By F√© Fit contributor, Jessica Kutz
Let‚Äôs face the cold hard truth, commitment is hard. In relationships, careers, healthy eating, and purging bad habits, the ability to not only have the idea of committing to something but then following through with that commitment is really difficult for most people. I can‚Äôt tell you the countless people I know myself included who have tried a 21 day cleanse, or decided to give up sweets only to discover that the office that once seemed so inviting with its weekly cookies, and pastries brought in by coworkers now feels like a constant trap ready to catch you in a moment of weakness.
And out of all the commitments we make, working out can be one of the most difficult! Just think to all of those January days in the gym when the new years resolutioners are out and ready to get in shape. What happens in February or March? The gym goes back to normal capacity, and that first gusto of ‚ÄúI can do this‚Äù is out the door. So how can we begin to commit to be fit?
1. ¬†First things first, write down your fitness goal and make it attainable.
Studies have shown that by writing down your goals you are more likely to take them seriously. The second part of that statement was make them attainable. If you are working out for a desired waistline and not simply because it‚Äôs good for you, you might get discouraged if you are naturally not a size 4 and trying to be a size 0. Everyone is born with a different metabolism and body type and if you pin your fitness goal on something not suited for you, you will most likely get discouraged when you don‚Äôt see the results you want and give up all together.
2. ¬†Get the whole family involved.
Getting in shape comprises of two things: exercise and healthy eating- habits that are good for all your loved ones to pick up. Try and plan one activity a week that doesn‚Äôt feel like exercise but gets everyone moving. Think a family bike ride, a weekly hour-long walk, a snowshoeing trip, an outing to the rec center. This will break up the days between your more regimented training schedule and make it easier to stick to your fitness goals.
3. ¬†Find a consistent chunk of time in your schedule to work out.
A time where you won‚Äôt often be pulled to other commitments. This is important and can also be one of the more difficult to do. How often have you heard yourself say you just don‚Äôt have enough time to stay in shape? Well as busy as you are, there is always time for your health. So find it. If you make it a habitual part of your routine it will be easier to look at working out as just another part of your day.
4. ¬†Utilize a variety of workouts and be flexible.
If you get too burnt out on one form of exercise you might lose the fight to keep going. So switch it up from time to time. If you are having a particularly bad day, and feeling not up to it, don‚Äôt stop your schedule- but here is where you can add some flexibility in the training you are doing. Maybe you had planned a long run, or were going to a class, change it up, and go for a swim or a brisk long walk instead. As long as you fill that low energy day with some form of exercise it is always better than calling it a day. Once you‚Äôve hit that first bump in motivation it can be hard to get back on track.
5. ¬†Train for an event.
Even better, find a friend who will do it with you. Sometimes it is hard to commit to an abstract goal, like to get in shape, or eat healthy, but when you have an actual event with an end date, and an expectation to finish or hit a certain time it is a huge motivation to get out there and get moving. Sign up for an event, tell all your friends about it, and you will feel more accountable than any private goals you‚Äôve set with yourself. Have a friend sign up, and you will feel especially responsible to not let your friend down, or worse, let yourself down.
6. ¬†Find your motivation.
Beyond the desire to be thinner, or fit into your favorite dress from two years ago dig deep to find what will keep you going through the rough days. Maybe you want to be able to keep up with your kids, or you want to be a positive role model for them and be an example of a healthy lifestyle. Whatever your intention is be sure to think back on the hard days and use it as a tool to stay on track.