You have now gotten yourself off the couch and into the exercise mode.
The challenge now is to maintain that momentum. The last thing you want is to be another one of those people who jump in with all guns blazing, only to crash and burn after three weeks. No, you want exercise to be a daily habit that becomes a vital part of your lifestyle.
In this chapter, you’ll discover 15 tactics that you can implement to make exercise your newest and greatest habit.
Tactic #1: Focus on your end goal every day
Write it out as a positive statement tied to a date and stick it to your mirror. Here’s an example…
On May 1st, 2018 I will be at 20% body fat.
Tactic #2: Take in Fitness Knowledge
There is a vast amount of information at your fingertips relating to exercise. The more you educate yourself, the more motivated you’ll become. Learn about all of the different forms of exercise, from yoga to pilates, stretching to weight training. Each form of exercise has it’s unique aspects and benefits. Learn how you can make the most of them.
Tactic #3: Use Habit Anchoring
Habit anchoring involves committing yourself to a very small change of habits that is attached to something that you already do. Make positive affirmations to yourself relating to the anchor and the habit. Here’s an example . . .
After I get into my car after work, I will drive straight to the gym.
Tactic #4: Make Mini Commitments
Commit yourself to exercising 30 minutes each day for 20 days in a row. Make the commitment small and manageable.
Tactic #5: Get Rid of Obstacles to Exercise
There will always be a nagging voice in your mind that will look for obstacles to working out. You have to be prepared in order to defeat those obstacles. The first thing you should do is to set out everything you need for your workout the evening before. If you’re going to the gym, have your workout clothing, your shower items and change of clothing, water bottle and sweat towel ready to go. If you are training at home, have everything set out and ready to train.
Tactic #6: Make it Enjoyable
Never allow yourself to get bored when exercising. Keep your workouts interesting by joining group fitness classes, experiment with different types of exercise, different styles of workout and different exercise modes. Every now and again find a new workout location, jump on a different machine or take part in a workout competition.
Tactic #7: Use Technology
Technology can help you to monitor, keep on top of and stay motivated with your workout. Products like the Fitbit will also provide you with some friendly competition.
Tactic #8: Make Yourself Accountable
Tell others about your commitment to regular exercise. Doing so will provide you with external sources of motivation to keep going. When you share your goals with your family and friends, you know that they are going to check back with you to see how you are going. That will keep you accountable.
Tactic #9: Don’t Be Discouraged by Lack of Visible Results
A lot of people feel discouraged when they don’t see the scale weight coming down after working out for a few weeks. That’s often because they have gained a bit of muscle while losing fat. Because muscle weighs five times more than fat, the scale weight won’t drop – it may in fact go up slightly. The key is to focus on developing the habit of regular exercise. The changes will come in time.
Tactic #10: Anticipate Plateaus
After a couple of months of working out, your results are bound to slow down or even stop altogether for a period of time. This is perfectly natural. It is because your body has adapted to the new stresses that you are imposing upon it. To overcome these plateaus, change up your training every six weeks. This will keep your body guessing and responding.
Tactic #11: Face Up To Self Limiting Beliefs
That negative voice will throw up doubts that designed to get you to question every positive step you’re taking. It will question the point of working out, try to convince you that the plan won’t work, remind you that you’ve failed at exercise before and will again, and tell you that you don’t have the time. You simply have to shut these voices down. You know that what you are doing is the very best thing you possibly could be dong to benefit yourself. Nothing else matters. Just do it!
Tactic #12: Exercise Early in the Morning
Training first thing in the morning is a very smart move. It allows you to get your workout in before the demands of your day threaten to overload you. You are also far more focused and energized in the morning. Plus, a good workout will get your day off to a terrific start.
Tactic #13: Recruit Family Support
It is very difficult to maintain regularity of exercise if your spouse or your kids resent the fact that you are doing so. The key to getting them on board is communication. Let your spouse know how important it is to you that you meet your daily exercise goal. Make it clear how a healthier, fitter you will benefit the entire family. The same goes with the kids. Tell them that you want to be able to remain fit and active in order to do things with them as you grow older. Exercise with your kids as much as you possibly can.
Tactic #14: Block Out your Workout Time
Schedule your exercise sessions into your daily planner as non-negotiable ‘you’ time. Make it your priority.
Tactic #15: Find a Substitute Activity
There will be times when you simply cannot do your scheduled workout. Maybe the car has broken down and you can’t get to the gym. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do any exercise. Nothing will stop you from doing a bodyweight circuit training program right in your own backyard. If it’s raining, do it in your living room. But don’t allow the fact that your first option is no longer on the table, mean that you do nothing at all.