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According to the European Journal of Social Psychology it takes 66 days to form a new habit or routine. The new behaviour/habit needs to be repeated in the same way regulaly for it to stick . How many times have you started something and then given up after a few days or a week because it has been too hard to stick with? Maybe you start a new fitness routine and don’t see the changes you want in the first week of training. You may think to yourself that it is not working. You then shift the routine, try something new or just give up? Remember, it takes 66 days to form a new habit. How long it takes to cement this new behavior can vary widely depending on the action, the person, and the circumstances.
It is difficult to break any habit especially if you are uncertain or less motivated to change. Be aware that new habits do not stop the old habits from existing; they just have to become a stronger influence on your behaviour. On another note, seeing changes in your body when trying to lose weight may take up to four to six weeks to see a reduction in pounds on the scale and even longer for people to start noticing the changes in you. These circumstances would also change depending on your starting weight, what changes you have made to diet and fitness routine, how much sleep and water you consume etc etc etc. It will however take longer than a few days or a week…so be patient.
With this in mind here are my 10 key methods to ensure I have a fitness routine that I stick to that ensures I reach my health goals.
Do Exercises you Love
“Life is too short to do things you don’t love doing” – Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden
I cannot stress this enough. If you do not enjoy training in the gym, then why do it? If you think that training in a gym is the only way to get fit and healthy but dont enjoy putting in the hours of
hard work, it will take far longer to reach your goals. I train because I LOVE IT.
There are so many other forms of other exercises you can do. Even if you like the gym but have no idea what to do, try going to a group exercise class or hiring a health coach. If a gym is not an option you could swim, cycle, walk, do yoga, go for a jog, do body weight exercises in your room, download a class from YouTube or join a sporting club. The exercise world is so accessible now that you just need find what you love. How often do you do something you enjoy rather than what you don’t enjoy?
Wear Gym Clothes all Day
No I am not joking. I live in gym clothes and feel more motivated to train if I am in them. Whether I train at 5am or wake up, shower, work, eat and then train later, it always ensures I do some exercise because my brain is constantly reminded of exercise by wearing my gear. I am sure your boss won’t mind 🙂
Get Gym Clothes out Night Before
This not only saves time and stops procrastination but it saves my relationship with my boyfriend when my alarm goes off at 5am and I just leave the room because my gym gear is ready in the other room to throw on and get out the door. Instead, I would be crashing around in the dark waking him up trying to find my clothes and I would find an excuse not to go.
Set Alarm Across the Room
If you need to exercise before work to fit your fitness routine into your schedule then to make sure you actually get up an hour or two earlier instead of hitting the snooze button. Put your alarm/ phone on the other side of the room so you have to physically get out of bed. You’re already up now so you may as well get ready. Get through ‘the up’ then the rest is easy.
Buy Gym Clothes that you Love
If you feel and look good in your gear then you get that extra kick in your step and want to show yourself off. Boom look at me in my sexy gear, yea I train.
Train close to Work or Home
Making exercise as easy as possible will help get you into a routine and keep your focus. Whatever exercise you choose to do, make sure it’s close to the route you are already taking such as getting
home or heading to work.
Have a Playlist you Love
This matters enormously (for me anyway), as it helps with the motivation. I find that it even pushes you more if a song you particularly love comes on. Spotify is great if you don’t have much time to create a playlist on your laptop and download it to your phone or music device.
Listen to Podcasts
There are great health and fitness great podcasts that you can listen to. MindPumpMedia (guys are hilarious and all about health), Inside Mastery and the Cabral Concept among many others. You can even download audio books. Podcasts are great if you are doing long walks, cycling or other forms of cardio. I don’t tend to listen to podcasts much when I strength train as I need the heavy metal type music to keep the focus. You have to find what works for you.
Get a Personal Trainer or Coach
Even though I am a personal trainer I still have my own trainer and coach who holds me accountable. She gives me guidance on areas I am weaker in, such as competing as a bikini athlete in bodybuilding shows. Personal trainers are great to help you stay focussed. Ultimately, they take the thinking out of training because you are paying them to put an exercise plan together to suit your health goals. They will push you through the exercises and you are less likely to miss a session if you know you have booked with a trainer.
Get clear on your ‘Why’
Why do you want to exercise? What are your health goals? When do you want to achieve these by? Get your focus and stay motivated. Try writing them down. Have a picture or vision board outlining what your health goals are. Tell someone about them to keep your focus or diarize journey and your end goal. There now is a study from Harvard demonstrating that writing one’s goal enhances goal achievement .
Ultimately you just need to stop waiting for the perfect situation and just start. No more waiting for when you have some time off work. No more waiting for more money (its free to run). Guess what? No more waiting for the weather to clear up. Blah blah blah. This is just procrastination and excuses. If you want the change bad enough, you will do it.
“A one hour workout is 4% of your day – no excuses” – Unknown
Now remember these are my methods to reach my own health goals. I train five days a week in the gym doing strength training and I take two active rest days doing long walks or yoga. I am also an early bird so I start at 5am. Everyone is different and you need to develop the habits that will suit you, your health goals and your lifestyle.
Tell us about your fitness routine!
As I mentioned above, this list is based on my fitness routine as I know how I train best. I would love to know what works best for you? What do you do to ensure you are motivated? Do you have secrets, hints or tips in your fitness routine that you are willing to share? Let me know in the comment box below!
Lara Jezeph – Health, Fitness & Coaching
If you are determined to achieve your health goals but need some extra motivation, not sure what to train or how or could just do with some health mentoring, get in touch, I would love to hear from you.