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5 Ways To Develop Exercise Habits

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MoHow   Posted By   Dr MO   I’ve been doing habit training for over 20 years, and I want to share my method for building new exercise habits today.

You’ve likely made a number attempts to become more fit. Perhaps it was because you were tired of being out of shape and overweight. You decided to finally do something about it and joined a health club. Maybe some friends decide to join also.  And then, after a few weeks  your friends stopped coming and you ended up alone and eventually you quit. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it.

This happens all the time. I’ve seen it over and over again. I know what you’re thinking. How come some people can stick with it and I haven’t been able to?

Well the answer is making exercise a habit. That’s the only way. And here are 5 ways to develop  an effective, long-lasting, exercise habit.

1. Set your goal.
Specifically decide what you want to achieve. Exercising can be used for several means. Before you take a gym membership, start by setting a definite goal. What is it that you want? Don’t try to achieve more than 1 thing at a time. Start with one goal. Once you have attained it, you can work towards a second goal.

Bigger muscles
Less fat?
More strength?
More speed?

Set a timeline. Set a date by which you will reach your goal. Write your goal and the timeline on a piece of paper and put it somewhere you can see it multiple times a day. A good place would be on your nightstand. Look at it on waking up and before going to bed. This will act as a constant reminder of your goal. If you are a maintainmomentum member use the Goal tool and the Reminder tool.

Write your plan.
Once you have set your goal, you must back it up with a plan. Your time is precious. Any minute in the gym must bring you closer towards the achievement of your goal. So choose a solid training program.

What exercises will you perform?
How many sets and reps will you do?
How many times a week will you go the gym?

2. Exercise first thing in the morning. When you’ve just had a tough day at work, it can be hard to train for another hour at the gym. A solution is to exercise first thing in the morning:
Wake up early
Eat breakfast
Prepare the stuff you need for work
Go to the gym

One hour later, you’re another step closer towards the achievement of your goal. And you have your whole day to do whatever you need to do.

3. Stick to your plan. This is something I experienced on numerous occasions. The days you don’t feel like exercising, are often your best days. Maybe it’s the mind-body connection: the body says no, but the mind says go. Thus the body eventually says go too.

When it’s the day to train, it’s the day to train. Make no excuses, go the gym. If you don’t feel 100% healthy, still go the gym, but train at a lower intensity. The fact that you’ve been there, is more important than the quality of your training. And as I wrote above, sometimes it can turn out into one of your most productive workouts.
The more you exercise, the more you build the exercise habit and the positive thinking habit. Stick to your plan.

4. Train with someone who has developed the habit. If you’re training partner quits, you’ll probably end up quitting too. But if your training partner hangs on, you’ll take it as a challenge.

Next time you go the gym, look around you. Look at the people who exercise. Find someone who is serious with his training. Take the initiative: ask him, or her, if you can train with them. When you ask the right person, he’ll accept your request. Most people know that getting into exercising is not easy, they know because they’ve been there.
A good training partner will motivate you & help you achieve your goal.

5. Practice positive momentum thinking. You can achieve whatever you want, if you believe that you can do it. Having a clear goal and a plan will already arm you with self-confidence.

Know that it will take time to build the exercise habit. During the first 30 days you’ll need to push yourself to the gym. In the next 30 days it will become easier, the habit will become stronger.

There will always be days when you don’t want to to do it, don’t want to continue, and even think of giving up. There will days that you miss. The key will always be to think of the desired outcome, remind yourself of your progress and maintain momentum.

If you found this post useful consider subscribing to this blog, and if you want  more help and support, including the MOmentum Mind thinking training course,  personalized training and coaching, and a wide range of specific motivational tools and resources and a morning boost in the form of  my morning email AmMo to help you get going every day, consider joining www.maintainmomentum.com.

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