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How To Make Exercise A Permanent Habit While Living A Life You Love

How To Make Exercise A Permanent Habit While Living A Life You Love

The hardest part of making exercise a habit is to actually start exercising. Relying on willpower and motivation is a tactic that is doomed to fail. Habits are actions we carry out regardless of whether we feel motivated or not. Too many times, people look to motivation boards and exercise quotes in order to get themselves into exercising. Here are 6 habits to help you stop depending on people and get you to start exercising while living a life you’ll love.

Habit #1: Make your goals super easy

As you initially start out on this exercise journey, make it a priority to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. These goals are smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Make sure these goals are insanely easy, it’s important to get off to a great start. Treat these initial goals as building blocks. Make these goals as specific as possible, the more definitive the goal, the more likely you are to succeed. So if you want to run in a marathon, but haven’t ran in 3 months, make it a goal to first consistently run a mile a couple times a week.

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Habit #2: Start small and build from there

Exercise and lifestyle changes are easier to implement when you take it one step at a time. There’s no shame in starting small, as long as you are moving closer to your goals. People fall into the trap far too often of being overly ambitious with their habits. It’s better to be a master of a couple habits than a jack of all trades who hasn’t fully mastered anything. If you are totally new to exercising, make it a fail proof activity by committing to only 15 minutes three times a week. Fifteen minutes doesn’t seem too daunting and the level of commitment is low, leading to a higher likelihood of success since you have an easy task to start with. Completing this goal of 15 minutes will lead to increased confidence and before you know it, it’s been 30 minutes.

Habit #3: Log and track your habits

You aren’t serious about reaching your goals until you start tracking progress. Logging your workouts is essential because you need to know if you are heading in the right direction or if you need to make some adjustments. How can you know if you’re eating enough or not enough unless you keep a food journal? Tracking your food helps you manage and adjust your portions as needed along with the added benefit of becoming more mindful of what you put in your body. Lastly, take some pictures and measurements monthly for added accountability to stay on track. By taking measurements and tracking your workouts and nutrition, you’re creating a strong system of accountability which further increases your chances for victory.

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Habit #4: Find a diet that is easy, sustainable and pleasing to the palate

There’s no need to have a restrictive diet in which all your food is bland and boring. Chicken breasts that taste like rubber while eating a cup of steamed broccoli sounds like torture. For guaranteed nutrition success, choose a way of eating that blends with your lifestyle flawlessly. Fat loss should be easy and not some life-altering event. Include your favorite foods into your diet, no one deserves to go without ice cream.

Habit #5: Pick an exercise plan that fits with your lifestyle

How many days should you workout? How should you be working out? The answers to both of these depend on your individual lifestyle. There’s no need to spend six to seven days at the gym. Fantastic results can happen in as little as three days committing to as little as 30 minutes. If you choose to only lift 3 days a week, full-body workouts are tailor-made for that kind of situation. Remember, exercise fits in with your life, not the other way around.

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Habit #6: Find fun ways to stay active

Who says you have to go to a gym in order to exercise? Whether it’s going for a run, going hiking, biking up the countryside, or skipping the elevator and walking up a flight of stairs, there are plenty of ways to stay active and burn calories.   Comment below: What’s the number one way you maintain your exercise habit?

Featured photo credit: david_a_l via flickr.com

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More by this author

Julian Hayes II

Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

More About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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