Habits of Fit People: Mark Your Calendar

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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.

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


I write the schedule of classes at the gym on my calendar. Then if I am going to miss one, I have to be reminded of the fact! Report
I put my swim workouts and walking sessions on my to do list. Report
I have a set time to do my exercises every morning. If I deviate it doesn't get done so I stay pretty true-- even on vacation. Report
I never put my workouts on a calendar. I just go every day except Sunday, when my gym is closed. I am lucky that the gym is on my way to work. Report
It keeps me honest and consistant! Report
I am Bipolar and see a psychologist about every 3 weeks for counseling. She is very wise, and we both see how that this disease is MUCH more controlled when I exercise on a regular basis. She says that the gym is one of my "non-negotiables." Just work it into your day as if it's an appointment. Hey--it works.
Me? I am a list and a 'daytimer' kind of girl. It seems I HAVE to enter ALL my appointments on a paper calendar; sits on my desk at work all day, staring at me, I take it home with me, and sometimes put it in my purse.

I have to stay organized and when I document my work outs on there I feel a sense of accomplishment when I look back at how busy my weeks was and that I fit the time in for me to get fit.

Works for me to schedule fitness into my day. I update my outlook calendar at work each week with these self-made commitments so that I do not get booked for meetings when I have planned to work out. Report
I started putting my daily workouts in my calendar about 3 weeks ago. I look at my week on Sun. and figure out which workouts to do where. I also schedule them either before or after work depending on what other things are going on. It has helped tremendously! Report
I also mark all my calendars. I put it on the fridge calendar, the calendar in my office, in my outlook with a reminder, and in my daily agenda. This way, I have all day to pump myself for heading to the gym. I also try to schedule my gym time in between two things. For example, I get off work at 4 and my night class doesn't start until 7:30pm. That gives me plenty of time with nothing to do, so the gym fits in perfectly and I even have time to shower! I also do my gym time in my favorite color so it catches my eye every time I look at any calendar in the house or office. I also listen to high-energy music about an hour before I go to the gym. I play songs that make me want to get up and dance, or move, or sing out loud! That way, I have all this pent up energy to use when I get to the gym! Report
I think the use of a calendar is an excellent tool! I keep a calendar in my bathroom and I write my weight down each day I weigh myself and color in the days I exercise...it's really nice to see a colorful calendar! Report
When I started working with the spark people site in May of 2007, I used the make an appointment tool to list the exercise I would do the next day. It grew into stating the time of day and what I would be doing whether it was a class at the Y or activity. It is a habit now and I make my other appointments work around my exercise schedule not the other way around. I have a freind who is a doctor that I spin with occasionally or swim with and he says ":ThIS IS YOUR JOB" LOL yes it is, the job of living a healthy life.
pj Report
After reading this artcle I went to www.timeanddate.com and printed some blank monthly calendars and started scheduling my fitness.
Something so simple can make such a big difference. Report
I have a buddy of mine that does something similar -they just put a big red check on their calendar when they've gone to the gym.. (I stole the idea and use a butterfly stamp and colored stamp pad) if the butterflies aren't flying for a couple of days -i know I need to do something...

