Habits of Fit People: Mark Your Calendar

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/14/2008 8:36 AM   :  172 comments

I recently saw an article talking about the 10 habits of fit people. Sounds interesting, right? Well, some of them were okay, but it's a lot of the same things you hear all the time. Who needs to hear more about "making lasting lifestyle changes," or to "exercise in the morning"? Well, maybe some of us do. But it got me thinking—what are my habits for keeping fit and staying healthy?

Here's one that works for me: Marking my calendar. So why does something like this matter?



One thing that keeps me consistent is treating exercise like any other obligation on my calendar. It has a set time, day, and activity (like a class, video, or strength training at the gym) and I don't move it or let other things interfere. That means write in ink, not pencil! Some people might want a little more wiggle room, in which case you can set a block of time in your schedule (for example, take the 6:30 Spinning class, but if that doesn't work out, you'll do the 7:15 class, even though it might not be the ideal time for you).

Why it works: For one, people who are successful exercisers make exercise a priority. When you add a workout to your calendar, it becomes as much a part of your day as going to work or paying the bills. And when other things come up—especially things that aren't mandatory—you can pull out your calendar and see that you might have a conflict (your exercise session), so you can turn down or re-schedule other things. Plus when you write something down you're more likely to stick with it—if you're like me, you know how good it feels to cross off an item on your to-do list.

It may seem simple or obvious, but give it a try. If you don't already plan your workouts, making them "equal" to all other appointments or obligations, you might be surprised at how well it works.

Do you put workouts on your calendar or to-do list? Does it work for you? Share your experience in the comments below.


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Comments

  • 172
    Good idea! I'm going to start doing this. - 1/25/2014   7:15:49 PM
  • 171
    If I don't calendar, I don't workout!

    I schedule yoga 3x a week, and I look forward to each appointment - a 'break time for me' in my week! - 1/25/2014   6:12:10 PM
  • 170
    If I don't calendar, I don't workout!

    I schedule yoga 3x a week, and I look forward to each appointment - a 'break time for me' in my week! - 1/25/2014   6:12:06 PM
  • 169
    Excellent suggestion. I will schedule workouts because they are as important as any appointment. Or, should I say, the most important because my life will be affected. Thanks again. - 10/9/2013   6:25:15 PM
  • 168
    I don't calendar workouts I still have to do, but I do track the workouts I have done, on Spark and on my gym's own website. I find it very satisfying and motivating to see all the green highlighted days on the calendar and see the number of calories I burnt each week. It keeps me honest and accountable, to myself. - 8/19/2013   7:52:05 AM
  • ISHWAITA
    167
    Definitely I put it on my calendar. It's a priority and I don't want anything to interfere with it. - 3/30/2013   4:04:35 AM
  • 166
    Yesssss, I do it gives me a great since of accomplishment, see all the days that I put my workout first ,it's a wonderful feeling!!!! :-))
    - 2/19/2013   1:36:39 PM
  • 165
    Great idea, I will being doing this! - 12/3/2012   1:49:29 PM
  • JANI-LOU
    164
    That's a great idea adding your workout to a daily calendar/ schedule. I would be lost without my schedule! I find another tactic that works well for me when I don't "feel" like going to the gym is promising myself I need only exercise for five minutes once I get there. Somehow that is enough to encourage me to at least show up. As for the 'only five minutes,' it has never happened. Once I'm there, and actually start exercising, I feel better and then I do my regular workout.
    Today, I'm really tired, so I think I will go the gym and just do five minutes . . .
    ;-) - 11/15/2012   1:34:53 PM
  • 163
    I scheduled my work out time on my android, but most of the time, I just ignore the reminder. I do still workout in the mornings, just not always at the time I have scheduled it. (I love making to do lists, but am not very good a the follow through). I do however have a fitness calendar that I plotted out the days of my JM workouts for Body Revolution. I did this with the 30 day shred series as well and that was definitely a motivator for me. I could see the projected end date and was great to mark off each day that I exercised according to what was planned. - 6/2/2012   12:06:15 AM
  • 162
    I print out a monthly calender, put a big X on the days I've worked out. Working on hitting a goal of 22 days a month. # more days and I've hit my goal. I also put a fitness time slot in for an hr. Seems to be working. - 1/26/2012   1:30:13 PM
  • 161
    I work over my lunch hour. It's the only time I have that is truly mine and earned to use as I see fit. Some days I make it to the gym, some days I don't. It depends on my mood, really, but I do have time scheduled each day. I get an hour lunch, plus 20 minutes if I don't use my morning or afternoon breaks, and use that time to run or strengthen and take a "ho's bath" and return to my desk. :) - 10/25/2011   10:12:34 AM
  • 160
    I usually write mine on my workout calendar in my room. I then adjust it for what is going on for the week.On average, I may miss one workout a week for the month. By planning ahead I am mentally prepared for my work out. It helps to take the guess work & keeps me accountable to myself. I use a smiley face sticker when I complete it. It akes a while some days to do it , but I feel so much better knowing that I have done it. - 9/5/2011   10:17:02 AM
  • 159
    Although I don't have a set schedule, I like the idea of placing stickers/stars on the days I am able or have worked out. I think that is movitation to look back on in the movement towards better health. - 6/26/2011   7:29:45 AM
  • 158
    Humm I usually dont make a plan for what days I will exercise....I always change my mind. I do however use sticker when I do exercise. I like to collect them and try and challenge myself to get a 1000 fitness minutes each month. Some times I hit the mark and then there are the other times. May try to plan better. - 5/16/2011   10:13:52 AM
  • 157
    Stars and heart stickers I put on calender for days that I work out, then put
    calories burned after I complete for the day. Just like in grade school we were
    rewarded.:-) - 5/15/2011   12:48:48 AM
  • 156
    I also put stickers on my calender for days that I have done my scheduled physical activity. I get cheap ones at a discount store but it sure is motivational to look, at the end of the month, to see a page full of stickers showing that yes I have done right for myself. And on days I want to skip out of laziness - I think about that hole on the page and it can cause me to get out there. Simple and cheap but it works for me better than simply crossing the activity off my calender. - 5/14/2011   9:37:07 AM
  • GRENADAGIRL73
    155
    In December 2010 I was busy and kept finding reasons not to workout for myself. Sometime in January I looked at the amount I was paying for my gym membership and just said "Really?!". I decided 4 cardios a week and 4 resistance workouts. In order to do that I knew I needed to make it a priority. It took a bit of time before I was consistent with my 4 and 4, but by shifting my focus I was able to get 3 and 3, or 4 and 3 which was a huge improvement from 1 or 2 of one or the other.

