Over the years, I’ve gone to the gym on and off. I would be super motivated for a season. Then, something would come up and I would get off track. Additionally, let’s be honest, sometimes I just didn’t “feel” like going. I would come up with an excuse to end up at Target instead. I finally found a routine I like that’s helped me establish consistency for months! Reducing the friction and removing barriers was what I had to do. Here’s what has worked:
Listen to the podcast episode:
Tip 1. Start with Realistic Expectations
“I’m going to go for an hour, 5 days a week, and loose 25 pounds by May” was one of my lofty goals a few years ago. Here’s the problem with that. My expectation was pretty high considering that I was going zero days a week. I was not minding the gap between where I was and where I wanted to be.
Instead, I started with a mindset of I just need to get to the gym and build the habit. That meant I could go 20 minutes or 60 minutes. Whatever I could do was good enough. Then I could go from there. Likewise, I didn’t feel like I was a bad person if I didn’t stay an hour. Any amount of time was the right time. It was what I did with the time that mattered. That brings me to routines.
These sets were gifted from Fabletics. I am wearing an xxl in the pink sports bra. All of the other pieces are in a size 1x. I am a Fabletics partner. However, all opinions are mine own folks!
Tip 2. Find a Routine You Like
You won’t keep doing things you hate. So, don’t do activities or exercises at the gym that you loathe. That’s the perfect way to sabotage yourself and end up not going. Instead try different activities and machines until you find a few you feel comfortable doing. Notice that I didn’t say love or get excited to do. That’s not the point. When you find an activity you feel comfortable doing then you can improve over time. You can get stronger because you can stick with it.
For example, I used to get on the treadmill. Then I noticed that I felt self-imposed pressure to run or push myself when I was on it. Especially if there is someone next you running like they stole something from a liquor store. That resulted in me just getting triggered when I saw the treadmill. I decided to go with the bike instead. I can go at my own pace. Additionally, I realized that I can sustain a longer cardio session on the bike. Try different activities until you have a set of ones that you can rotate and mix up. It will make a difference.
Tip 3. Like What You are Wearing
I know that your gym outfit doesn’t seem like it would make a difference, but it does. If you feel comfortable and confident in what you are wearing, the gym won’t seem as bad. I started my gym visits with random pieces I had and some sets. I only had one set that I totally into. That was ok in the past since I was only going every once in a while. Hahaha. Now, I needed a few sets to get me through the week. Also, I each set needed to feel fantastic when I put it on! I needed to feel supported, comfortable, and able to move. Check out my post on what to wear to the gym here. Otherwise, this would become another barrier, another reason why I didn’t want to go the gym.
Once I got an idea of which pieces fit me really well, I bought a few of them. I paid attention to which ones were my favorites and bought more of those. Now, I have enough for at least eight to ten days. I wash and put them away as sets to make it easy to grab them and go. The other pieces were donated (if they were in acceptable condition) or tossed out. That freed up some room in my drawers. I can see and find my sets without an issue.
Those are my three tips to build momentum to go to the gym consistently. The gym is part of my morning routine which I will get into in another post. For now, start where you are at and be gentle with yourself. You are worth it and you will be surprised how much easier getting to the gym will become.
Which of these tips are you going to try? Let me know in the comments below:
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