Finding Consistency

finding-consistency

Today I want to share some of my tips on how I maintain consistency with my running and fitness routine.  This is something that many of my friends who are just starting out struggle with, and I know they’re not alone.  It can be very frustrating when you miss one or two workouts, and it can be a slippery slope into giving up if you let it get to you.  That being said, here’s some tips that may work for you:

1. Schedule your workouts for the entire week.  Each Sunday evening, I sit down with my calendar and and training plan and figure out when I’m going to fit a workout in each day.  I also look at the weather since I run outside.  For example, if I know I have an early meeting at work on a Wednesday and I can’t run that morning, I’ll move the run to another day or a different time – OR I’ll choose to get up earlier than my normal time.  Once you figure out your schedule for the week, put the workouts on your calendar.  I keep all my workouts on my Google calendar.  Knowing it’s on the schedule is the first step.  If you leave it up to “if I feel like it”….you won’t feel like it.

2. Prepare what you need ahead of time. Each evening, pack your gym bag or lay out your clothes (if you’re getting up in the morning).  Having everything ready to go is one less barrier to getting out the door.

3. Get some accountability.  Find a friend who you know will hold you accountable and tell them what your plans are for the week (and you can do the same for them, too).  Have them check in on you after your scheduled workout.  Knowing that your friend is going to ask you is more likely to keep you in check.  If you’re thinking of bailing, text or call them and have them talk you out of it. True story: once, Christina had gotten back into bed one morning instead of doing her run, and I talked her into going.  Accountability works.

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4. Make your goal visible.  Consider creating a motivation wall that is a visual representation of your goal.  Maybe it’s the starting line of a race, a dress you’re looking to fit into, or maybe it’s the date of your next weigh-in.  Just know that whatever you’ve committed for is going to happen no matter if you put in the work or not, but you’ll be much happier if you’ve done the work.  Consider including motivational images or messages from your friends on the wall as well.  Do what works for you, and change the wall often to keep it fresh.

Motivation wall

5.  Reward yourself – but not with food.  I fully support treating yourself for being consistent with your routine for a period of time, but don’t do it with food.  Consider treating yourself to a massage, a pedicure, or a new workout top when you’ve been consistent for 2 weeks or more.

6. Do it first thing in the morning.  This one is the biggest one for me.  There is ALWAYS going to be a reason to skip your workout, but you have to make the time for it if it’s important to you. Many people I know swear by morning workouts for the same reasons.  Every time I try to schedule an afternoon run, something comes up that gets in the way, or I feel like I’m too tired.  There is rarely something that gets in my way in the morning.  Plus, you have a huge sense of accomplishment to start your day, and your metabolism gets kick-started, as well.  The hardest part is getting up – but I promise you if you give it a try for 2-3 weeks you’ll see that it gets easier and gives you more energy! A word of caution–if you choose to workout in the morning, make sure you refuel properly right after or you’ll be hungry all day.  And don’t fall into the trap of “I worked out this morning so I can have this extra treat”. Check out my tips for becoming a morning runner.

7. Be patient.  Don’t try to do too much, too fast.  You’ll end up discouraged, burnt out, and potentially injured.  All of which can lead to you falling off the fitness wagon.

These are my top tips for keeping consistent with my routine, and I’d love to hear if they work for you.  What other tips do you have for newbies?

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Jess

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