Moving into 2021, my biggest goal was to make wellness, specifically working out a DAILY habit. It can come in the form of yoga, stretching, cardio, or a class of some kind. A habit of movement. One thing 2020 instilled in many of us was to see silver linings in life events, and an appreciation for my health. Some subtle health issues started to present themselves, specifically, hip pain as I slept. A desire and hope to thrive as I age and insistence to not “settle” began to grow.
Being motivated, and staying motivated is honestly the hardest part of staying on the path to living a consistent life of daily movement. These are my top five tips for developing and maintaining an exercise routine.
- Make it a habit with triggers. Triggers are what people who exercise regularly depend on. Triggers are cues or reminders that kick off an automatic reaction. For example, you leave work and go to the gym. Every morning you do yoga; lay your mat and bolster out the night before.
- Have a variety of activities you enjoy and that make you feel happy and confident. For me, this ranges from yoga with my yoga bolster (a must have in my book),floor workouts with free weights, resistance bands, or walking on the Monon with my dogs as I listening to Smartless (fun podcast) on my airpods. You set yourself up for success if you pick activities you enjoy that fit your lifestyle.
- HOLD yourself accountable. I call this “outing” myself. I tell someone close to me what my health hopes and goals are, and that helps me hold myself accountable. Announcing your goals makes you more inclined to follow through, and keeps you more motivated and consistent.
- Keep track of your activity. By knowing how far you’re actually going or the length of time you exercised, it makes an impact. I use the Pacer APP that keeps track of steps, pace, etc.
- REWARD yourself. This can range from a new pair of workout shoes to a lean smoothie after your workout. Sometimes it’s just the little things. I am one of those people who is motivated by a reward. Sometimes it comes in the form of a negotiation with myself. For example, I can be a fair weather walker. When it’s cold out, my motivation takes a dip to walk. But if I say to myself, “I will walk two miles today, but later, I can take an epsom salt bath”, it’s easier to get out the door.
Hoping these help you in your wellness journey this year. The hardest part is developing the habit, so be kind to yourself. James Clear, Author of the book, Atomic Habits , (my fave book of last year) emphasizes, try the two minute rule. Even if you do your habit for two minutes a day to start, that’s ok. Once you make it a ritual, then you can add, improve and optimize your habit.
“Success doesn’t come from what we do occasionally, it comes from what we do consistently.” – Marie Forleo