Have you tried so many times to start working out again, but when things get tough or one thing goes wrong, you give up? Here are some strategies to help improve your workout consistency and make things stick the next time around!
1. Something is better than nothing
Have you ever skipped the gym because you knew you didn’t have enough time to finish your full workout? Or, maybe you didn’t feel like doing your full workout? Instead of thinking about it being a waste of time or a failure, focus on what you can do. Doing something is always better than nothing. By doing something, you start to create a habit/routine and are bettering your health. It doesn’t matter if you had the most intense workout planned, but then you walked instead. You did something and that something matters. Doing these small things can help improve your workout consistency over time!
2. Remember your why
Whether you’re prepping for the next competition, trying to get healthy, trying to get that skill, or just trying to live life, remember why you are trying to workout. Everyone’s why is meaningful and important regardless of if you are competing or not. Are you lifting to be able to lift your kid or grandkid off the ground when you get older, do some new cool trick, or feel a little more confident? But also remember things take time! Christmas of 2020 there was the sweetest video going around (linked here) showing the why behind one grandparent’s exercise (I apologize if it makes you cry). Find your why, write it down if needed, and reference it often!
3. Find something you enjoy doing
Not every workout needs to look like the standard one in the gym. Find something that you enjoy doing that keeps your body moving whether it is going on a walk, riding a bike, playing a game of soccer or basketball, practicing handstands, or whatever it may be! Add this into your routine frequently to help your workout consistency. Remember, just because it doesn’t look like something you see everyone else doing, doesn’t mean it can’t work for you!
4. Schedule it in
Life can get busy…let’s be honest…maybe a bit hectic or crazy sometimes. Find your priorities and take care of yourself, so you can take care of others. Schedule a time in the morning, evening, or during lunch to get a quick workout in. Consider if you’ll never get out of bed or you’ll be exhausted after work. You know yourself better than anyone…Think about when you have the most energy in the day, and do your best to workout around those times!
5. Listen to your body
We all have those days where we are exhausted, tired, sore, and/or stressed. Learn to listen to the cues that your body is giving you and modify your workouts accordingly. Instead of doing your full workout, you can modify weights, sets, or even do some mobility/stretching or lighter prehab work. This still creates a consistent habit of moving your body, but also minimizes risk of injury when you’re not feeling 100%.
6. Prep yourself for the workout
What make or breaks a workout doesn’t always happen during the workout…you need to plan appropriately! Figure out your barriers and address them accordingly. Consider sleep, hydration, food, etc. For sleep, schedule your bedtime and wake time as best you can and try to stay consistent.
Life happens, but truly sleep makes a huge difference. Keeping yourself properly hydrated before, during, and after your workouts will help you feel, perform, and recover better. It doesn’t need to be a fancy sports drink. The majority of the time, water works perfectly (but you can always add a little flavor if you’d like)!
Have you ever planned to workout at a certain time, but then didn’t because you were either too full or too hungry? Realize these patterns and adjust accordingly. If you’re too hungry, keep a snack in your car or prep a light meal to have before your workout. If you’re too full, consider eating earlier in the day, having a lighter meal, or working out before you eat that meal.
Think about possibly packing your gym bag the night before and making sure you have the appropriate clothing (hello laundry as a barrier), water bottle, snacks, etc. ready to go!
7. Think of how you will feel after the workout
Endorphins from exercise are real y’all. Our bodies are meant to move! There’s a reason you feel good after moving it…so get up and move! Sometimes thinking about the benefits that you feel after can be enough to get you moving and improve your workout consistency!
8. Find accountability
Accountability can be found in many ways. The most common methods are recruiting a friend or hiring a coach (If you want to work with me, you can join my waitlist here 😜). Of course, there are other ways to find accountability if you are unable to do so through those means. Grab a calendar, a sheet of paper, log it on your phone, or where you will see it. Make a note on days you do or do not get your workout in. If you want to go above and beyond, write down why you didn’t and then go back and find patterns. To be honest, when I was struggling with consistency, I ended up creating an anonymous instagram page to help myself be consistent!
9. Create a plan
Create a plan for your workouts, to make things more efficient once it’s time. Again, if you need help with this, check out my individualized training programs here or check out any of my pre-made programs here! Having a broad idea of what you’re doing that day (e.g. legs, arms, etc.) will help keep you focused. Relate the plan to your current goal to help you stay focused, and remember to include appropriate rest times (48 hours between working the same body part)! At the same time, be flexible and willing to swap one workout for another based on how you’re feeling. So for example, if your legs are still super sore, do an upper body workout instead to help your workout consistency even more!
10. Set a timer
Whether you’re struggling to get to the gym, to get going with your workout, or are running a little short on time, use a timer or alarm to keep you on track. You can set a timer for yourself to start getting ready for the gym, for you to leave for the gym, or to start working out. Or, you can set a timer for “x” amount of time to workout, and get as much as you can done in that time (remember, tip no. 1)!
These are not the end all be all, and some of these are probably not new to you. But, I hope they serve as a good reminder to help you get and stay on track with your workouts!
As always, so thankful for your time for reading. Just drop a comment below if you have any thoughts, questions, or comments on the topic!
Remember, no one is perfect, and that in itself is perfect.
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Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.