It’s easy to start a new workout routine, but it’s much harder to stick to this routine for a long amount of time and stay consistent with it – especially when you don’t see immediate results.
So how do you stay motivated? How do you ensure you don’t give up after a couple of weeks?
Let’s find out.
“How can I make my workout routine stick?”
Today I am answering a question that I was asked by the follower on Instagram.
She reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked me about my workout routine, in particular, how I was able to make it consistent? She said that she used to work out, but then she kind of fell out of it. Now she feels like it’s time to go back, but she’s worried that she will not be able to make it consistent because she was never really able to make it stick for more than a couple months.
So she asked me if I have any thoughts, ideas, or insights on how to actually make it stick. How to make it different this time?
I definitely made several mistakes in the past in that regard as well. I made many attempts to start my workout routine.
Most of those attempts were not successful.
I wasn’t able to stick to my fitness routine for longer than 3 months in a row until about four years ago. And today I want to share 3 key things that helped me finally make it consistent.
Here’s what’s important to remember: it’s NOT only about working out – it can be applied to anything. So if there is any habit that you are struggling with, anything that you feel is important but for some reason you just can’t stay consistent with it, tips below will work for you too, so keep on reading!
And before I get to these 3 tips, I want to point out the one thing that I think is the most important. This is the foundation of it all and here’s what it is:
We ALWAYS make time for something that we find important.
Read that again.
We always make time for something that we feel, deeply believe, is a true priority – something that we believe is really important.
Sometimes we make excuses such as, “I don’t have enough time, I’m too busy.” But, as you probably know from your own experience, sometimes these excuses work and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you will find time, no matter how busy you are. And sometimes you will keep making those excuses.
So the key thing here is to understand where those excuses come from and how to overcome them.
When value outweighs resistance
Imagine a scale with two bowls.
In the right bowl, there are all these things that are helping you take action and be consistent – this can be something that will make your routine more enjoyable, more important, or maybe it’s some external force (when somebody’s literally making you do it – it’s hard to resist that haha).
And on the other side of the scale, in the left bowl, there are things that are preventing you from taking action or sticking to it. It might be fear, procrastination, or lack of confidence.
So, what do you need to do?
You need to make sure that the bowl on the right is heavier than the bowl on the left – that things that are helping you are “heavier” than those that are holding you back. And once that happens, you will find time no matter how busy you are – you will make time for this specific thing.
It becomes even more important when you not only try to do something once, but when your goal is to be consistent with it. Because let’s face it, it’s relatively easy to do something once or a few times, but in order to really stick to your new routine for months and years, you will have to make sure that bowl with value is really really heavy.
It took me years to figure it out. And the 3 tips that I am going to share below all serve one single purpose – they help you make that “good” bowl as heavy as possible.
Tip #1: Make sure you enjoy the process
Let me ask you: do you look forward to your workout routine? Do you love it because of how it makes you feel in the process?
There is a common mistake that many of us do (and I’m guilty of this mistake too!) – when we are just starting, especially when we are doing it on our own and so we don’t really know what we are doing…
… we overdo it.
I remember it was my fifth attempt to start working out, and I installed a fitness mobile app that would have 30-minute workouts that one can do at home. I was following the exercises that the app was suggesting, but because I was in a pretty bad shape, at the end of these 30 minutes I was dying.
I was feeling SO exhausted. I was feeling like crap.
I was literally dead for the rest of the day. And as you can imagine, it was really hard to look forward to something that was making me feel so terrible. I actually thought that this is how it was supposed to be! I never believed that you can feel energized after the workout until I started working out with a trainer a few years later!
You might still be hesitant right now, but YES, you CAN actually feel energized after an intensive workout and this IS the sign that you are doing it right!
If you feel exhausted after your workout, if you feel like you have ZERO energy left, then it means that you are overdoing it. And this is what I was doing. And I can tell you right now that it is definitely NOT going to help you make it consistent.
Or here is another example, also from my personal experience. Few years ago, I decided to start going to the gym. I had no idea how to use equipment in the gym, I didn’t know anybody there and I felt too embarrassed to ask trainers for assistance. So I was kind of doing something, but I felt like a complete newbie, I felt like I was the only person who had no idea what they were doing. Everybody else was jacked and fit, and they were having fun while I was sitting there and literally had no idea what I was doing.
As you can imagine, I was feeling very uncomfortable. So of course I wasn’t looking forward to coming back to the gym, and eventually I gave up.
I found a trainer to help keep me consistent
But then, in 2019 I started working out with a trainer, and both of these problems went away.
First, my trainer was guiding me through the effort. He knew what effort I could sustain, and he was helping me gradually increase it while my strength was improving. And second, he was showing me around in the gym and was teaching me how to use gym equipment, so I felt much more confident.
