One of the most common questions that I get asked by my clients is “How do you find the time to consistently work out?” Since this question seems to come up often, I figured I would write a blog on the tips that I have found to be key in helping me stay on track with my workouts.
Tip 1: Make a commitment to yourself…and keep it! We make and keep commitments to others every day, but why don’t we treat the commitments we make to ourselves the with the same priority? Are there times where I don’t feel like following through on a given commitment that I made to someone or where it has become inconvenient for me because X, Y or Z came up? Yep… much of the time, but I still try and keep my commitment because someone is counting on me to. Why don’t we give ourselves the same respect? I view it as a practice in self-respect to try and keep my commitment to myself and one of those commitments is to work out X number of days a week. Are there times I don’t feel like it, or times it has become inconvenient for various reasons? Yep…but someone (ME!) is counting on me, so I try and keep my commitment.
Tip 2: Set yourself up for success! This tip has a few elements. This first is to have a plan. I think the saying goes “Not having a plan is planning for failure” or something along that line. While this is very true, I like to take it a bit further and say, “Not having a REALISTIC plan is planning for failure.” Let’s say my plan is to work out 5 days this week. I could try and go hard and plan to wake up at 5 am every morning and work out before I have to go to work. This might work great for some people, it used to work great for me before I became a mother, but now my mornings (and nights!) look very different than they did before. My current reality is that I often stay up a bit too late finishing work after the kiddos go to sleep and on top of that, the baby still wakes me up at least a couple times during the night. That being said, if I am honest with myself, I know that after a week or two of early morning workouts, I would start to burn out due to utter fatigue. Not accepting this reality would set me up for failure, so I plan to work out at later time many of my days.
The next element of setting yourself up for success is to make it as easy as possible to keep your commitment. For example, setting out your workout clothes and shoes or packing them in your gym bag the night before so they are ready to go. This small effort makes it that much easier to follow through.
Tip 3: Plan for the worst! As a mom, this one is big. Let’s say I had my plan to work out during my daughter’s nap time. While sometimes this goes smoothly and she sleeps straight though, other times she doesn’t. I used to get frustrated and felt defeated if I had to end my workout early if she woke up, but now I do my best to plan for it! I usually prepare snacks for her and have them ready. I also have her favorite toys ready to go. If she wakes up, I can just bring her into the area where I am working out and she has snacks and toys there to keep her busy while I finish my work out!
Tip 4: Be flexibly inflexible! This sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? But the truth is that life as a mom of two little ones who also works outside of the home AND runs a business can get a little crazy and being flexible has become a necessity in almost every aspect of my life. There are so many moving parts that have to come together in a day for it all to work and some of those moving parts cannot be controlled. Sometimes when something that I cannot control comes up, my plan has to change but I do my best to still keep my commitment to get a workout in. For example, I may have planned to do a resistance work out in the morning, but my 1-year-old happened to wake up earlier than usual and was just not having it despite my being prepared. I then might have to alter my plan and rather than lifting weights that morning, I might put her in the running stroller and go run sprints with her in tow. I would then just modify my weekly plan to make sure I get the resistance training in on another day. I had to be flexible on what workout I did that day, but I was inflexible on compromising my goal to work out that day.
What are your favorite hacks for staying consistent? I would love to hear them!
Forever Yours in Health,