There is a common saying that getting to the gym is the hardest part, not the actual workout. That holds true for a lot of people that struggle with keeping a workout routine or even a routine in general.
Habits and routines are easy to break, yet so hard to form. According to Heathline.com, it can take up to 66 days to make a behavior a habit. So while motivation is not something that you can teach step-by-step, there are ways that people have created habits in their lives in terms of exercise, physical health and other activities.
Lauren Knopf, junior studying finance from Whitehall, Pennsylvania goes to Orangetheory Fitness six times a week and maintains a healthy lifestyle in between classes.
For Knopf, working out is a priority to her and therefore is an easier habit to maintain. “Working out is my stress reliever and my happy place. I know it’s a place where I can let go of all of my worries,” says Knopf.
While Knopf has a love for Orangetheory, she also struggles with getting herself to the gym on a daily basis. Knopf acknowledges that a morning workout works best for her; on days where her bed feels a little too comfy, she asks herself a simple question:
“Am I just being lazy or can I physically not go?” says Knopf. Being mindful of her body and mind when deciding whether to skip her workout or not is the main factor in how she is able to keep up with the gym without experiencing burnout.
She continues that balance into her diet. While she tried to eat nutrient-dense foods, she does not deprive herself of goodies or treats from time to time.
“I love getting a pint of ice cream from Trader Joe’s or getting Chick-fil-A,” says Knopf. For her, staying consistent in her diet doesn’t involve cutting out foods.
For those who might need a place to start in creating a consistent gym routine and nutrition plan, Knopf says to be kind to yourself since changes don’t happen overnight.
“One thing I would say is to not get discouraged,” says Knopf. “Don’t expect to get changes right away, and be patient and stay consistent.”
Making something a routine is challenging and it can be unclear on how to start. The following are ways that you can start your journey to eating healthy, working out or really just any activity you want to consistently integrate into your daily routine:
- Intentionally set aside 20 minutes to an hour a day to devote to your habit and stick to it. Block a time in your calendar to keep yourself accountable.
- Identify a clear goal. Don’t just say you want to “consistently eat better.” Instead, say “I want to incorporate one veggie and one protein into 80% of my meals.”
- Combine your new habit with an old one. Say you always make your bed in the morning but you want to start to do a morning flow. You can try to make your bed and immediately follow it with a 5-minute yoga routine. Your brain will begin to associate those two behaviors together and make them a habit.
- If you skip a day of your habit, pick it up the next day. One day of a “fail” will not deter your success.
- Carry a positive mindset about your activity. Creating a habit of something you want to do is a lot easier than making a habit of something you see as a chore. Remember how you feel when you do this activity ,whether it be journaling or working out, and use that to motivate you.