For the first time ever, I was actually enjoying my workouts!
I was feeling that I CAN handle it, and it was making me feel good. Also, I was feeling much more energized after the workout, so no more wasted evenings when I couldn’t get out of bed because of how tired I was.
The whole experience was SO much better, and it is exactly what helped me make it consistent. Especially at the beginning, when I wasn’t seeing any weight loss results yet. But I was loving it anyway!
Please hear me out:
You aren’t going to lose weight instantly.
Unfortunately, you have to start working out TODAY in order to see changes on a scale in a few months. And in order to make it through these first (the hardest!) months, it is very important that you find a way to make your today’s experience fun and enjoyable.
Tip #2: Discover non-fitness value
The second tip is not just about making your experience enjoyable, but making it actually valuable.
Find a non-fitness value in exercising regularly.
I don’t go for runs necessarily because I want to lose weight, even though I know that it’s going to help. But honestly, the main reason why I look forward to my morning runs is because it helps me reconnect with myself.
It is my way to have alone time which, as an introvert, I really need. I’m constantly surrounded by people, whether it’s work or family, so having those 30 or 40 minutes allows me to unplug and recharge.
And I really value this mindfulness aspect of my runs.
Another exercise that I practice regularly is strength training. The reason I love that is because honestly, it makes me feel bold. Being able to lift heavy weights is cool, and I like that feeling of confidence that it gives me. Of course, it took me several years to build up to that, but even when you do your first burpee, or push-up, or pull-up, you’ll feel really really good.
I also love boxing and that unique vibe in the boxing gym. Those people who come to do boxing, they don’t come there to show off. They come there to release stress, to listen to some energizing music, to punch the bag, and just to be themselves.
It’s a place of pure authenticity.
Those people are very honest and cool, all of them are absolutely amazing, and I simply love being around them!
The key is to find what works for YOU
Try to find what it is in your life, outside of fitness and losing weight, that is important to you.
For example, if you feel like you don’t hang out with your friends, or your partner, enough, then going to the gym or for a morning run together can be a good way to fix that problem.
Or maybe you need more time to reconnect with yourself, with your thoughts, with your ideas. Whenever I feel like I’m gonna run out of business ideas soon, I go for a run, and I always come back home with fresh new ideas.
Maybe you’ve been wanting to read more books or listen to more podcasts, but you don’t have time – then go ahead, put your AirPods in, turn on your favorite audiobook or podcast, and there you go!
The key here is to find YOUR value.
What is it for YOU?
What is YOUR thing?
What do YOU want to have more of in your life?
Answer these questions, and see how you can combine it with exercising. Then choose the best type of exercise that will support it, whether it’s boxing, running, pilates, barre, or anything else.
There is no one size fits all.
You might hate one type of exercise and then you’ll fall in love with the other. Try it and see what works for YOU.
Tip #3: Add extra accountability (the right way!)
Accountability is a tricky one.
Never ever should you fully rely on your accountability partner.
If you wait for somebody to push you, to force you to do something, then you’re likely not finding that activity valuable enough already, and that is a problem. It means that tomorrow, or a month from now, you will fall off that track because internally, you don’t really see value in it. And as soon as your accountability partner becomes unavailable for whatever reason, you’ll give up.
At the same time, if you already find this activity valuable, then (and only then!) having that additional friendly nudge in the back will actually help a lot!
As I mentioned earlier, having a personal trainer to workout with has been a game changer for me. Knowing that he is waiting for me at 4pm in the gym 3 days a week added that extra level of accountability.
Whether I was feeling tired, or lazy, or maybe I just wasn’t feeling like working out, I didn’t feel comfortable texting him and saying, “Hey, let’s cancel.” So I would come to the gym and would workout, and NEVER would I regret doing it!
Or, when COVID started, my husband and I transformed our garage into a gym and we started working out together. That helped a lot too! We were pushing each other, we were keeping each other accountable, and it was just so much more fun to run around the block together!
Having that extra level of accountability definitely helps.
But I’ll say it again…
Before you decide to bring in an accountability partner, always decide for yourself WHY you are doing it. Ask yourself,
“If it’s just me, will I still do it? And why?”
And once you answered this to yourself, then you are ready for extra accountability.
Worried that you have no one who could support you on this journey?
Reach out to me! I would LOVE to be that person that will be giving you friendly nudges in the back, virtually or even physically if you happen to live in Houston!
Or come and join the Breverie Circle, and get support not just from me, but from the whole member community!
Remember: It’s always easier to do something when you’re doing it together with somebody else. As long as you know WHY, having somebody by your side doing the same thing helps so much.
Do you have a question, a topic, or a challenge that you would like me to address in the future episodes of The Spark Your Life Podcast? It’s easy – simply DM me on Instagram, or submit this 1-question form! I cannot wait to support you on your journey!