Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. ~ Jim Rohn
here are good habits and bad habits, but they’re all just an automatic part of our daily lives.
Take brushing your teeth for example – we do it each morning and night, without much thought; it doesn't require a big, motivational push or a moment of inspiration from a post you've seen on Instagram to get it done each day!
Imagine if working out could become as much a habit as our daily hygiene routines? This is something many of us strive for because we know that a consistent commitment to exercise is the best way to achieve and maintain our fitness goals.
However, it’s easier said than done; life gets in the way, our motivation plummets, and we find ourselves failing to follow through on all those promises we made to ourselves.
Fortunately, there ARE ways to make working out a habit. Here are 7 practical steps to turn your workout dreams into reality.
Set SMART Goals
Goal setting is the most critical step, not only for making your workouts a habit but also for making your workouts purposeful and more effective in the long term.
SMART goals are Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Realistic and; Time-based. Using this acronym to develop your goals can help you achieve big in any aspect of your life, but it’s frequently used with great success in the fitness world.
Specific: A specific goal has a much higher chance of being accomplished than a general goal. An example of a general goal is, 'I want to get fitter and stronger,' while a more specific goal is, 'I want to be able to deadlift 90kg for 3 reps by June 30,' or 'I want to run 5km in 20 minutes by the end of this year.'
Measurable: To make sure we achieve a goal, there needs to some concrete criteria for measuring our progress toward the attainment of each goal we set. When we measure our progress, we stay on track, reach our target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that motivates and encourages us to continue.
Achievable: There’s no problem with shooting for the stars, and when you set your goals high, you develop the traits and personality that allow you to eventually reach them because you see yourself as worthy of such goals.
However, it’s important to recognise when you’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment - and this is something only you can decide. It’s much better to set more easily attainable goals in the short term, which can set you up for the bigger, long term goals down the track.
Realistic: We need to consider our time frame, our resources, and how much we're willing to change our existing habits. If you genuinely believe your goals can be accomplished, then they are most likely realistic. We can also decide if a goal is realistic by asking ourselves whether we've accomplished anything similar in the past, or asking what conditions would have to exist for us to achieve this goal.
Time-Based: A goal is very unlikely to be achieved if it doesn't have a timeframe. Without a timeframe, there's no sense of urgency - so developing a habit to reach the goal is pretty much impossible. If you want to lose 5kg, when do you want to lose it by? 'One day' won't work, and neither will 'next week'... But if you anchor it within a realistic timeframe, then you've set your unconscious mind in motion to begin working on the goal.
Working out as a team is a great way to develop your fitness habits
Workout With a Friend
If your workouts are a drag, then you might be missing one of the best fitness accessories there is; company.
To make your workouts more fun, and maybe even something you look forward to - recruit a friend (or a group of friends). A friend can encourage you, motivate you, and help keep you accountable; so working out as a team is a great way to develop your fitness habits. If someone is waiting for you at the gym, you’re much more likely to get there too! But there are many more benefits to training with a friend - here are 10 of them.
Track Your Progress
Tracking your steps, calories burnt, heart rate and other aspects of your activity is not only kind of fun and a little bit addictive, but it also makes you more aware of how much exercise you’re actually getting during the day.
Find a Fun Way to Workout
To turn your scheduled torture session into a fun habit, you need to base your fitness regime around activities you enjoy. If you’re yet to discover the type of workouts you genuinely enjoy - keep looking! Here are 7 of the most unusual ways to workout and get fit!
If you don’t enjoy a particular activity and don’t see yourself learning to love it as your fitness improves, then don’t keep torturing yourself. There are endless ways to get fit, and many of them don’t involve a gym membership!
Perhaps cycling, rock climbing, tennis, pole dancing or trampolining sound more appealing than training in a traditional gym? By sticking to what you love, you'll show up more often and put more effort in; and consistency is key to keeping fit.
A visual comparison between where you were then, and where you are now will give you great pride and boost your motivation to keep going
Don’t Forget the Before and After Photos
Although we’ve already mentioned the importance of tracking and sharing the progress of your fitness journey, there’s nothing more powerful than seeing visual progress. For example, these can be photos documenting the changes in your body shape, or even compilation videos of you lifting heavier weights over time.
A visual comparison between where you were then, and where you are now will give you great pride and boost your motivation to keep going. Just don’t forget to take photos and videos whenever you begin a new training program!
Don’t Expect Perfection
Throughout any fitness program, it's almost guaranteed you'll have some disappointment along the way - so don't expect everything to go entirely as planned.
Whether it’s an injury slowing you down, or perhaps you haven’t quite reached a goal in time, it’s important to focus on the positives, rather than the negatives.
The first step is often the hardest, and you should celebrate acting on that decision to improve your health! Remember that fitness is a lifelong journey; there is no rush.
Give Yourself Rewards
Rewarding your effort and progress is a great way to keep the motivation going, but the key is to choose healthy rewards. For example, you could indulge in some healthy treats from your local health food store, or perhaps try some of those mouthwatering Tropeaka recipes you’ve been drooling over? Or how about investing in some cute new gym threads?
Each time you reach one of your SMART goals, as mentioned in point 1, be sure to reward yourself for your efforts!
Even if you implement just one of these 7 steps, you'll be well on your way to turning your workout chores into lifelong, healthy habits. Remember, though, that fitness is a lifestyle.
Working out is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle, and without excellent nutrition, your workout performance can suffer, making it difficult to maintain a positive attitude towards exercise. To help keep your nutrition on point, check out our high-powered blends!