Ever dreamed of being the kind of person that works out regularly but believe you’re not disciplined enough to do it? Do you wish you had an exercise routine you stuck to - one that made you feel vibrant, alive, and thriving?
Oh, do I hear you.
Here’s the truth: your lack of workouts isn’t because you’re not disciplined or hard working.
(You wouldn’t have built the incredible life you’ve built without the drive and work ethic that lives within you!)
You haven’t stuck to a workout routine because you haven’t created one that’s realistic and built into your existing life.
Oof, real talk.
The good news is that getting out of the stuck-ness and building momentum takes some simple intention and prioritizing. Let’s dive in.
STEP 1: DIG INTO YOUR GOALS
Starting a workout routine doesn’t happen by walking out the door and running five miles at the snap of your fingers.
It takes purpose, and purpose takes clarity. Start by asking yourself why.
Why work out? Why prioritize this right now? What’s in it for me?
My client Kelly wants to work out because she’s been endlessly stressed at work and wants a mental and physical release.
Ashley is driven by her desire to get out of her unhealthy eating rut, once and for all.
Andrea wants to lose weight and knows an exercise routine will help with that.
What’s your why?
This simple exercise can give you huge clarity and provide you with the motivation you need to get going.
Once you know your reason to start a workout routine, ask yourself how connected you are to it.
How much do you care about it? Is it a “that’d be nice, but I don’t really care about doing it right now,” or an absolute MUST in your life?
Once it’s a must - or pretty darn close - you’ll be much more likely to stick to your plan.
STEP 2: CREATE YOUR PLAN
Now that you’re clear on your why, it’s time to build a plan.
I’ve helped hundreds of women build and start a workout routine that works for them. My biggest piece of advice?
Choose a number of days per week and amount of time per workout that you’ll actually stick to, even if it feels small at first. The point is to build momentum, not start out with a crazy schedule you’ll want to ditch after day 4.
If you’re just starting out, I’d go for two days a week, 30 minutes each time. It’ll be easier to add on from there versus starting with six days of workouts a week.
Then, think about your weekly schedule. When you do a workout, you’re going to be taking a 30-45 minute chunk of time out of your day at least a couple days a week.
In order to be successful, plan your workouts at a time that you’re most likely to follow through.
This starts with thinking through your daily routine.
If your mornings are hair-on-fire, get out the door as fast as possible, then aim for afternoon or evening workouts. If you work 10-hour shifts three days a week but have the other days off, pick a time during your off days.
The important thing is that you’re specific about when you’ll work out.
STEP 3: PRIORITIZE IT.
Let’s say that in step 2, you committed to two walk-jogs a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Your plan is to do 30 minutes where you alternate between 1 minute of jogging and 4 minutes of walking.
Now let’s get them on your calendar.
Here’s how I think about workouts: they’re as non-negotiable as a client meeting.
If you had an important meeting, chances are you’d book it in your calendar. Do the same with your workout! If you had a work event, who would you tell about it? Probably your spouse, maybe a friend or coworker. Treat your workout just the same. Spread the word so you’ve set expectations for everyone who might be interested or impacted by it.
If you need childcare while you’re doing your workout, schedule that ahead of time, too.
See how you’re prioritizing your workout and building social accountability so you make sure you do it? This is looking good already!
This small but critical step is where most people get tripped up, so don’t skip it.
STEP 4: EXPECT MESSINESS
Now it’s time to set your plan into motion.
I’m a perfectionist. I want things to go exactly according to plan and be as seamless as I’ve envisioned them in my head. If you’ve got even one perfectionistic bone in your body, I know you’re nodding your head right now.
Perfectionism can serve us well in some areas but it’ll tear us down when it comes to starting a new habit.
When you start a workout routine, recognize this: it won’t be perfect.
This doesn’t mean you should throw your hands in the air and give up.
When you do your first workout, it’s going to be out of your normal schedule and routine. At a time when you usually cook dinner, hang out on the couch, or sleep in, you’ll be out doing your workout. It’ll feel weird at first.
As you’re doing it, you might feel stressed about getting behind with work, tired because you woke up early, or guilty for not hanging out with your kids.
The beginning will look messy. That’s normal.
Be a warrior. Keep moving forward.
STEP 5: HAVE A BACKUP PLAN
We all know that in life, plans change.
Things will come up, even if you followed Step 3 and made your workouts as non-negotiable as client meetings.
If you’re truly prioritizing them, changing your workout time shouldn’t happen more than once in a blue moon, but when it does, you’ll need a contingency plan.
This could be as simple as pushing it to later in the day (set a specific time) or the following day. It could mean your spouse makes dinner so you can get your workout in.
Create your backup plan ahead of time and communicate it to your family members or friends – anyone who might be impacted by it.
YOUR DAY 1
When you start a workout routine, it won’t happen by chance, especially if you want it to last. It happens with deliberate thought and planning that fits into your life.
The more you do your planned workouts, the more non-negotiable they become and the closer you’ll be to your goals.
A great tool that'll give you direction and clarity? My free at-home workout. Download it here.
Or you could gain serious accountability by joining a group of women on the same path as you, like the teams of women in my Circuit Training Classes.
Any way you do it, give yourself a bite sized starting point: aim to do two weekly workouts for one full week. Once you’ve done that, celebrate the momentum you’re building! Assess what needs to change before the next week of workouts.
Today can be your Day 1. Go get it!