You know you should be working out, but you are also really good at making excuses not to work out.
Here are five tricks to keep a consistent workout schedule, even if you’re really busy:
1. Do shorter workouts.
You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get a great workout. threezero’s circuit workout takes only 30 minutes. That might not sound like much but since you only have 30 seconds break between each exercise it’s an incredibly effective workout.
Our circuit training is the perfect solution for anyone who’s ever avoided the gym just because they didn’t have an hour to work out.
2. Start small.
When you’re trying to establish a new habit, it’s never a good idea to commit to too much right away. Trying to work out five days a week, cook all your own meals at home and cut out carbs and sugar can only result in one thing — failure.
Trying to change too many things at once means you’ll soon be too sore from working out, too energy deprived, and too bitter about your new lifestyle that your efforts will probably backfire.
A better approach? Start small by building one healthy habit at a time. Begin by committing to working out two days a week. When you’re comfortable with that, then start cooking at home five days a week, giving up your daily cool drink to lower your sugar intake, and so on. Small steps equal long-term success.
3. Commit for just 30 days.
Another way to create a lifelong exercise habit is to start by committing to just 30 days of consistent exercise. Pick a number of days you want to work out, then tell yourself you’ll stick to that for an entire month, giving yourself permission that if you don’t like it at the end of the month, you don’t have to continue.
More likely than not, at the end of the 30 days you’ll notice you feel stronger, more energised and like the way your clothes fit better, and you won’t want to stop working out. If you get to this point, congratulations — you’ve created an exercise habit.
4. Make it a ritual.
When you have a ritual, like brushing your teeth and washing your face before bed or making oatmeal and coffee for breakfast each day, you no longer have to think about it. You just do it. At this point, the habit becomes so ingrained in your mind there’s no longer any decision-making involved.
That’s what you want to happen with your workouts. Because when you have to think about whether or not you’re going to work out, your clever (and not always helpful) mind is much more likely to come up with excuses. You’re too tired, too sore from the previous day’s workout, too busy, etc. But if your workout is part of a ritual, all the thinking is taken out of the equation. Your mind and body will expect to work out, and you’ll just do it rather than waver about it each day.
5. Schedule it.
If you’re still having trouble working out consistently, another trick is to actually build your workouts into your schedule. This should come naturally to you if you’re already used to scheduling your time in meetings, soccer practices, appointments and other activities.
So if you ideally want to work out three times a week, but life always seems to get in the way, just take out your calendar, your phone, or whatever you use to keep track of your time and actually schedule your workouts. Put it in a time slot, then treat it just as you would any other appointment: as non-negotiable.
This will make it much more likely that you don’t let something else get in the way of your workouts, and eventually help you build a workout habit for life.