How To Stick With A Workout Routine And Never Quit

 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  ~Aristotle

 

Learning how to stick with a workout routine is as easy as applying the above quote to your life. The amount of wisdom in such a short phrase is amazing, and can be applied to any aspect of your life. Whether you are trying to stick with a workout routine or ridding yourself of unhealthy patterns that have been creeping up on you for years, making something a habit is necessary in order for success.

Make It Part Of Your Daily Routine


DecideAccording to a recent study done by University College London it takes 66 days to form a new habit; a habit being anything that you do automatically when you are presented with a specific situation.

For example, have you ever woke up in the morning and gotten ready without even realizing what you were doing until you were out the door?  Since you have taken a shower, eaten breakfast, and put clothes on for so long your mind goes on auto-pilot and any attempt to deviate from this normal way of doing things (like waking up late because you accidentally set your alarm for PM instead of AM) will throw you into a panic.

Being able to stick with a new workout routine or diet or any other behavior that you are trying to change is completely dependent on whether or not you allow your mind enough time to form a new habit for that behavior.  After 66 days of consistently sticking with it, slowly it becomes easier and easier each day for you to keep going.

The reason most people end up getting stuck in a constant loop of working out and quitting is because they quit long before they are able to make working out a part of their daily lives.

Completely changing something in your life that you have done for years is not going to be easy and the results are not going to come right away.  You have to stick with it even when you are at your lowest point because if you want to live a happier and healthier life, you have no other choice but to keep trying.

If you really want to be able to stick with it for the long term and start seeing real results you have to get to a point where quitting isn’t an option anymore.

Enjoy What You’re Doing


EnjoyUnfortunately for most of us getting to the point where quitting isn’t an option is the hard part because working out is not fun. In order to really stick with something you have to enjoy doing it.  A lot of people force themselves to workout a certain way or follow a certain diet that they hate because it’s what everyone else is doing, and everyone else seems to be happy.

If you don’t enjoy the time you spend working out then there is no way you will ever stick with that workout long enough for your mind to make it a habit.

Even if you were somehow able to force yourself to workout a certain way and successfully make it part of your daily life, would you really want to workout that way for the rest of your life?

The reason I enjoy yoga so much is because there isn’t an end goal and it’s not a competition. I don’t continue to practice each week because I have to; I do it because I love the way it makes by body and mind feel. No other workout has ever left me both physically exhausted and mentally clear at the same time the way that yoga does.

Keep Your Trend Moving Upwards


How To Stick With A Workout Routine

How to stick with a workout routine.

Finally, in order to find and be able to stick with a workout routine for the rest of your life you have to give yourself a break. No one is perfect all of the time and everyone has days where they just want to crawl in bed and shut out the rest of the world. And you know what? That is perfectly okay!

I like to look at it like the stock market. A successful company listed on the stock market will have a graph that has a line that is moving upwards from left to right.

But what happens when you take a closer look at a specific time period on that line?  There are tons of changes going on!

During one period there might be a steady upwards trend and then suddenly a huge drop. If you were to judge the entire company on that one sudden drop then you wouldn’t be a very good stock trader.

You see, that successful company isn’t going anywhere (unless there’s some shady stuff going on behind the scenes that would cause a sudden meltdown) so they have no choice but to keep doing business as usual. After a few days that sudden drop has reversed and now, as you can see when you zoom out to look at the entire graph, the trend continues upwards.

It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, it only matters that you get back up and keep your trend moving upwards.

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How do you motivate yourself to stick with your workouts?

Stick With It!

-Nate

comments

10 Comments

  1. Mara

    HI Nathan,
    You have already motivated me just with the opening paragraph. It’s that time of the day when my concentration is starting to wane, but this has inspired me just to keep going – it’s not long now until the end of the day! I really like that you have highlighted that we need to enjoy doing something in order to get past the 66-day hurdle of making it a habit. I’ve never tried yoga. Is is very hard to take up in middle age?
    Mara

    Reply
    1. Nate (Post author)

      Hi Mara,

      I’m really glad that I was able to help motivate you to finish your day strong!

      Yoga can be done by anyone at any age! There was a lady in my DDP Yoga class who was probably in her 50’s and she showed up for every class and was able to keep up as well. It really isn’t about how old you are it’s about listening to your body and taking it slow until all of the creaks and cracks are worked out of your body. Everyone starts as a beginner so there is nothing from keeping you from starting.

      Good luck!
      Nate

      Reply
  2. Candace

    I completely agree that it takes a long time to make working out a habit. Last month, I just hit one year of sticking with my workout routine. I feel so great, I don’t know why I haven’t always worked out like this. I also liked how you pointed out that results don’t come right away. There are so many programs that guarantee fast results, but I feel that just puts on too much pressure and makes many people quit because they aren’t getting those fast results. It has been a year for me and I still see improvements in myself every month. For me, it’s about long-term health, not a quick fix that is going to burn me out.

    Reply
    1. Nate (Post author)

      Congrats on sticking with your routine for a year! I recently hit my one year mark myself and it feels amazing.

      And you’re right, there are unfortunately too many products out there promising fast results but are unable to deliver. The only real way to guarantee results and long-term success is to continue to stick with it overtime instead of trying to rush it.

      Reply
  3. Brittni Sue

    Hi Nate! Thanks for sharing your story …. that is amazing that Yoga has helped your lower back pain so much. I have thought about trying Yoga, but never pursued it yet. In addition to the good effects on the body …. I think I could really use the meditation aspect to clear my mind of stress and negativity.

    Reply
    1. Nate (Post author)

      Hello Brittni!

      Yoga has helped me in so many more ways than just my lower back pain. The meditative aspect of yoga is such an amazing tool to start to rid yourself of the stress and negativity. Those things will always still be in your life but what yoga does is help you deal with each situation in a way that you don’t let it ruin or take hold of your entire day.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  4. Tammy

    I got the mat and now the inspiration! Great post. I have always wanted to do yoga but never found the time. I do walk daily and I like it but I am ready to take on something new too. I have never thought about yoga as clearing my mind cause I was trying so hard not to fall over that clearing my mind was not even a thought lol. Now I will look at it in a different way. How long before my balance better?

    Reply
    1. Nate (Post author)

      That’s great that you already take a daily walk! Yoga is really good at helping you clear your mind but that usually isn’t the main intention of the practice, it’s just an amazing bonus!

      When I first started doing yoga my balance was horrible but as you continue your practice your muscles begin to learn what they need to do in order to keep you on your feet. It doesn’t happen all at once, I’m still working on many of my balance poses, but it will happen if you are willing to put in the effort. And trust me, it is worth it 🙂

      Reply
  5. Wing

    Nate,

    Great advice you have here. Sticking with anything takes effort and something like working out definitely takes its fair share. The things you mentioned are great for building consistency and making working out into a habit. That really makes it all the more easier to follow. Good job on the post!

    Reply
    1. Nate (Post author)

      Hi Wing,
      As difficult it is to form a habit, especially one that involved exercising or eating healthy, once the habit is formed it becomes second nature and if a workout is skipped then the whole day might feel a little off. It’s a matter of putting in the work in order to form that habit that makes all the difference.

      Reply

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