Making Exercising a Habit

Two plus size women jogging in Central Park, New York during a beautiful day.

I don’t know about you, but if I had a dollar for every time I said, “I’ll start working out tomorrow,” I could pay for a personal trainer to drag me out of bed each day and make me exercise.

It can be hard to create new habits in our life (at least the beneficial ones). But habits are also hard to break so making exercise a habit will have you well on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

  • Set Measurable Goals – Saying you want to make exercise a habit is a great goal, but you don’t have a high probability of achieving it, if you leave your exercise goal that vague.  Be specific and realistic. It takes 21 days to form a new habit, so start with that. Now you just need to figure out what kind of exercise you will commit to for the next 21 days.
  • Start Small – You want to set yourself up for success. Start small on your 21-day journey. Find a simple workout that only requires 10-15 minutes of your time. Once you’ve made exercise a part of your routine and built up your skill and endurance, you can amp up your workouts. The Internet or Pinterest are great resources in finding simple workouts to get you started. But you can spend more time looking for the perfect plan than actually working out.  Find a plan that works for you, and then stop looking for more until you’ve successfully implemented that workout plan in your life and are ready to move on to something new.
  • Get a Buddy – Don’t go it alone! Ask a friend or family member to help you. You are far more likely to reach your goal if you invite someone to join you on the journey and keep you accountable. Preferably find someone who also wants to make exercise a habit, so you can work towards your goal together or find someone who’s been where you are and succeeded, so they can encourage you on your journey.
  • Keep Track of Your Progress – Get creative! Track your progress each day in your calendar or planner. Or create your own separate workout calendar and hang it on the fridge so that you and your friends and family can keep track of your progress and celebrate your success. You made your goal measurable, so measure it!
  • Reward Yourself – I know living a healthier life is reward in itself, but sometimes that isn’t enough to motivate you in the morning. Give yourself something else to gain once you meet your initial exercise goal—maybe it’s a new pair of shoes or a trip to the spa! The possibilities are endless and up to you!

So make your plan and start today! The next 21 days are going to pass either way, so let them pass with your reaching your wellness goals and making exercise a habit you won’t want to break!