I have thought about using my calendar but i really dont use it much for anything else. i just seem to carry it and check it once a week. I guess i should start using it more for everything Report
When someone sees my day planner with the gym days marked off, they ask me, "You really need to be reminded to go to the gym." They think it's silly to write it down...you should just go. Well, yeah, duh...but with busy kids' schedules and work schedules, I have to write it in my calendar so I remember that those days are my gym days and not to plan anything at that time. Report
I put my work on my calendar and my endless to do list...when I take a break I hit the stepper or go to the market (hence getting my walk in). When I didn't work full time I had way more time to schedule workouts. But I adore my job and I prefer to put time into it. You need to find a balance...for me, it's family and work first, work out later. Even like that I lost almost 40 lbs. not too bad! Report
Nothing like seeing it in writing...so simple..yet so often not done. Great reminder to put it in writing to remind ourselves to get off our tushies and work it. Report
the day i started putting my workouts on my calendar was the day i realized how to be dedicated to this kind of lifestyle. simply writing it all down made all the difference for me. Report
Thank you for this simple great tip. How obvious and why didn't I think of it before? I write down what I eat. I don't have time to do the checklist on spark however as it takes too long. I need that time to get my work done and fit in fitness. Also sitting at the computer is static time and I do that enough. Thanks again for this tip. Report
I tend to build my calendar around my early morning workouts. However, there it never fails that at least once a week, I have to be across town too early to squeeze in gym-time before a meeting or presentation. Even if I plan to go after work, i never seem to get there! Report
I save a tree & burn more electricity!LOL I've gotten where I rely on the Sparks Appt. Planner to notify me on my cell to do my planned activity! Report
I've never scheduled work outs before. Maybe that's the secret ingredient that I've
been missing to solidify my success. All your logic makes sense so I'm going to
implement this tool and watch the results. Thanks for the advice and encouragement Report
ZUMBA (latin aerobics) is a lot of fun, and something I want to do, because of it. Report
I "live" by my office calendar so every weekend, I would look through next week's meetings/appt/workload and then schedule in my weekly work program during the free times. That way I won't be caught unprepared during exercise times and I can tell my bosses/colleagues what is the absolute latest time that I can stay back at work.
I don't mark my workout on a calendar because I always do it first thing in the morning. It's a daily thing to me, like brushing my teeth. No reminders needed. Report
I don't mark my walking on a calendar but since I live alone I keep my water bottle and MP3 player on the dining room table so I see it all the time and remember that I need to walk. I also use the gold star on the calendar hanging on my frig. Report
Now that I really put exercise at the top of my list, it had earned a spot on my calendar. Even when I do end up rescheduling due to a second job conflict, I immediately block out another time either later that day or the next day. Report
yes l to live off my calender but l have two journal calendars one that marks my weight and one for my exercise it works for me which l track everyday then l have a calendar for other events and appts thanks for listening norma Report
So I have marked my calendar for years with my workouts and still have difficulty following it. Now know that I LIVE off my calendar - one for work, one for personal (because my schedule gets so weird I post my personal one online that has my hours working on it for my family, but not all my work deadlines, etc.). I haven't really figured out why just because I put exercise in my calendar I don't follow it. When I had a personal trainer, I went consistently - on the days I had the trainer, however, I NEVER went in between. I haven't been to the gym in 2 months now (since my trainer left the club) and I notice a difference. I know I know...stop complaining and just do it, right???? ;-) Report
I do this and I find it helps soo much. Now that I'm actually sticking to the fact that my workout is just as important as the 9:30am meeting with my boss, it makes a world of difference. My after work social time gets scheduled around that class at the gym I love to take because if I actually love doing something thats good for me (It's not often you get to say something like that)...I'd be crazy not to do it!! Report
I absolutely live off of my calendar. If it's not written down then I'll just put something else ahead of it...and honestly, it's kind of fun to see all the days you succeeded! Report
What works for me is writing down my workouts AFTER I do them, on my own special calendar, and then I can miss a day, or sometimes two, if I'm recovering from a really intense workout, but why it works for me is I can SEE when I'm being consistent, and if I miss two days in a row, I don't let a third day go by without exercise. It's for health and life, after all! Report
If I didn't put it on my daily schedule....Ummm...who knows what would happen. Report
Exercise has become part of my daily routine using this method. I scheduled my days since I wasn't doing it daily in the beginning..it's now a habit. Report
I have never written down exercise appointments. During the school year, I pack my gym bag in the morning (or the night before) and don't come home after work until I've gone to the gym. During the summer and weekends, I actually WANT to exercise! It helps that my boyfriend encourages me and goes with me... Report
My work is very, very physical, and I use that as part of my exercise. I don't take the elevator--I run up and down the stairs. I am up and down ladders. I lift and stretch, all at work. And I walk fast!!

At night, I lie down to watch a little television on the Discovery Health channel or Animal Planet, and immediately put on my ankle weights. I have my weights, my 8 pound ball, and my resistance band right there, so it is convenient. It has become a habit to do that. Last night I knew I needed a break from the weights, so I had to ask my daughter to remind me NOT to exercise!

I find ways to incorporate fitness into my days. I walk fast, I park the furthest away from the destination that I can. I tense my butt and back thigh muscles on the last part of my step when I walk. I wear a pedometer, and rarely have under 1500 steps. I work in the garden (digging and weeding preferred!). There is so much we can do to make movement and exercise a part of our day.

