Now that we’re about a third of the way through the year, it’s time to reevaluate your New Year’s Resolutions. For some people, that might mean digging out your list (if you can even find it), reading it again for the first time since January, and laughing hysterically before crumpling it up and seeing if you can make a basket in the trash can.
However, some of you might actually care about your New Year’s Resolutions, and it’s to those people that I’m now speaking. One of the most common resolutions involves exercising more regularly. If you’re like most people who make this resolution, you probably started off strong, but sometime in February or March you just got busy, got sick, or lost your drive. Whatever the reason, you got off track. But now you want to get back on.
First of all, kudos. Second, some good news: setting an exercise schedule and sticking to it doesn’t have to be hard. Here are four tips to make yourself exercise:
1. Set time aside to exercise
If you want to make exercising a priority, you have to schedule it into your calendar. Figure out how often you want to exercise and for how long. If you’re lost, try one hour every weekday. Dedicate one hour each morning, afternoon, or evening to working out, and put it in your calendar if you have to. Sometimes all you need to make yourself exercise is a written reminder.
2. Do what works for you
Some people prefer jogging in the park; others prefer lifting weights in a gym. Figure out what type of exercise works best for you depending on your body type and what goals you’re trying to accomplish. If you need to join a gym to stay motivated, do it. If you like to mix things up, vary your workouts accordingly.
3. Find ways to make it fun
For a few rare people, exercising is super fun. For the rest of us, though, finding ways to make exercising fun is essential. Maybe that means watching your favorite show while you’re on the treadmill, or maybe it means downloading a podcast or audio-book and listening to it while you jog. If music does it for you, create a high-energy playlist of all your favorite songs. Or maybe you enjoy taking classes more than working out by yourself. If so, join a fitness center that offers good exercise classes. Adding a dash of fun into your routine is a great way to make yourself exercise.
4. Exercise in a group
Exercising in a group is one of the best ways to motivate not only yourself, but your friends. Suffering through a seemingly never-ending plank or helping each other stretch makes everything a lot easier. Sometimes, a little competition between friends (or trying to impress that cute guy or girl in the class) will make you perform better. That being said, some people prefer exercising alone. But hey, to each their own!
5. Keep trying
This is the most important tip. Sooner or later, you’re going to slip up and miss a day or two of exercising. That’s just life. Rather than giving up when this happens, just give a little sigh and start again the next day. If you stick with your goal over time, you’ll conquer it eventually. Just be persistent. Come next New Year’s, you can be that one person who actually succeeded in their New Year’s Resolutions – not the one trying to make a basket in the garbage can.