10 ways to make exercise an unbreakable habit

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With 2018 inevitably trudging on, it’s likely that most of us are having increasing difficulty holding on to those pesky New Year’s resolutions that we so carelessly tossed into the void just a few weeks ago.

Without much of a second thought as to how we would make the reasonable life changes to add these new resolutions into our lives, it turned out to be a lot harder than expected.

And one resolution that you probably committed yourself to (and probably already failed) is staying fit.

But there’s no reason to wait for another New Year before getting back on the treadmill and consistently losing weight and building muscle.

Exercise is not something that you can just pick up one day and continue indefinitely.

Exercise is tough and hard, and the only way you can keep yourself on the grind is by turning it into a habit.

Here are 10 ways you can still fulfill your resolution and get yourself addicted to exercise:

1) Get Workout Clothes

The first one may be the simplest: make sure you have workout clothes.

When you have clothes that are specifically set as your workout uniform, it gets easier to build the workout mindset in your head. You don’t feel like you’re just throwing on an old jersey to lift some weights, but that you’re preparing your uniform to go to battle.

2) Kill Any Excuses With A Checklist

There are a dozen things that can stop any workout. Maybe your phone isn’t charged, so you can’t listen to music.

Maybe your workout clothes haven’t been washed. Maybe your drink hasn’t been in the refrigerator long enough.

Remember that your mind is actively working against you, always trying to find reasons to skip the gym.

So don’t give it those reasons. Prepare a pre-workout checklist and make sure that every item on that list is checked, so the only excuse is your own laziness.

(The daily application of mindfulness can help you overcome laziness. Check out our new, no-nonsense guide to mindfulness here).

3) Experiment

You may have read in one article that it’s best to work out in the morning. But if you don’t feel it, then it’s not for you.

Don’t force it if it doesn’t feel right. Do your best to change things around—try different times, different exercises, different routines.

Do everything to make yourself want to come back.

4) Set Your Workouts on the Calendar

And not just your next one. Set every single workout for at least the next month on your calendar, and commit yourself to those times.

This shifts your mindset of working out from something that you do whenever you feel like it, to something that you do because it’s a part of your schedule.

The more you legitimize working out in your mind, the less likely you are to blow it off.

5) Make Sure You Enjoy Your Workout

We all have different bodies, and with those different bodies come different sets of strengths and weaknesses.

Don’t stick to one guide and ride it out until you are absolutely sick of the gym. If something isn’t working for you, then try something else. Hate jogging? Try weights. Hate weights? Try machines. Hate machines? Try something else.

The point is this: you aren’t there to build a bodybuilder physique (not yet, at least). You are there to get fit. And that means doing whatever exercise that you can commit to consistently. Work off that sweat, in any way that feels right.

6) Make Yourself Accountable

Most people drop out of working out because they have nothing pushing themselves except their own will.

And as mentally fit as you may think you are, willpower will always be a finite resource.

Running off willpower alone will doom yourself to failure, especially if this is your first time working out in years.

So what do you do? Commit yourself to accountability. This means involving someone else or something else that is expecting you to work out.

This could be a workout buddy, a trainer that you’ve paid for, a support group, or even an app.

7) Have A Finish Line

If you go into the gym with no clearer goal than “I want to lose weight and tone my body”, then again, you are doomed to fail.

You need tangible and clear milestones that you can commit yourself to, one step at a time.

Maybe your milestone is to get fit enough to lift a certain weight; maybe you want to complete your first 5K run. Whatever it is, make sure you have a goal.

(If you need help in reaching the finish line, our new eBook will serve as a guide to improve your life and achieve your goals. Check it out here).

8) Keep Going, Even If It’s Not Your Best

The easiest way to burn yourself out at the gym is through over-exertion. This is when you pretend you are Rocky every single time you walk through the gym doors.

You push yourself harder than you have ever pushed yourself, dreaming of yourself in a movie montage.

The problem? Movie montages don’t have to go back to the gym the next day, and the next, and the next. Can you really break all your own limits and records every single day?

Of course not. And don’t expect yourself to.

What’s more important is that you keep going, not that you keep going at max every single time.

9) Just Move

This is so simple, but so many of us ignore it. Just move. No matter how tired or sore or how many reasons you may have against it. Just. Keep. Moving.

Your mind will follow and your motivation will let you finish, as long as you allow it to start.

10) Plan Your Workout

And finally? Make sure you have a workout plan. Going to the gym and winging it may work for people who have been going for years but as a first-timer? You need direction.

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