Today's post is about how to deal with consistency. If you're like the average person, you generally do really well with your exercises for a few days, or even a week or two, and then you just lose it. You can't keep up with it anymore. I've gotten so far as two months good, and then nothing at all for a few months. What are some ways to deal with this?
Set goals - it's easier to continue exercising and eating well if you have clear, set goals in mind rather than arbitrary ideas. Write them down. Put them on a calendar. Put reminders in your phone. Whatever works for you to know what you want and when you want it by. For instance, "I will lose ten pounds by my cousin's wedding in August," or, "I will run two miles a day, six days a week."
Make realistic goals - Make sure your goal is something you can accomplish -- but aim high. In other words, don't make your goal, "I will lose 20 pounds by the end of this month," (remember, healthy living is a lifestyle, not a one-night stand!) but also, don't set your goal so easy that you give yourself room to give up, such as, "I will lose two pounds by the end of the year." Challenge yourself, but make it fun, not impossible!
Along with that idea, Don't overwhelm yourself - My workout plans always start out really well. For a while about a month ago, I was doing an hour+ on the elliptical, 30 minutes of weight training, 20 minutes of abs, and about 5-10 minute stretching, three to four times a week. I couldn't keep this up. Life caught up with me, and it got to the point where I thought, "Well, I don't have time for all that, so I guess I just won't go." Tell yourself, for instance, that you will run just one mile a day no matter what (barring the flu or something) for starters. If you feel like doing more, or if you have time for more - do it! But if you don't, there are still no excuses. Anyone can find 10-15 minutes a day to jog a mile. Studies have shown that people are more consistent if they promise themselves a minimum of 20 minutes a day (no more than that if you don't have time, energy, or the willpower). 20 minutes is doable for anyone.
"Think positive" - When are you more likely to eat well and exercise? When you're happy or when you're sad? When you feel good about yourself, or when you don't like yourself? Generally, we tend to eat better and take care of ourselves more when we feel like we're worth it and that we deserve the love we're giving our bodies by exercising and eating well. When I'm sad or stressed, I eat horribly and park on the couch all day. I'm more likely to go out for a jog and eat a healthy lunch if I stop tearing myself down, and look at the bright side of things. Keep in mind, however, that just because you don't feel positive doesn't mean you shouldn't exercise or eat some fruit instead of those potato chips. Exercising helps release endorphins which naturally brings our mood levels and happiness up.
Do you have any other tips for exercise consistency?