It’s not enough to have a worthy goal such as “losing 5lbs”. That’s just a fact. You need something emotional – something to make you happy about doing exercise.
This is where the science starts. The best way to do exercise is to make it habitual – to the point where you don’t think about it. But, according to researchers creating new habits takes over two months: you still need the motivation to step up and do your routine each day.
You need to build a stick and a carrot into your fitness. The stick can be annoying reminders, a friendship dare or cold, hard cash. Take a look at the apps below for inspiration.
Way of Life
Now for the carrot. Firstly, put emotions around your goal. For example, would that 5lbs result in your dropping a dress size? Running to catch the bus without being out of breath? Cartwheeling across the beach?
Really picture it. In fact, make a picture of it and stick it to your fridge as a visual reminder and reward.
Next, you need to work out what will prevent you from reaching your goal. For example, there’s no point in pledging to get up early and do a fitness video if you are a night owl or it’s likely to disturb the kids. You would be better off arranging to run around the park at midday or a mothers meet up at a child-friendly gym. You also need to plan for interruptions: it’s almost mandatory that your baby will need to be fed or changed, just when you are ready to exercise.
Finally, celebrate when you do work out. This can be as simple as a post-run smoothie or a luxury shower gel to use after your swim. Do it every time you exercise to link the activity to the reward in your subconscious. In the end, you won’t be focusing on how much your muscles hurt. You will be thinking about your reward.