I find classes at the gym that I want to participate in and put them on my calendar and treat them like an appointment. I do my hardest not to miss them and attempt to work out five to six days a week. I too reward myself when I complete a certain number of workouts or accomplish a new fitness goal (certain weight attained, able to do a situp or a lower squat, etc).
Fitness Minutes: (45,387)
789 1/5/13 11:52 A
I started out with being pretty flexible for the first couple years. As long as I got to the gym 4-5 days a week, I was happy, so that gave me room to have an off day or a night when I was planning to go out immediately after work. It worked really well while I was establishing the habit. I started adding in a longer workout on Sundays when I had a little more free time (at first it was simply an outdoor run, and then I started building myself up to a sprint triathlon in my gym).
About a year ago, I switched over to a heavier running schedule, including a half marathon training clinic. The clinic involved classes and scheduled group runs, and once that was over I just kept that schedule. Now my week looks something like this:
Sunday: Long run Monday: Strength training Tuesday: Medium intensity/distance run Wednesday: High intensity run, Strength training Thursday: medium intensity/distance run Friday: Strength training Saturday: Yoga, medium relaxing run (or long walk with my husband - something fun, relaxing and active)
Most of my weekday runs are around 30-40 minutes (strength is about an hour, but I do that in my living room), so it's not a huge time commitment. That schedule wouldn't have worked for me in the beginning, but it does now. I don't panic if I miss a day or have to modify something, but it's nice to have a bit of a set schedule to go by.
As for sticking to it, I treated it as an unbreakable date with myself. I made a promise that even if it meant only doing ten minutes when I had 40 minutes scheduled, I'd still get something in. Honestly at the start it wasn't as much about burning calories as building a habit. I had a couple nights where I literally just changed into my gym clothes and stood there. I didn't want to work out, so rather than shrugging it off completely I still mentally set aside the time as fitness time, even though I wasn't actually doing anything (and after the first couple times, it seemed pretty silly to just stand around in my gear, so I started moving).
The other thing I did was give myself stickers. Seriously. I went to the dollar store and bought myself a big pile of cheap stickers, and stuck one on the calendar for every workout I did. I made a list of fitness gear I needed (good yoga pants to replace my sweats, proper running shoes, etc), and for every 50 stickers, I was allowed to buy myself a reward. It worked for me because it rewarded actual activity, but it didn't punish me for breaking a streak or not going. Plus, the rewards themselves were positive and helped support the habit. They were things I needed anyway, but if I was going to splurge a little bit on a higher quality item, I had to prove to myself that I had actually earned it first.
Fitness Minutes: (20,043)
865 1/4/13 7:26 P
I've always, always been rubbish with schedules, and I refuse to believe this makes me some kind of failure. :)
Even when I've been at my most "regimented", it was just a rule: 4-5 workouts a week. I just didn't take more than 2 days off in a row. And sometimes I wasn't 100% sure what I was going to do that day until I got to the gym, although it was a great university gym so I had every option (weightlifting, aerobics class, swimming, running, cardio equipment) available to me. When I trained for a triathlon I just tried to hit each of my disciplines 2 times a week, for instance. It was up to me to fit that in depending on what I felt I needed that day.
If I give myself a plan where I say exactly what I'm going to do on each day, within 3 days I'll have modified it. Like Picasso said, "if I knew what I was going to do before I started painting, what would be the point of doing it at all?" :)
Friends of mine who have kids and have less time to choose from in their schedules tend to be a bit more regimented. If a strict schedule is best for you, go for it. I just wanted to pop in and say it's possible to get fit and hit specific goals even if your brain tends to reject rigid schedules. Like TACDGB said, you just make it a date - like if you know you have to go to the post office tomorrow, you find the time. Doesn't mean it has to be at 3:pm sharp.
I call it a date with my treadmill. It's one I don't want to miss. It's about planning a time in your day to workout. It is just like planning for anything. If you have a dr's appointment you plan for that.
Fitness Minutes: (211)
20 1/4/13 4:25 P
How do you guys keep your schedules and how do you make them?
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