Developing a consistent fitness routine is one of the best things we can do for our physical and mental well-being.
We all understand the value of exercise and proper nutrition; however, maintaining the motivation to stick with our health and fitness goals is often a challenge.
How many times have you let life get in the way of you and your ideal body?
Probably more times than you can count.
So many well-intentioned people set out to reach their health and fitness goals, only to find themselves falling off the wagon unsuccessfully.
Fitness is one of the hardest things to master because to be successful, we must get used to delayed gratification and feeling uncomfortable.
We must learn to forego what feels good in the moment for what will benefit us long term. It requires a tremendous amount of discipline, but the payoff is unlike anything else.
As an NPC fitness competitor, I’ve learned that there are steps you can take to significantly increase your fitness success.
Below are three tips to help you stay on track with your health and fitness routine.
Schedule in your workout
If you are serious about getting into shape, you must make your workouts a priority. Schedule them into your calendar. Gone are the days when you let the way you feel in the moment determine whether or not you work out.
To go one step further, I want you to follow a strategy known as implementation intention.
Implementation intention refers to using specific details about when, where, and how you will carry out your goals.
Here are some examples of an implementation intention regarding your fitness routine:
- I will go to the gym at 6 pm every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
- I will walk on the treadmill for thirty minutes, Monday-Friday in the mornings before I go to work.
- I will go to yoga class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 pm
The implementation intention strategy forces you to be very specific about following through on your goals. This is critical because it stops you from negotiating with yourself about whether you feel like it in the moment.
So often we allow our lack of motivation to derail our progress. Motivation is not the solution to our fitness goals, discipline, and commitment are.
The more specific we can be about when, where, and how we will achieve our fitness goals, the more successful we will be.
Research shows that formulating a fitness plan ahead of time significantly increases your odds of success.
Don’t break the chain
Now that you have your implementation intention strategy in place, it’s time to go one step further. A great way to trick your brain into staying consistent is to use a system referred to as don’t break the chain.
Every time you follow through on a positive habit, like working out, put an X in your calendar for that date. This creates a visual chain of your progress. The more consistent you are, the bigger the chain gets.
This simple strategy encourages you to be consistent to avoid breaking the chain. After roughly 30 days of not breaking the chain, the habit will become a part of your identity.
Once a habit is part of your identity, it becomes automatic, like brushing your teeth. The practice is now a part of your habitual routine.
This is a simple, but effective way to develop consistency and establish your commitment to your fitness regimen.
Invest in your success
The above strategies are very effective at helping you develop consistency. Investing in yourself financially goes one step further.
The best investment I ever made was hiring a fitness coach. Having the accountability and expertise of a trainer or fitness coach is priceless for achieving your body goals.
If you are not ready to invest in your fitness monetarily, then at the very least, find a fitness buddy or announce your goals on social media to give you that extra push to stay committed.
When I decided to enter a fitness competition last year, I immediately announced it on my Instagram page to keep me accountable before I could change my mind.
As human beings, we are creatures of habit. Our brains’ job is to keep us safe. That means our natural tendency is to run back to our comfort zones.
Having a fitness coach, personal trainer, or accountability partner will provide that next level of support. This pushes you to work harder and stay consistent.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
If you are still struggling to achieve your body goals, it’s time to take a different approach. Use the steps above to trick your mind into becoming the healthiest version of yourself. Even when you don’t feel like it. Your future self will thank you!