Most people are keen to develop a habit of exercising regularly. However, wanting to develop the habit and physically doing it are very different things. Changing the way that you have been living your life can be a challenge, and when you start to consider your own thoughts on self confidence and self-esteem, changing your lifestyle becomes even harder.
However, there are some simple things that you can do to help yourself make exercise a regular part of your daily routine.
1. Form a Routine to Get you Started What you need to develop is a behavior that you will continue to repeat. These repeated behaviors will turn into regular habits. This in itself is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle.
Getting started is often the hardest part of developing a new habit, and so if exercising regularly is currently a struggle for you, a routine will help the initial process a lot easier. What we are aiming for is a repeated behaviour that you find yourself doing automatically.
You can do this by writing down when and where you will train in a particular week, therefore making yourself more accountable and much more likely to do the exercise. Or you can try pairing your workout with another part of your daily routine:
Before my morning shower, I’ll do 20 star-jumps.
After lunch, I’ll go for a ten-minute walk.
After brushing my teeth, I’ll do 5 minutes stretching.
2. Begin with a Goal that Seems “Too Easy” It’s always best to start off small, and the trick with creating a new routine is to make everything seem achievable. The idea behind this is to just do 2 minutes to prepare for your exercise. This could be just putting on your gym clothes – a task that seems so manageable that you can’t possibly fail. After a quick start like this, you are much more likely to see it through and actually do the exercise itself.
3. Don’t Worry about the Outcome – Focus on the Routine Most people will focus on the end result rather than the new habit that they are trying to develop. Whilst this is normal, it might not be the most successful method. Rather than saying “I want to achieve THIS goal in THIS amount of time”, it is better to focus on developing a routine rather than aiming for a particular end result.
It might be difficult at first but try not to get hung up on the results that you get. The best way of making exercise a regular part of your week is to make it the new “normal” in your life. At the moment, exercise may play a very small or no part in your daily routine. However, once you’ve established a new “normal” where exercise is a standard part of your day, you won’t have to think about it so much – you’ll just do it!
The most important thing is to focus on the way that you are achieving an exercise, even if it’s something very small. Once working out becomes a habit, you can then begin to focus on the results and your successes.