By: Brie Cadman/DivineCaroline
Ten Ways to Kick-Start Your Workout
It’s been almost nine months since your New Year’s resolution to start exercising and get fit and perhaps things haven’t gone as planned. Maybe you started out strong only to slack off around tax day; maybe you’ve been diligent only to recently burn out, or—gasp!—what if you never even started your exercise regimen at all?
Whatever your situation, we all need new motivators to keep our butts in gear, and not just for a week or two around the turn of the year. Although I’m religious about exercising—usually five to seven times a week, almost without exception—it’s taken me a while to figure out what works and how I can maintain the motivation to keep heading out the door. I constantly have to come up with ways to keep things interesting, fun, and challenging, lest I find myself with cobwebs in my running shoes.
1. Set a goal, and then add numbers and action words.
Imagine trying to follow a Julia Child recipe where, instead of standard measurements, she gave vague estimates, like “two handfuls of flour, followed by a fistful of sugar, then some eggs, a shaking of baking soda …” Chances are, if you made it to the end of the recipe, your soufflé would be nowhere near as successful as hers and a better chance that you would’ve given up halfway through, having not been able to follow the nebulous directions.
This same idea—that specific plans are easier to follow and stick with than unclear ones—should dictate our approach to fitness. Instead of axioms like “exercise more” or “get in shape,” which don’t really give much in the way of direction, we should set specific, tangible goals and how we’ll achieve them, things like, “exercise five days a week for thirty minutes,” or “be able to run a 5K in three months.” Our goals should be realistic so we’re not overwhelmed and once we’ve reached them, we can set new ones.
2. Write it down.