Breaking Bad (Habits) Part 2 | Stop Skipping Workouts
In the first part of my breaking bad habits series, I talked about how I stopped falling victim to my inclination toward stress eating. This is part two where I’ll share another bad habit that I’ve worked hard to overcome. I wouldn’t say that I’ve mastered this bad habit one hundred percent of the time, but I would say that I’ve progressed enough to say that I’ve broken it.
I may exercise on a regular basis now, but that has not always been the case. For a long time, skipping workouts was one of my worst problems. When I was tired, busy, or just not in the mood, I’d give in to that feeling and I’d take the night off. Then I’d do it again the next day if I felt like it. There were some parts of the year – especially around the holidays – when I’d go several days or more without exercising at all. The more workouts I skipped, the more tired I was and the easier it was to skip the next one.
I finally reached a breaking point and decided that enough was enough. Here’s what I did to motivate myself to get back into it. They’re the same methods I use to keep myself from skipping workouts now.
• I exercise at the time of day I like the most
On some days of the week, I find it most helpful to exercise at lunchtime. There are days when it’s best for me to exercise first thing in the morning. On Saturdays, I do a relaxation yoga last thing at night to make it easy to get to sleep. Each night before I go to bed, I write down everything I need to do the next day, and I choose a time when exercise will fit the best. Then, I stick to it.
• I have a regular workout partner
I haven’t found a regular gym buddy yet, but I do have a friend I walk with every weekday. We meet up at the same time and make sure that even if we don’t feel like strength training or yoga, we each do 5 brisk walks per week (weather permitting).
• I set goals
Whenever I reach a fitness goal, I set a new one. I try to make the goals challenging, but achievable within the next four weeks. I use my goal to motivate me to keep going with my efforts because I’m always determined not to let myself down. I also let the goal boost my confidence. When I push myself to get a my workouts done, I feel very proud of myself when I reach a new milestone. I try to change up the goals so it never gets boring. Maybe I tell myself I need to reach a certain performance level by a specific date. Perhaps I want to do a certain number of a kind of workout per week for a certain number of weeks. Recently, I did 30 straight days when I did a yoga workout of some form every day. You can bet I shared that achievement on Facebook! I have to admit, I did take an energy boosting supplement to get be going on some days, but I did the work!
• I give myself choices
I have been building a great workout video library over the last few years. I love DVDs that come with several workout options. That way, if I know it’s cardio day or strength training day or even yoga day, I have a number of choices. If I feel like dancing, I choose a dance-fit workout. If I want to really push myself, I use a more intense strength training workout. If I’m feeling silly, I pull out my old Sweatin’ to the Oldies Vol 2 video (yup, I still do that one sometimes. It used to belong to my mother!).
That’s how I’ve successfully stopped skipping workouts. To find out how I broke my next bad habit, stay tuned for part 3, coming soon!