this week? You won’t feel like working out, period. Here are a few solutions that will help keep you exercising for the long term, not just the occasional workout:

Reframe Your Thinking

If you think of exercise like a chore, that’s exactly what it will be – a chore. Instead, change your thinking about exercise and view it as a one-hour escape from your day. It’s not a chore; it’s your secret weapon. It’s what keeps you looking young, fit and brings you energy. Find activities you enjoy and combine them with other pleasurable activities like listening to music or a funny podcast. Enjoying your time while “exercising” will increase the chances you’ll keep it up and turn it into a lifelong habit.

Don’t Be a Weekend Warrior

Just like you can’t brush your teeth extra long on weekends to make up for not brushing them during the week, the same goes for exercise. It’s better to be consistent and hit the gym 4 days a week for only 20 minutes, instead of an hour on Sundays only. Prioritizing exercise and making it an important part of your day just like showering, is what keeps you at it when life gets in the way. You will have built the habit to get at least a little activity in during each day even when you have barriers in your way like work issues or a bad mood.

Don’t Say Yes All the Time

Life is already busy enough and people will unintentionally get in the way of your goals, if you let them. When something interferes with your workout, you don’t have to necessarily say No right off the bat, but you have to think to yourself, “Is this important enough to interfere with my well being and health?” It might sound extreme if you put it like that but it’s not. Rethink those requests before you say Yes otherwise you’ll always be putting other things first at the expense of your own wellbeing.

Focus on One Thing

Sometimes, you just get the urge to fix everything at once, start exercising, cut out sugar and go vegan – all at the same time! But you need to resist that urge. Although it’s tempting in the moment when you’re feeling pumped and motivated, you’re setting yourself up for failure in the long run. If you’re new to exercise, give yourself a few months to stay consistent and then move forward with your other goals, one at a time.

These are just a few of the ways I’ve personally been able to stay consistent with exercising, do you have any other suggestions to add? Please let me know in the comments!

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