    The moment I noticed the biggest change was when I put it in my calendar. There have been times when I have had to change the time, but I have been reaching my 4 and 4 every week. - 3/31/2011   11:32:06 AM
  • 154
    I have a big white board calendar that hangs in our laundry room so that everyday in big letters I can see how I am doing. I don't exactly schedule what it is I'm doing. It's mainly for me to make sure I'm doing something 6 days a week. For over a year now my M2 is the one thing has really inspired me to keep moving, just being able to see how I'm progressing through the day has become my best tool. I'm a visual person so it works for me : )
    - 2/23/2011   9:51:02 AM
  • 153
    I am going to put this on my calendar now - Blackberry calendar!!! - DONE!! - 2/16/2011   2:07:50 PM
  • 152
    These tips are wonderful! Many we already know but definitely need the reinforcements and the new ones will be of great use. Thanks for such informative info. - 2/16/2011   9:18:49 AM
  • KLILLY89
    151
    I dont know why I didn't think of this before. I write everythin down on my calender from homework assignments to appointments. Thank you for this tip, I am a hundred precent sure this will help me work out regularly. - 1/31/2011   9:54:30 PM
  • 150
    I started doing this when I first joined Sparkpeople. I put a star on a wall calendar everyday I exercise. I've changed it a bit now for all of my goals, but it is a great motivator. Unfortunately it can be depressing if you're not being active when you see all the holes in your fitness routines. It's a good way to keep yourself accountable.
    - 1/31/2011   6:59:22 PM
  • WELDINGGIRL
    149
    I always mark my workouts on the calender that way I can see how much I have done that week and it makes me smile :) - 5/30/2010   7:54:39 AM
  • 148
    I don't write oit down, but I do have a set time and place for my routine. - 5/2/2010   7:36:35 PM
  • SXYKTTY22
    147
    I cant seem to find a calendar that works for me yet except my brain. I ingrained in my mind my daily workouts in am, noon, and evening. I am on a Walking program for 30 mins 3x daily 5-6 days week. Sometimes I get bored and slack off, then I pay the price for slacking. I feel crummy when I dont do workouts. I am still looking for that RIGHT calendar system. I am not a techie with cellphones or all that hight tech gimmozs. Someday I will be there. - 5/2/2010   10:42:12 AM
  • 146
    I totally make appointments with myself.
    Since I became a mum 5 years ago I an no longer an independent agent, rather a team member. - 4/5/2010   6:32:21 PM
  • 145
    I use Google Calendar - I plot my workout times and then share my calendar with friends and family. Besides keeping my workouts on schedule, this also has 2 nice side effects. #1 - My family and friends know where I'll be during those times and can see when my time is free. #2 - and I hope this is the most important = My friends and family see that I can make fitness a part of my everyday routine. I hope that would inspire them to add it to theirs as well!!

