Starting to workout is a lot like helping someone move: It sounds good at the time. You organize it and get the needed gear. But the day of, it can be a complete disaster. I know I’ve started the workout lifestyle a billion times, but it wasn’t until I learned a couple small lessons and made a couple small changes that I found my butt in the gym more often than not.
Expecting Perfection Leads to Destruction
My goal every week is hit the gym three days a week. That’s it. It doesn’t matter what combination of days. I know we can set ourselves up for failure if we say, “I’m going to the gym for an hour, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 7:00 AM. No excuses.”
I give you two weeks and you’ll be eating cheesecake while watching the Food Network and most likely crying. Crying really hard.
You have to give yourself leeway to make mistakes and have a plan to make up for them. If you miss your morning workout, you are making it up in the evening, or move it to Saturday. Don’t have room for 30 minutes of cardio? Do 15 minutes.
The rookie move is scrapping the whole plan because one thing goes wrong. You only hit the gym twice? Sweet. It’s keeping the habit that’s the key. Sure you want to make improvements, but start with making small successes.
Prepare the Day Before
I’ll keep this simple. Put your gym clothes in a certain place in your room ready to go. I have a couple pair of shorts and some shirts and socks ready to go. I don’t have to search for them. If I am searching for gym clothes, the piles and piles of excuses stack up to not go the gym. Put your water in the refrigerator.
Some days, I swear I’d rather go to the dentist while he’s on a bender than go to the gym. But, I go because missing a workout creates much more pain than going to one.
Tell the World
I can’t shut up about CrossFit (you don’t have to have CrossFit be your exercise of choice.) I post it on Facebook, Fitocracy and Twitter when I’ve completed a workout. When my friends ask what I did today I say, “Well, I started the day working out.” I find talking about it integrates it into your life (and my friends have even joined!). Remember when you met (or thought you met) “the one” – you told everyone! Even if you say, “I went to the gym” you will start having it be your lifestyle.
Hit the Reset Button
If you miss a couple of weeks working out, you can be discouraged and just give up all together. Don’t! Just as if your computer locked up, you just flip a switch and start again.
Keep a long obedience in the same direction by applying these easy changes and you will see results quickly – psychologically, physically, and emotionally.