Some people make fantastic plans to exercise and find that when the time arrives, they rarely ever keep that commitment. There is always some reason you find yourself simply unable to make it happen.
I definitely understand this issue. I have spent years planning to exercise on Monday and making the promise far more often than I ever kept the commitment. But now I have learned some simple ways to create an environment that motivates me to make an exercise commitment.
Here are some of my favorite tips to help YOU create a fit and motivating environment for exercise commitment.
Schedule the time and make an appointment with yourself.
Deciding to exercise at some point tomorrow makes your workout flexible and more prone to cancellation. Look at your schedule for the week and decide what days and times you will commit to exercise. Write it down on your calendar and keep the commitment. If something else comes up, move the workout to another time slot. Keep the appointment with yourself. Remember: Your health has value and your lifestyle should reflect this fact.
Prepare your exercise clothes and shoes the night before.
Having your exercise clothes stored in your book bag, car, and office or by your front door is a constant reminder of your commitment to exercise. It provides you with the opportunity to fit in a quick workout whenever a free moment arrives. Plus, it helps exercise feel more like a habit as you prepare to exercise the next day beforehand each night.
Plan workouts you can actually imagine completing on a regular basis and do it in advance.
Be realistic in your goal setting. If you hate to run, but want to try to become a runner, plan to run as many minutes and as often as you can within 30-60 min and commit to walk the rest of the time period. You can even turn on some music and simply dance for 30-60 min.
Are you going to walk, run, bike or dance tomorrow? Will you be in your home, at work, a gym, or outside? You should always have some options planned in advance and be prepared to keep the commitment. Just create a plan to get moving in ways you can enjoy (or at least not hate.)
Find someone to keep you accountable.
Find a workout buddy to exercise with you. This way, you will have to call and ditch a friend to cancel. This clearly places another hurdle between you and losing your commitment to exercise. It is important to find a buddy who is ready to work together to keep a commitment to exercise. Stay away from the workout buddy who will call and suggest skipping exercise and heading out for brunch and a movie.
If you can’t find someone to actually exercise with you, ask a supportive friend or family member check in with you on the days you have scheduled a workout. Even if you decide to lie, you will have to lie – each and every time you skip a workout. Plus this person’s positive words of support and your guilt for wasting their time will help motivate you to keep the commitment. At some point in the future you will be found out, when none of your goals are met.
When it’s difficult keeping your exercise commitment, you must take steps and make plans to combat your excuses. Exercise is an action you can take to improve and maintain health. I value my health and my lifestyle reflects this value. How does your lifestyle reflect your values?
Remember: it worked for me! And it can work for YOU!