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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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Dawn Hafner

Dawn is a Practical Life Coach who offers concrete tools to help people implement life changes.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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