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7 Simple Changes To Get Workout Habits to Stick

7 Simple Changes To Get Workout Habits to Stick

How many times have you fallen off the workout wagon? “Tomorrow” you say. “Tomorrow I will get back on track. What’s one day?” And before you know it, it becomes a week. Whoops. How did this happen?

Here are some simple and super effective changes to keep you on track!

1. Put your workout on your calendar.

Are you going to workout five days this week? Maybe on Monday it works best in the morning, but Thursday the only time you will have is after work. Which days absolutely have to be your skip days? Put it down as an actual time slot.

Schedule your workout days for the week so you can visually see it and be reminded yourself of what is coming.

2. Work out the time of day that works best for you.

Many experts stress that working out right away in the morning is best. But what if that just doesn’t work for you?

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Well, how about you do what does work for you instead? The key is to be flexible. Just because you scheduled it for 7:00 am, and that didn’t happen, doesn’t mean you write the entire day off.

Try for the next open block you have. Even if you only to get in half of your normal workout, it’s better than skipping it completely.

3. Put your workout clothes on right now.

Planning on a workout later? Put your workout clothes on right now. Run your errands, do housework, get the kids to school in your workout clothes.

It sends a signal to your brain the entire time. “A workout is coming. Get ready, stay alert. Your workout is yet to come. You have a plan!”

4. Make a deal with yourself.

Do you still really just do not want to workout? Here is the deal. You workout for ten minutes, and after that if you want to quit you can.

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Guess what? Even when I am down and out and dragging myself to begin a workout, I still have never quit after the ten minutes. You will want to finish!

5. Make a plan. Track the plan.

Which day are you going to do weights, which days will you work out your legs, back and arms? What day is for cardio and for how long? Which exercises exactly will you practise?

You must make a plan or you by default have a plan: to fail. Then track on your calendar what you actually did. List each exercise, how much you lifted, how far you ran or walked, and add a tiny bit more weight or reps after you get stronger.

Energy comes from accomplishments. You can look back over the days and see how much success you’ve had.

6. Get to the real WHY.

Why do you even want to workout? If it’s just to look great in a bikini that motivation will eventually lose its buzz.

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The superficial reasons because of which we often start a workout routine often aren’t strong enough to carry us through the tough days. I struggled to stick to a workout routine year round until I watched my dad face open heart surgery in his fifties. Right then and there I decided I would do everything within my power to not have my boys ever face that pain.

So dig deep. Do the exercise of the Whys. It works like this:

  • Why do I want to workout? To look good in my clothes.
  • Why do I want to look good in my clothes? So I can feel confident.
  • Why do I want to feel confident? So I can show my daughter how important it is to believe in yourself.
  • Why do I want to show my daughter this? So she can be the strongest, happiest, healthiest self possible and have me as her role model showing her the way.

See the difference? Now grab onto your personal deep WHY when you don’t feel like working out, not the bikini dream.

7. Fast forward your life.

I do some volunteer work for hospice where I get the amazing opportunity to spend time with people facing life’s most difficult challenges.

Every time I leave I think “Thank God I can walk out of here. Thank God I can move and run. I can lift things, and all my body parts still work. I can walk outside, and feel the sun on my face.”

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There will come a day for each of us on which this is no longer true. It is a privilege to be able to workout and honor our bodies, not a chore. Change your perspective, change your life.

Physical ability is a gift not given to everyone today, but it was given to you. Don’t waste it with negativity by refusing the gift. Go feel your body working, and be grateful for the fact that today you still can.

Just imagine the great feeling in your heart, and the smile on your face when you look back at your calendar and see how much you’ve accomplished! Now go get ‘em!

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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