If you’re anything like me, and probably most people, you find being comfortable easy. We stay in places where are aren’t happy, where we aren’t fulfilled and where we aren’t challenging ourselves. Why? Because we’re comfortable and comfortable is easy.
Comfortable is also dangerous. It allows us to stay within the status-quo, where routines become mundane and life becomes vanilla. There isn’t anything wrong with vanilla or routines. In fact, vanilla is my favorite ice cream and I live by routines. Not all routine is bad and makes us unhappy. In fact, routine is a wonderful thing, for children and adults alike. However, it is important to change up routines and to add variety to our lives in order to grow.
One of hardest routines to establish is an exercise routine. Who wants to work out when you’re done with work and it’s already dark outside? Not to mention the cold. Not me. Sweatpants and my couch it is. Even harder? The summer. I will gladly pass up any work out for a happy hour or baseball game outside in the beautiful weather.
So, as tempting as it is to end here and say, cheers to happy hour and sweatpants, I will the determination to push forward … right after this glass of wine. Kidding! Maybe.
The most important thing to do when establishing a work out routine is to find something you like to do. There are countless ways to get your sweat on, some more sweaty than others, so you’ve got to find what works for you. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, it will make it that much easier to say screw and, pull on the sweats and pour the wine. Which only feels better after you’ve gotten in a sweat-sesh.
So, you’ve found something you actually enjoy doing .. okay, maybe don’t enjoy, but that is less torturous than the others. Now what?
- Plan ahead! Take the time at the beginning of the week to decide when you’re going to work out. That way, if you know you’ve already got evening plans, you can get in an early work out (yay 6 am’s!). This helps hold you accountable.
- Pack it up. Bring your work out clothes with you to work. If you go home after work, the chance of making it back out of the house to work out are slim to none. Extra tip: bring your clothes into work you when it’s super cold out. Pulling on an ice cold sports bra feels even more lovely than it sounds.
- Make friends. I get it. Exercising lets us shut off from the outside world and have a part of the day to ourselves. I’m not suggesting to learn someone’s life story, but say hi and smile to other people who are there. Trust me, they would rather be home in sweatpants too. You never know what friendships can grow from the people you meet where you work out.
- Again. Again. Again. Simply going once or twice won’t lock you into a routine, but it will get you started in the right direction. “They” say, it takes 21 days to form a new habit and 21 seconds to break it (okay, I made up that last part, but it feels right). Stick with it. Even the days when it’s the last thing you want to do, give yourself and your body that time to get active.
- The jams. If you’re not taking a work out class where the music is picked for you (or yoga where you’re enjoying the silence), find music that motivates you! Whether you like Justin Timberlake, Jay Z or Luke Bryan (all 3, please!), Spotify has countless playlists to help keep you moving. Or you can create your own!
- Smile and breathe. Look, I get that exercising can seem like a form of torture, but try to enjoy it. Not only are you giving yourself a mental break but you’re taking care of your body. You’ve only got one of those, so treat it kindly. One of my favorite ways to end a work out is stretching while a slow song plays. Pick your go to, stretch your body, relax your mind and breathe. You did it!