3 Ways to Stick with your Workouts No Matter What
Here we go again. The alarm goes off, I grab a quick bite to eat and it’s time to work out. But I’m feeling…torn.
One part of my brain says, “It’s time for your workout, get going!”
The other part says, “What the heck, you’ve got a busy day. You’re tired. You don’t know what workout to do today anyway so just skip it.”
Apparently I’m not alone in this struggle. The National Center for Health Statistics says only 1 of every 2 adults gets the recommended amount of weekly aerobic exercise, and 1 in 5 get enough strength training each week.
And the top 6 excuses to skip our daily workouts are:
- No time.
- Too tired.
- Gotta watch my kids.
- It’s boring.
- I don’t like it.
- I’ve tried it before.
Yeah, I’ve used a few of these…
How to stick with your workout, no matter what
Let’s not dwell on the many reasons we need to overcome these excuses and get straight to the point. We need to work out regularly each week and we need a fail-proof plan to make it happen. These 3 tips will help us stick with our workouts and quash those excuses in nothin’ flat.
(**Before we get started, heads-up… I’m on a quest for the best, and committed to sharing what I love with you!! So this article contains some affiliate links plus some good-ol’ freebies.)
1. Set micro-goals
Been forever (or maybe never) since you’ve exercised consistently? Or looking for a fresh new way to get and stay in the groove? Perfect, start with micro-goals.
In his book Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results (Volume 1) author Stephen Guise shares his personal journey and struggle with exercise. He finally overcame his exercise excuses by setting “stupid small” goals. Micro goals, or mini habits, are goals that are “too small to fail.”
Stephen recommends overcoming excuses, procrastination and the mental exhaustion that accompanies goal achievement by completing just 1 simple activity each day. Your job is to complete the goal daily, and not break the streak, no matter what.
Examples of his “too small to fail” goals are:
- Complete 1 push up each day.
- Complete 1 sit up each day.
- Go to the gym OR complete 1 push up each day.
Starting this small gives us daily “wins” to celebrate. And success builds on success. No pressure, no complex goals, just accomplish 1 small thing each day. Stephen says one day he forgot to complete his exercise goals so before he went to sleep he rolled over, did one push up, and kept his accomplishment streak going. Nice!
It takes energy to stop doing something, not just start doing something, so most days you’ll be inclined to do more than just 1 of whatever your goal is. It’s also recommended you make a visual accountability chart for yourself and check off a box each day you complete your goal.
Don’t break that streak! Setting and following micro-goals literally changed Stephen’s fitness, and his life. It’s working for me, too (and I love Stephen’s book). Give it a try.
2. Get with the program
Pretty good at accomplishing goals when you put your mind to it? Great, then starting and sticking with a specific exercise program could be the way to go.
Pick one program and commit to complete it from beginning to end, no excuses. Commit to a time frame, then nail every session. When your resolve waivers, tell yourself “I’m the type of person who accomplishes my goals. I chose this goal, and will see it through to the end.” Post a visual chart of your workouts and check them off one by one.
If you prefer group sessions and the motivation of others around you, join a gym group fitness class. Or sign up for a dance class and pay up for at least 12 weeks.
Personally I’m a fan of Lindsay Brin’s Moms Into Fitness workouts. I’m signed up for her streaming videos which are mom-timeframe-and-body-specific and include plenty of options and variety.
I just completed Pretty Fierce: Weight Loss with Lindsay Brin & Moms Into Fitness. Loved it! I followed the 8 week series and, I won’t lie, I did flame out and skip a few days. I also got the flu towards the end but once I got better I started up again and completed everything in about 10 weeks.
Sticking to a specific program was great motivation to keep me working out consistently, 5 days per week. Side bonus, I lost 7 pounds without really trying! My endurance and energy levels are better than ever before, and I’m about to dive into another one of Lindsay’s amazing workout series. I totally recommend you give this or another one of Lindsay’s programs a try.
3. Just 10 minutes
Are you legitimately completely strapped for time? I feel you. I’m all about seeing how much I can accomplish in just 10 minutes. So pick a 10 minute workout video or routine and knock out the #1 excuse for not working out…lack of time.
Fabulous Freebies—Pinterest is chock-full of motivational 10 minute workout routines. Love this one from Back on Pointe that includes 7 quick workouts. And can’t wait to try this one tonight from Women’s Health, a short stretch and de-stress workout perfect after a long day.
Short and Sweet—I’m currently loving Larysa Dido’s Fit in 10: Total Body Transformation. I never knew I could be so sore (in a good way) from just a 10 minute workout! Quick and effective, great focus on strength training and overall toning, one of my new faves. It comes with an 8 week just 10 minutes per day program, so use their easy guide to get and stay on track.
Last but not least, I can’t talk about 10 minute workouts without a shout-out to my girl Michelle Dozios. All of Michelle’s 10 minute workout videos are excellent and they’ve been among my favorite exercise staples for years. They pack a punch in just a few minutes and I love how they range from lower-intensity to leaving you gasping for air. Michelle’s 10 Minute Solution Carb Burner is one of the best, but try anything by Dozios and you can’t go wrong.
In case you’re wondering if spending only 10 minutes on exercising will really benefit you, get the facts here (plus another sweet-yet-sweat-inducing 10 minute Tabata workout). There’s an abundance of scientific and medical studies and evidence showing it truly does, though ideally you should still strive for 150 minutes of exercise weekly. Do what you can—some is absolutely better than none!
Commit to Sweat
Choose your workout stick-with-it strategy and get started today. Whether you set micro-goals, follow a program, do 10 minute sessions, or a combo of all three, get your body moving. Your health, your energy level, and your mental peace of mind will thank you. Squeezing in workouts and being consistent can be tough, but with these exercise hacks in hand you can stick with your workouts no matter what.