Go for it! It's fun, and it really works! Report
If it is written, it will nag me until it gets done! Report
Works for me!! Report
I find that if I write it down and plan it out ,or schedule it into my day, I won't miss it.
Going during my lunch break works well for me as I can get in some much needed stress relief from work and get in a good workout! Report
I try t log what i eat and my workouts side by side in the same log book. Don't use a alendar. I find a Log journey works best for me. Just the right size that fits in my pocketbook so I have it with me where ever I go.

Magnolia:-) Report
I am so glad that I read your article! I don't mark my exercise routines on my calendar - instead I came up with my own daily log sheet that I have tacked up to the wall in the room that I do all my exercising (except walking) in. Right now I am up to 4 pages - each page has 6 different exercises on them. I write down the date and the number of each exercise that I do every day (and no - I don't do all of them on the same day). By doing this, not only can I keep track of my different team goals, I can keep track of my personal goals as well. Since I started doing this, I have noticed an improved increase in the amount of reps I can do on quite a few of them. Not only does this keep me motivated - it gives me the encouragement that I need to keep pushing for higher goals. Another thing that I do is try to find different web-sites that offer free exercises (printable preferably) so that I can keep changing my routines on a regular basis (usually every 3 weeks). At the rate that I'm going, I'm going to just wind up putting them in a binder by categories (core,upper body, etc.) with a daily tracker in the front of the binder. Thanks SparkPeople for finally giving me the inspiration and motivation that I needed to become a better me! Report
i actually just started putting workouts in my calendar. it's great in so many ways. it creates a firm commitment to go to the gym, and you can mentally prepare for your day WITH your workout included. plus, the little reminder that pops up doesn't hurt. Report
I love a good monthly calendar for the fridge. I put a big X on days I exercise, and everyday I write on it the total amount of calories I ate. It's so helpful. Report
I don't write mine on the calendar, but guilt works pretty well for me. I am captain of a team on here that does group challenges, and if I don't get any part of it done, then I feel as if I have let them down. I am trying to lead by example...what kind of leader would I be if I was all talk and no action... Report
I really like SLGUSTIN72's idea of a gold star for my exercise accomplishments. When I write down a daily plan and don't keep it for whatever reason then I feel I've faied some how, So, to become more motivated I will reward myself with the gold star. And since I like getting rewards and seeing them perhaps I will be more motivated to get more! Thanks for the idea! Report
I do my workout after work every day. I don't actually put it on my calendar, but if someone asks what time I get home from work I tell them the time after my workout. In my mind, my workday starts at 7 am and ends after I workout at night. It's just a part of my day. Report
I have my workouts on my calander for 2 reasons. 1. It blocks off that time so people know that I'm not available and can't schedule meetings. 2. It makes my meeting reminder go off and reminds me that I'm supposed to go to the gym. I put absolutely everything, even my DH's crazy work schedule in my phone (calendar) so that I can plan everything. I'm a planner! Report
I don't put them down ahead of time, but I bought some stars, like back in school and put them on my calendar everytime I work out. I like seeing them on my calendar. It keeps me motivated to do it the next day. Report
I don't neccessarily schedule my work outs, I try to make them for after work(i work nites) and when I get up in the evenings for work...But what I do is i write on the calendar in my room what I have done-say I went to the hs track and walked 2miles i put that and how long 40 min and if I ride my stationary bike I put bike and how long i rode it for and along time ago from one of the many diet books I read it said to put a sticker on your calendar every time you exercise-so I try to do that as well, then I can glance and see how many days I have exercised and how many I might have missed. I guess its also like a reward system, if you are good you get a star..I use what ever stickers I have, some are stars, some smiley faces etc. I want to schedule my work outs but...don't know if that would work for me...I will have to try it, but I do like tracking what I have done on my calendar, that I am gonna stick with. Report
I don't really write down my workouts but i constantly look at the gym class schedule and figure out what will work best for me that day. I do the same two classes every day of the week but what i plan is the cardio and strength training around those. I like the idea of flexibility because like today i went to the gym an hour early to get in my cardio early because i had to buy groceries afterwards and be home in time to make lunch. I guess it just depends on the person. And as for the habits of fit people, although we always hear things like making life changes, it's amazing how many people still don't take the advice and go for the "quick fix" fad diets. So i don't really get annoyed with it, because that's just one more thing i can add to the list of healthy habits i possess. Report