Once in a while, everyone gets the urge to exercise for different reasons. For example, some people occasionally feel the need to reduce their weight while others want to gain weight.
People also want to trim their stomachs or fit the right body for attire or upcoming events. There’s also the case of people who want to gain muscle in specific parts of their bodies.
Then there are fitness enthusiasts who always want to exercise and stay fit. Of course, people’s exercises are quite a number and vary; however, there is a common factor that ensures success.
That is consistency.
Time and time again, most people are extremely motivated when they start working out. This motivation, unfortunately, diminishes as the days go by and reaches a point when exercising becomes more of a chore.
The good thing about consistency is that it becomes a habit that sees exercising become second nature beyond a certain threshold.
Research shows you need to perform an activity consistently for 21-40 days to register as a habit.
This means for your body to adjust and become used to your new workout routine, you’ll need to be consistent for about a month.
In the beginning, the stakes are so high because breaking the pattern before the month will ruin the process of it becoming a habit.
It’s easy to wake up and feel like not exercising because you think you slept late or work stressed you out.
Although challenging, we want you to know it is possible to stay consistent on your fitness journey.
It’ll require some mental and physical finetuning but is very achievable.
Christmas is around the corner, which means the end of the year is near. You might be miles away from your fitness goals which you set in January, but with consistency, you can always catch up.
With limited time to the end of the year, this is the perfect time for you to start getting consistent with your workout. And we have the best tips on how you can achieve that.
Invest in yourself
Self-motivation is good enough because it helps you identify why you want to exercise. It’s good to have a clear idea of why you want to start exercising so you can reflect on it daily.
Being consistent when it comes to workouts goes beyond motivation. First, you need to give yourself enough reasons to wake up each day to exercise.
One of which is investing in yourself. There are so many ways you can do that, but the idea is if you spend money on something, you’ll love to use it.
Studies show that money is one of the best forms of motivation, and that concept can be applied when it comes to workout.
You can pay for your workout classes or gym subscription in advance, for starters. Once you commit financially, you will be motivated to exercise because you don’t want to throw your money down the drain.
If you want to stay consistent for a year, you go ahead and pay for the gym subscription for a year.
This assures you of making an appearance in the gym for the year.
You can also buy some workout apparel and clothing. These will make you look and feel good when you exercise.
This helps to look sparkly when you take that selfie at the gym.
Some apparel like advanced watches, headphones, etc., enhances your workout experience as it helps you break down your work done.
You can also go the extra mile and hire a personal trainer and dietician who will help you meet your fitness goals by pushing you to your limits.
Hiring experts also provide an extra layer of accountability as they’ll always demand you show up for classes.
One of the key principles of investment is only to invest if you believe you’ll yield rewards.
Being strong and healthy is the best reward you can give yourself.
Since your health remains a priority, try your best to invest in it as much as you can so you remain consistent.
Set targets for yourself
It’s easier to give up when what you want to achieve isn’t clear enough.
On the other hand, it is easier to remain consistent once you know the target and how to get there.
In 2015, Gail Mathews, a psychologist, conducted a study that revealed that people who write down their targets were 33% more successful in reaching their targets than those who had mental notes of their targets.
This shows that planning and having goals is good, but going a step further to write them is even better.
When it comes to exercising, don’t be afraid to think big. What you should keep in mind is everything is achievable.
Once there is a step-by-step action plan, no dream is unrealistic.
Once you don’t set goals when you start using the gym, you get discouraged after a few visits because you can’t measure your success.
It isn’t easy to stay consistent when you don’t know where you came from, where you’re going, and what it’ll take to get there.
That’s why goal setting is an important aspect of our lives because it helps us remain focused and committed.
When it comes to health, it is key to set short-term and long-term goals so you can always stay on track.
Here’s what to do when setting your goals for your workout:
- Make sure to be specific
Being detailed is the difference-maker. For example, stating you want to lose 10kg is better than just saying you want to lose weight.
- Make your goals measurable
You need to quantify your goals to tell if you achieve them or not easily. For example, you should know the number of times you want to go to the gym in a week, how many calories you want to take in a day, how many push-ups you do daily, etc.
- Add a time frame
Make sure to add a time limit to the goals you set for yourself. For example, if you want to lose 10kg, you need to state how long you expect to take.
- The goals must be personal and incremental
The goals you set for yourself must come from within, not someone else. It is much easier to stay motivated and consistent when it is your goals rather than someone’s goals. No need to start with heavy workouts. You can start with smaller routines and increase them as you get used to them. This way, you’re not discouraged or too tired from your workouts.
- Write your goals down
After doing those mentioned above, the most important step is to write everything down. This will help you stay consistent because you can always see the written goals and reflect on them.
Your writing can be more detailed and break down what you must do to reach your desired goal.
Let’s say you want to lose 10kg in 1 month. First, you’ll have to write down the behavioral changes you’ll have to make each day to help you achieve this target.
They can be as simple as:
Drinking six glasses of water every day
Eating one fruit a day
Going to the gym three times a week
Running 5km each week
Have a community
Working out alone can be very challenging at times. However, you want to improve your health doesn’t mean the journey has to be lonely.
Research shows that 80% of people who start working out alone stop in their first month.
The same research also shows that training in a group makes you twice as motivated as those who train alone.
Being consistent isn’t easy, and that’s why you need accountability partners.
You need to find a group of like-minded people to start your journey with so you can motivate each other.
If you want to lose weight, find people who also want to do the same and draw a plan to exercise together each week.
It is mentally relieving to exercise with other people you can bond with.
Make your workout fun
If you don’t want your workout to feel like a chore, don’t treat it like one.
Spice up your routines and give a different feeling to them. You don’t always have to do the same type of exercise all the time.
It’s important to freshen things up so your mind stays active while in the gym.
You can also decide to mix your workout up a bit by adding extra fun activities.
For instance, at Fitness One Gym, different dance classes are held during the week.
This is a creative way to help you burn calories without even realising it.
Exercise should be fun, so join a dance class, turn up the music or go for a bike ride to keep you happy.
Traugott, John. “Achieving Your Goals: An Evidence-Based Approach.” MSU Extension, 2014, www.canr.msu.edu/news/achieving_your_goals_an_evidence_based_approach.
Peters, Hannah. “In Training, Consistency Is the Key to Your Fitness Goals.” Www.nifs.org, www.nifs.org/blog/in-training-consistency-is-the-key-to-your-fitness-goals.
Stødle, I.V., Debesay, J., Pajalic, Z. et al. The experience of motivation and adherence to the group-based exercise of Norwegians aged 80 and more: a qualitative study. Arch Public Health 77, 26 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13690-019-0354-0
Komatsu, Hiroko et al. “Regular group exercise contribute to balanced health in older adults in Japan: a qualitative study.” BMC geriatrics vol. 17,1 190. 22 Aug. 2017, doi:10.1186/s12877-017-0584-3