There’s no doubt that starting and sticking with an exercise program is harder to do than it appears. Even with the best intentions life can get in the way of your consistency; you get busy, get tired, get bored, or get hurt.
To prevent yourself from falling off the workout wagon you need to learn how to set yourself up for being consistent because consistency is king (or queen) and without it, regardless of what workout program you’re doing, you will not get the results you want.
Before we go any further you must first know that being consistent starts with developing a healthy mindset and relationship with exercise. Below we’ll go over three basic concepts that will help you do just that.
- Know Your Why
The “why” behind your goal is by far more important than the actual goal itself. A strong why often brings emotion, and emotion will bring a drive and passion that will push you to get to the gym even after a long day at work. Your goals could be as specific as totaling a certain amount in a specific weight class during a powerlifting meet, or it could be as simple as getting to the gym twice during the week and learning how to eat a healthier breakfast.
Regardless of how simple or complex your goal is, be sure to ask yourself WHY it’s your goal in the first place and how you’ll feel when you achieve it.
Below are some examples of common whys that motivate a lot of people.
- To be more confident
- To look good in a bathing suit
- To play my sport at the college or professional level
- To be healthy for my family and kids
- To stay injury free while playing in my sports leagues
2. Avoid the All-Or-Nothing Mindset
One of the strangest parts of the fitness world is that people develop intense relationships with specific styles of training or specific diets. If you were to poll avid gym-goers or fitness professionals it would be scary how many of them are emotionally invested in particular ways of doing things. I’m sure you’ve all heard things like:
“If you eat paleo you’ll feel and look better than ever”
“You need to train with kettlebells, they’re much safer than the barbell”
“Spin class is the best way to burn calories”
If you take away anything from this article please understand that any type of workout style or diet can lead to success. Now, if it is successful for YOU likely depends on how much it is compatible with your lifestyle and how much you enjoy it. Barbells, kettlebells, and dumbbells can all get you stronger. Spinning, running, and the elliptical can all burn calories, and paleo, low fat, and the Mediterranean diet can all help you with fat loss. The key is to find what you can be consistent with and don’t go all-or-nothing and extreme with any of these. Instead, learn to have consistent moderation and you’ll find that your life will have much less stress and your chances of adhering to fitness and dietary changes long-term will increase exponentially.
3. Appreciate That Exercising For Your Health’s Sake Will Allow You to Reach Other Goals Along the Way
Nothing will knock you off the consistency train, keep you further away from reaching your goals, and give you a bad relationship with exercise quicker than an injury. Goals are great to have when training, but if you can appreciate that training for your long-term health needs to take priority you’ll find it easier to stick with an exercise program that will help you reach your aesthetic, fat loss, or performance goals.
How do you know that you’re placing a premium on your health when training?
- You learn to move well before you move more
- You gradually increase your exercise volume
- Know what joints need to move better and work your tail off making sure your mobility improves
- Incorporate aerobic training for your cardiovascular system