How nice would it be to have innate motivation and excitement for every one of your workouts? It can happen. By following a few steps, you can train your brain and your body to want each workout. This kind of habit forming will require lifestyle adjustments, so be open!
1. First of all, toss out the 21-day rule about habits (see more healthy habits of fit women here). That's not enough time for you to find your groove. Instead, double it and give it a solid six weeks. The reasoning behind this is so you stay motivated by visual results. You'll notice the stubborn areas of your body beginning to change, your strength increasing, your endurance climbing and your curiosity about varying fitness trends, growing. This will give you time to explore and find something you really like. After all, if you're going to be looking forward to something, it needs to be an activity that fits you.
2. Go ahead and splurge on a trainer. Not sure how to find one? Click here for some guidelines. Why? It's personal! You get one-on-one attention with workouts created just for you and your goals. Your trainer will introduce you to machines, basic techniques, the how and why of exercises and so much more. It's a great way to lay the foundation of your renewed fitness lifestyle. Education and experience are priceless.
>> Read more: Why a Personal Trainer Is Better Than a BFF
3. Pick and pack for convenience, meaning select a close location or manageable times and get your gear and gym bag in order! The last thing you want holding you back is drive time or a missing pair of socks. Click here to see what to include in your gym bag. As far as location goes, pick something that's going to be close to work if you're timing it with your work schedule or a place closer to the kids so you can quickly pick up or drop off and hit the gym. Even plan a few at-home workouts for yourself or some running routes in your neighborhood.
4. Set short-term goals and pace yourself. During those first six weeks, set goals like making it to class 10 minutes early; trying at least three group fitness classes within the first month; mastering a specific exercise like a pushup or a squat; increasing your weight or rep max; turning up the dial of resistance in your spin class, and more. These goals might be short-term and small, but they are powerful. You don't need to feel discouraged or overwhelmed right now. In fact, those goals can be made up on the spot! Your instructor or trainer might say, "Hey, I want you to go up in reps today" or "It's time to add another 400 meters to that run!" Just go for it. Then, give yourself enough time to cool down, stretch, recover and wisely schedule your next workout.
5. Write it down, lady. Sometimes having a plan laid out in front of you helps you to stick with it. Write down your schedule and your goals. Add little extras — rituals or traditions you wish to include with your habit-forming: waking up with lemon water, going to Sunday morning yoga, listening to your favorite Pandora station, catching the sunrise, rolling out the yoga mat to watch the morning news, and so forth. Eventually, those things will adhere to your workout lifestyle and become second nature.
6. Get your friends in on it, too. Aside from having a workout buddy or someone to run check-ins, have friends and family sign up for 5K walks and runs. Go to healthy living and fitness events like yoga in the park, a wellness fair or make a standing date to rollerblade or bike a trail every other weekend. By making it social, you're increasing the positive vibes. You get to spend time with friends and family, and they might even push you a little!
>> Are you up for it? Tough Mudders for Tough Mothers