It is always easy to start something, but very challenging to keep the habit, because in reality aside from the daily distractions and the unforeseen situations that may come your way, having a perfectionist and/or negative attitude can also delay your goals.
Focus your own achieving balance so you can achieve consistency by considering what works for you (genes, traits, personality, and lifestyle) appreciating your strengths, focusing on what you can do right now, and being excited about the things you can still achieve in the future.
Always remind yourself about your biggest motivation
MOTIVATION: What motivates you to move? To feel and look good, to increase your overall strength avoid or manage your health issues, or to be a good role model to your kids? You can write these down and post them in your office, vanity area, bathroom, or kitchen to remind you of the most important reasons why you need to move or exercise. I put these words beside my laptop to regain energy and motivation – MAKE DAY PRODUCTIVE. LIVE LONGER. FULLY ENJOY LIFE. INSPIRE OTHERS. You can also share your motivation with others and ask for support to reinforce your desired behaviors. You can tell your husband to remind you of your motivation when laziness or procrastination sets in.
GOALS: Set realistic goals that won’t overwhelm you especially if you are just starting to exercise again. For the first week, just execute any form of exercise at your most convenient time, initially once or twice a week only, even for just 10 minutes. Find the perfect exercise time that can work well for your body. Progress your exercise frequency, duration and/or intensity as you slowly incorporate the habit to your routine.
PLANS: To be able to achieve good start and have smooth flow of your plans, you have to define your personality, identify your preferences and respect your needs. Try to recall the best approaches that worked for you in the past. Consider various aspects that can make things easier for you so stay consistent with your desired exercise plans.
- Organizing and fixing your exercise environment first to ensure less distractions while exercising
- Working out alone to fully focus on your workout while avoid extra pressure from others
- Or being with other people (working out with fitness coach, joining a group class or working out with your spouse or friend) might motivate you to move more.
PRACTICE: Continue to build the habit of doing that things that you truly love and can make you happy. Make daily efforts to keep your passion for movement alive by making things more interesting and challenging like lifting heavier weights, using various exercise props (resistance band or stability ball instead of dumbbells) or trying the latest group exercise classes.
Be flexible with your approach
There will always be unexpected circumstances that can delay your exercise plans like lack of sleep, changes in your mood and energy, sickness, sudden errands or family matters. But don’t let these things affect your over-all motivation in pursuing your exercise habit. Be flexible and learn to adapt to changes. Keep in mind that you can always restart. However, do not wait for another week or month to have a clean start. You can start again tomorrow. Some people with a perfectionist or “all-or-nothing” attitude get too much affected with just a minor slip or lapse that they abandon their goals right away.
Here are the most effective strategies I applied to my clients so they could stay consistent with their workouts, no matter what.
- Keep a lifestyle journal so you can see the bigger picture your behavioral progress like how you developed the habit of sticking to your exercise routine and how you can be fully be in charge of your food intake especially if you get the right amount and quality of sleep and exercise.
- Avoid daily weigh-ins so you can really focus on the whole process of making your healthy lifestyle habits consistent. Weigh loss is always a bonus.
- Of course, you need to make efforts with exercise daily, but there are some days that you need to take a break to recharge and recover (lessen exercise of just take a rest day) so you can effectively achieve balance during the week. Rest is needed to perform better each week.
- Strive to keep a positive attitude -all the time. Look at the other aspects of your life that you are good at and happy about. Consider a lapse or a failure as an opportunity to improve and achieve your best self. Do not let a minor or major mistake pull you down. Always forgive yourself.
- Stay strong and be prepared for the negative people around you. Do not let them affect your moods, motivation, and energy. Or maybe your positivity can even influence them.
- Be a problem-solver when it comes to facing your daily challenges so you can achieve consistency when it comes to your desired healthy habits. Whatever happens, just keep on going and be patient when it comes to reaching your goals.
Identify your accomplishments and reward yourself
Exercise consistency can be reinforced by being aware of the results you can get from moving, sweating and burning calories such as getting great results from health checks, feeling stronger and more cheerful throughout the day, looking better with your favorite clothes and becoming more productive with your work.
Lastly, you need to look forward to simple rewards stay consistent with your healthy habits. Reward and yourself occasionally with a massage, a visit to the salon, shopping of new clothes and shows, a simple date with your loved ones our a short-weekend trip.
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