If you’re building a long-term fitness habit, you might be curious about what you can do to increase your chances of success.
Here are five tips to help you commit to a long-term fitness habit that’s part of a sustainable and healthy lifestyle:
1. Manage Your Expectations.
Early on in the process of building a long-term fitness habit, it’s easy to set high expectations. Perhaps you tell yourself that you’re going to work out every day for the next month. But going from zero to thirty workouts is probably unrealistic. Instead of starting with more than your body (or mind) is ready for, start with a more conservative plan. Beginning with a gradual buildup is more likely to lead to consistency. You can always add to your routine in the future.
2. Define Why It’s Important.
Take some time to think about why you want to commit to this habit. What’s the reason behind getting out of bed when it’s still dark? Why is it important to spend your lunch hour working out? Defining why it’s important creates a sense of purpose. So when you face a day that you’re tempted to skip out on your workout, you’ll have a solid reason for what it’s worth to you.
3. Set Clear Goals.
When you have something concrete to work toward, you’re more likely to accomplish your goal. However, when your goal is vague and undefined, it’s more challenging to know what you’re committing to. Words like fit and healthy mean different things to people. If your goal is to get more fit, what does this mean to you? Once you have that figured out, define your goal using terms that represent your specific definition.
4. Create Intermediate Checkpoints.
It can be hard to maintain your commitment and momentum when you know that it will take several months to achieve your goal. Some days you might wonder if you’re making any progress at all. When you’re working toward a future goal, create some intermediate checkpoints. If it will take you six months to achieve your goal, where do you want to be in one month? Or at three months? These mini checkpoints will keep you on track with your goals and building your fitness habit.
5. Record Your Progress.
Recording your progress gives you a visual history of what you’ve accomplished so far. This record helps build a habit for a few reasons. On a day when you feel stuck and not any closer to your goal, you can look back and remind yourself of what you’ve already done. Your workout log also builds in some structure and organization around your training that is sometimes hard to visualize.