    One of the nicest things about my Google calendar is that it syncs with my Android phone. It is a wonderful thing!! - 4/3/2010   10:57:38 AM
  • 144
    I have made a commitment to exercise at least 30 minutes six days a week. It is working for me. I do not resent it any more and I definitely used to. It is just part of my life, - 4/1/2010   9:22:23 PM
  • HUSBANDANDDAD
    143
    The *only* way I get out to walk is to schedule in in Outlook....{-:
    - 4/1/2010   1:23:09 PM
  • 142
    I put my wed. zumba class on my to do list every week. It is something I actually look for and find my self putting on my to do list because it has become apart of my weekly routine. I do sometimes put on my to do list to exercise at home (family walk or wii). This I usually do for my weekend to do lists. I know that when I am home for the summer (I am a teacher) I will be adding my exercise to my daily to do list. - 3/24/2010   9:49:57 AM
  • 141
    I have started putting on workout clothes when I get up in the morning, down to my walking shoes. Now I will add walking to my calendar, and get my daily reminders from SparkPeople. - 3/12/2010   3:29:52 PM
  • 140
    Writing down items you want to do is important to me else I am apt to forget.. Vio my wife writes her shopping list on a daily bases to remember what to buy on her weekly shopping day. - 3/10/2010   5:17:59 PM
  • EDITHZK
    139
    In my work life I must write everything down or it will get lost in the busyness of the day. In my personal life I have resisted scheduling things despite recognizing it means I am less organized. I will change this...beginning this evening! Being successful in losing weight and becoming more active is very important to me and I had not connected my resistance to scheduling to the struggles I've had in getting there. - 3/9/2010   9:17:12 PM
  • ALYSCO2003
    138
    My iPhone controls my everything. I have my alarms wake me; on certain days, it goes off to tell me what I'm to stop doing and move on to whatever else for blah blah blah number of minutes before another goes off for a cool down. I sat and plotted it all down on paper and when it looked good and like something I could continuously work with, I entered it into my phone. When I start on a plateau, I'll change things around to keep me going. Putting it in as a major part of my life is what makes my life so complete with weight loss! - 3/9/2010   11:02:30 AM
  • N16351D
    137
    Scheduling exercise into my daily calendar has been a part of my life for 37 years. I cannot imagine life without it. I feel more lethargic on days I miss due to being over-tired, illness, injury, travel, or too busy. I love how it makes me feel to exercise! - 3/9/2010   9:56:26 AM
  • 136
    I never really thought of doing this but it sounds like it would really help. It could eliminate missed workouts due to our busy schedules. Today I'm going to mark my calendar accordingly.

    Thanks for the insight.

    Tanya - 3/9/2010   9:44:18 AM
  • 135
    Writing things down that are important is a good way to make sure you accomplish them. - 3/9/2010   9:28:14 AM
  • PAMELALANDIS
    134
    This is so "common sensible", but I just don't do it. Thanks for the tip. I'm going to try it. Have a blessed week. Pam - 3/9/2010   8:56:14 AM
  • 133
    I started doing this about 3 weeks ago, and I have to say it is very effective. My iPhone has a calendar feature which is where I record my work appointments as well. I set an alarm to go off about an hour before I need to be at the gym and another to go off 30 minutes before I leave for the gym. Since I treat it as another business appointment, I am far less likely to make up excuses not to go. So far, it has worked--I haven't missed a scheduled gym time yet. Also, I find myself adding in unscheduled gym workouts as well!
    Karen - 3/9/2010   8:44:29 AM
  • 132
    I just started a project to work my way through all my fitness DVDs in a years time (it's more ambitious then it sounds I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to these). If I didn't write down and plan which workout I'd do each morning and evening I'm not sure I would get any of them done. It's a time juggle, for me anyway. - 3/9/2010   8:37:08 AM
  • 131
    I schedule my workouts in my blackberry. I work at home in the computer for 10 to 12 hours so I sit for long periods of time. I have alarms set 5 times a day to hop on my Elliptical for 12 minutes each time so I get one hour each day of aerobics!!! Works great for me... - 3/9/2010   7:41:27 AM
  • 130
    I have marked my workouts on my calendar for the three years that I've been regularly exercising. It's a big motivation tool for me. Writing it down in my planner almost always guarantees that I'll work out that day. During the summer, when my schedule is more flexible I tend not to schedule my workouts and I get derailed easier. - 10/24/2009   6:31:11 PM
  • 129
    I use sparks calendar to keep track - 10/24/2009   12:50:48 PM
  • 128
    yes - absolutely! i make it an appointment / meeting just like any other meeting during my day. i block out that time for exercise b/c it's sacred. nothing else like a great workout will help me re-energize, refocus, relax, etc. - 8/20/2009   11:44:55 PM
  • SAROONA2
    127
    I do the same too.. and it sure feels good to cross it when i'm done :) - 7/21/2009   6:33:13 AM
  • TECHLADY
    126
    people laugh @ me when i do that...but i'm truly a schedule person...even if i exercise/walk/go to the gym same time everyday...its on the calendar!! I treat it like any other appointment! - 7/19/2009   7:21:20 AM
  • 125
    I don't write down when i have my workout, but i usually have one workout first thing in the morning, and then try to get another one later in the day. My workout comes before anything else i have planned. - 6/19/2009   12:42:02 PM
  • 124
    I have standing appointments to meet people to bikle after work two evenings per week. This accountability is good for me. - 6/15/2009   9:42:32 AM
  • 123
    I schedule water aerobics and gym on my weekly planner every Sunday morning when my husband and I coordinate calendars. - 6/3/2009   8:43:17 AM

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