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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 November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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