It’s that time of year again. The days are shorter, the weather is colder, we start losing our motivation, and we start daydreaming about being on a beach somewhere.
We know the feeling; we all experience it to some degree. But now, it’s more important than ever to try and focus on consistency in the gym. Maintaining our routine is paramount to our overall health and wellness.
Sometimes keeping the habit alive is more important than putting 100% effort into your workouts—You don’t have to move fast, you just have to keep moving.
5 tips to develop consistency
Here are 5 tips to help you stay consistent in the gym during the winter and overcome that voice in your head that tells you “hit snooze on your alarm, you don’t need to go to the gym today” or “it’s so dark after work, do you really want to exercise this late at night” (in reality, it’s 6:00 p.m.).
1. Have someone hold you accountable— a friend, a partner; you don’t have to do it alone. Training partners are a sure-fire way to guilt you into doing a workout you try to back out of.
Get rid of expectations
2. Don’t overthink it; the hardest part is getting yourself there, even if you are not in the mood to give the workout 100%. Trick your brain and say, “I’m just going to sweat; I’m not going to go fast; I’m going to use lighter weights than I usually do.” Honestly, by the time you’re done warming up, you will most likely already feel better and have put more effort in than you were originally planning on.
Habits makes it easier
3. I promise you, it gets easier! – The more often you go to the gym (especially on days when you don’t feel like it), the stronger the positive association you form with your brain.That amazing feeling you get after a workout, that dopamine rush when you achieve a new skill, or lift a heavier weight—all of those are attainable the more consistent you are, the more progress you see, and the more people you meet. Eventually, it becomes automatic, and you no longer have to convince yourself.
Make it easy for yourself
4. Be Prepared: Set your gym clothes out the night before, have your smoothie ready to go, sign in to classes in advance, and put your gym bag by the door. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to talk yourself out of it the following day. Set yourself up for success.
Find some inspiration
5. Find inspiration by listening to, reading, or watching something motivational – We don’t always feel like hitting the gym. Listen to an inspiring podcast if you need a little boost of energy (ex: Mindset mentor – 20min episodes) Watch YouTube videos of people that inspire you; perhaps this is what gave you the initial push to start in the first place! This blog post was actually inspired by the book “Atomic Habits.” (Great read)
Vote For Yourself
The best analogy I’ve heard is that every time you choose to pursue a habit that makes you better (in this case, going to the gym), the more votes you cast toward becoming that person—one that enjoys the gym, is an athlete, and loves to exercise. But this works both ways; every time you perform a bad habit—snoozing your alarm, eating junk food when you want to eat healthy, letting that deadline slide because you spent too much time watching Netflix—those are votes for the person you don’t want to be. The good news is that you don’t need to be perfect! In any election, there will be votes for both sides. The person you want to become just has to win the majority vote!