I remember how hard it was for me to stick to a workout routine when I first started out, it took me three years of forcing my myself to go (semi consistently) until it finally became a routine for to go 5x/week. Here are 4 more tips for staying consistent and crushing your gym goals! This is the second part of How to Stick to a Workout Routine, so make sure to check out the first part here to learn about the other 4 vital tips!
Like most people, I started working out because I was unhappy with how I looked and I wanted to change that. While that is a valid reason to start working out, it isn’t necessarily the best reason and by no means the only reason ( I will cover all the benefits of working out apart from a physical appearance in an upcoming post)! While I had been active for most of my life, my fitness journey and “healthy lifestyle” started around 3 years ago and only really started in September 2017 ( 6 months ago). What I mean by this is that I started going to the gym 3 years ago but I was inconsistent, a beginner, and had horrible eating habits- leading to no results. Luckily I am a very determined person and I persevered through the first few years of forcing myself to workout and slowly started being more consistent and learning about fitness. I went from not knowing what a bench press was to be able to thoroughly discuss a wide variety of subjects, from keto diets, IIFYM to HIIT vs LISS.
I wanted to share that bit of my backstory let you know that I was also a beginner that felt lost and intimidated in a gym but if you persevere long enough, you will not only achieve the dream body you want but will develop a new passion. At the beginning of my journey, I can definitively tell you that I did not love fitness but was doing it for the sole reason of wanting to look better so sticking to a workout routine was extremely difficult! Here are 5 ways that I guarantee will help you stay on track with your training.
Note: The first 4 points are in Part 1!
5. Have a “mess around day”
You may absolutely despise going to the gym but you know you should do it for your #bodygoals or overall health. SO you want to stick to your routine but sometimes it can be soo tough if you don’t enjoy what you are doing. To keep yourself motivated, have one day that I like to call the “mess around day”. On my mess around day, I do things that I enjoy and wouldn’t have time to fit in my regular workout routine, either because it burns out my muscles, I don’t have enough time, or I’m too tired by the end of my workout to practice these. So once a week, I set aside a day to do calisthenics ( bodyweight exercises), yoga, and certain parkour. I do dips, leg raises, flags, kip ups, handstands, bosu ball balancing, and yoga flows! As you can see, I basically do whatever I feel like doing, set I’m still working out and learning new skills. An analogy I like to use is that your mess around day is like your cheat day on a diet. You are motivated for most of the week so that you can have one day where you can finally treat yourself! Assess one activity that you actually love (i.e. yoga, running, swimming, circuits, skipping) and include that as a part of your routine.
6. You have to love it
I know that this tip is extremely cliche but it is vital to your success. This is because when you fall in love with this lifestyle, you will no longer have to force yourself to go to the gym and will start to crave activity at all times! When you begin to exercise because you want to learn cool new tricks or for your health, you will be much more determined to go to the gym as often as you have time. I know that as a beginner it’s hard to fall in love with the lifestyle, but trust me, that the longer you go to the gym, the easier and more fun it will get.
7. Don’t think
I think that this is definitely the most important tip on this list. I know that this tip may seem counter-intuitive, but if you are still in the stage of your fitness journey where you have to force yourself to workout, this tip will be your best friend. I spoke about this in part one, excuses are your worst enemy. More often than not, once a “valid” excuse pops into your mind, you will justify your excuse and skip a workout, even if your excuse was balony. The best thing to do to stop yourself from coming up with an excuse is to simply not think. If you planned out ahead of time that you are going to the gym after work, then just do it. Don’t plague your thoughts about how you deserve to go home after a long day, how the weather is bad, how late you will get home, or how tired you are. These are all “valid” excuses, but face it, if we allowed excuses such as these to keep us from working out, we would never get to the gym! I use this technique for waking up at 5 am in the morning too. The second my alarm goes off, I get up without thinking. Whereas if I let it snooze, or think about how I don’t actually need to get up, I will just fall back asleep.
8. Have a set goal
My last tip on this post is to have a set goal. More often than not, this is a very efficient method to stick to a routine. Sign up for an event where you have to train ahead of time to be physically prepared or want to look good, i.e. 5 km run, bikini comp, obstacle course race, going on vacation. To be even more motivated, sign up for the activity with a group. I did this to get myself to finally start running again. All my friends are runners, and they all wanted to do a 5km run, I didn’t want to be the only one missing out so I decided to do it too. I also knew that they were all much better runners than me and didn’t want to be in the back of the crowd finishing many minutes after them. This encouraged me to fit running into my schedule and train for this event. You can trust me when I say, I would not have been running if I hadn’t signed up for the 5km! The only thing that motivated me to run was my fear of being left behind, sometimes fear really is the best motivator!
Congratulations if you go through all 8 tips! Skip the 3 years I spent getting myself to become consistent and fast forward to the part where you are easily completing your entire routine every week. I’m sure that following some of these tips will help you stick to a workout routine and will help you achieve your goals in no time!
Make sure to comment if you have any questions, feedback, or positive words and I’ll make sure to reply! 🙂