How to Create a Routine and Maintain it
A key barrier to achieving your fitness goals is getting started. For whatever reason it may be, you didn’t make it to the gym, go on your morning jog, or attend your pilates class. It’s okay, it happens. But now what are you gonna do about it? Here’s my guide on how to create a routine and maintain it.
Figuring Out What Works for You
The past four months required me to change up my whole routine for the first time in a long time, and I didn’t like the new routine. I’m a morning gym rat, and it helps me get my day started. My work schedule required me to stop going to the gym in the mornings, and instead of not going at all, I started going later at night. I hated going so late because it was busy, crowded, and it felt like I was constantly changing my workout routine because of unavailable equipment. However, I made it work. I prioritized going to the gym 5-6 days a week, and I didn’t scold myself if I only went 3-4 days for one week. Now that my schedule has changed, my morning routines are up and running again, just how I like it.
Your schedule won’t be the same as everyone else’s. I didn’t go at 5am just to make it to work on time, I got my well needed rest, went to work, and prioritized the gym afterwards. This might be different for you, you might want to go before work at 5 or 6am just so you have the evening available once you’re off work or school. On the other hand, you might want to go in the middle of the day if that’s what works for you. As long as you make it a priority to go, it doesn’t matter what time it really is. You just need to figure out what works for you.
What Motivates You to Go
Creating a gym routine also requires motivation. For some that’s coffee or pre workout, for others it’s a good night’s sleep along with some fun music to get you going. For myself, I splash my face with cold water, pour myself some pre workout, and get going. If you’re an evening goer, ask yourself what gets you to the gym even if you feel a bit tired after a long day. This post talks a lot about feeling motivated for the gym, which is ultimately all about the mindset. Make it a part of your routine, and stick to it.
Deciding How Often to Go
If you’re not a hardcore gym rat who goes 6 days a week, don’t feel left out, because everyone’s different. If your work or school schedule prevents you from going that often, don’t force it. If 4-5 days works best for you, plan your week so that the gym fits in your schedule for those 4-5 days. Sometimes 3-4 is all you can do, and that’s still more than enough. Maybe on the days you don’t go, schedule a walk or some form of exercise to keep the body moving without overexerting. Regardless, after figuring out how often you can go, ensure it’s marked on your schedule so you don’t miss it.
Implementing your Routine
It’s easy to say you’ll go to the gym first thing in the morning and then it doesn’t happen. Most people don’t suddenly start going at 6am immediately, but some do, which is great. A good way to start if you’re trying to maintain a morning routine is to start slow and work your way up. Go at 10 or 11am, and try going earlier over the next couple weeks to see how your body feels and reacts. Set that alarm, lay out your clothes, and be ready to go when it’s time. If you’re hitting the gym after work at 6 or 7pm, try bringing your gym bag with you to work, or having it ready for when you get home. Have your snack or meal prepared before you go to the gym. Get it done.
Everyone is different, and what one person does might not work for another person. The important factors to creating a routine and maintaining it are figuring out the best time for you to go, how to feel motivated enough to go to the gym, determining your weekly schedule, and implementing the routine.
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