Working out without a routine is the pits. All you get out of it is sore muscles and the urge to eat more with no noticeable results. On the other hand, knowing how to build a workout routine into your life makes your training enjoyable and productive. In fact, using regular routines are well known to bring about results like these:
- Weight loss
- A shapely and toned body
- Endurance, persistence, and patience in every part of life
- Increased levels of focus and discipline
- Better health
- More muscle mass if that is your goal
But the truth is that getting into a regular exercise routine is building new habits. And building new habits usually involves letting go of other habits? And that can be a real pain, especially if you are starting from no regular routines and habits.
How To Build A Routine That Last
It’s going to be easier to build a good plan when you teach yourself that you are having fun when you exercise, don’t you think? Here are the three most important ways to make it happen:
1. Look Forward to Your Exercise
You must teach your mind to stop thinking of exercise as something you dread. Let’s be honest here: Why would I want to do anything 4 or 5 times a week that is physically demanding and sometimes exhausting if I hate doing it?
Try getting more enjoyment out of your training with rituals that become good habits. Start out by writing this sentence and filling in the blanks for yourself:
Next week I will exercise on (the chosen day) at (the predetermined time of day) at (where).
There is research indicating that you’ll be 2 or 3 times as likely to follow through with your intentions by writing out that sentence and filling in the blanks. I suspect that actually writing that on a 3×5 card and putting somewhere you can’t miss looking at every morning ups the odds even more?
2. Routines are a Lot of Small Things Comming Together
Another way to find yourself looking forward to your regular routine is to choose a comically small thing that must happen, and make it a big deal.
Building a habit that you don’t dread is key here, so start out with something so small you won’t need any will power, motivation, or enthusiasm to accomplish it. Make it something so small and ridiculous that it only takes a very few minutes to accomplish.
You are building a habit that easily turns into a routine that you look forward to doing, right? Make it something as small as getting your gym shoes or gear bag. These are small things that must happen, yet we do them completely unconscious that we are doing them.
My thinking about, and being completely conscious of the small things in life, you include them into your life. Making them part of a larger game of working out, works them into your routines. Believe me, life will be more fun.
3. Forgetting the Results
Getting fit and staying fit is going to be much easier when working out becomes a hobby that you look forward to, and can’t wait to get started. The best way to make that happen is to forget the results for now and focus entirely on getting the ritual started.
Most of us start a diet or new exercise program because we want to see results, right? We start right out focusing all our attention on the results or some pre-determined goal.
Here’s a better way: build a routine first, and let the results follow. By setting and establishing a routine of even 5 minutes a day until it becomes a habit, you will work into a flow that’s easy to continue. After a few weeks, your focus will naturally change to the results without any effort on your part.
4. Make Exercise A Hobby
If the word exercise is something that you automatically turn your nose up to — change your mind about it. Stop bitching to yourself and everybody else, that you “have” to workout today.
Start replacing the word exercise or workout, with the phrase “physical activity”. And don’t roll your eyes at this idea either?
Remember what we said earlier? We want you to stop thinking of your exercise routine as something you dread, but rather a disciplined hobby you can’t wait to start.
Do anything you need to do to — to get your mind and habits cooperating with your intentions. Do it, no matter how silly it seems!
To tell you the truth, you can actually enjoy all the benefits of exercise with a simple and enjoyable routine. So, forget the idea that exercise is suffering!
You can burn fat, lose weight, build muscle, tone your body and get fit without being a professional athlete or spending grueling hours at the gym.
Depending on your own goals, your personalized workout routine can be anywhere from 2.5 hours of moderate to intense physical exercise a week (walking, running, jogging, cycling, etc.). And when you get serious about it, you can double that to 5 hours a week of something you look forward to doing.
5. Know Why You Are Working Out
Being able to write one or two sentences that names your personal “Big Why” is one of the most important aspects of any success: workouts or anything else in life. Actually taking the time to consciously think out and write your own reason for wanting an exercise routine is your ticket to success.
Your personal big “Why?” is the starting place. Your why is going to be the first step to re-conditioning your mind to look forward to an exercise routine.
Centering your own why on the benefits is crucial to success.
You probably wouldn’t buy a new cooking dish or drill bit just to own them? No, you would buy them for the benefits. You are more likely to buy a cooking dish to have baked spaghetti, and a drill bit for the hole it produces, right? Same thing with exercise.
Forget focusing on losing weight, how big your muscles will grow!
Instead, go buy some new clothes you expect to wear when your rituals start paying off. Your “Big Why” now centers on what you will enjoy about the results of working out.
You may even find it difficult to get down to the real benefits of why you need the routine. However, it’s always the benefits or what you will enjoy from the results of working out regularly — that drive your motivation.
Your own big why is a powerful motivator so don’t forget it.
Maybe you need to drop a few pounds to attract someone into your life? Go even further and think about the results of having that someone.
Building your own effective workout routine starts and ends with an exercise schedule that is sustainable, enjoyable, and something you look forward to week after week. Making it fun and part of your lifestyle makes it all worthwhile.