How to Make Exercise a Habit

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Been mulling over the notion that you'd like to make exercise a habit? Creating goals or aspirations is easy but actually making an exercise habit and finding and maintaining the motivation to stick to it can be more difficult than the exercise itself. So, to make that exercise habit feel less like an uphill struggle and more like a walk in the park, we've got a few tips. Chances are your motivation is in short supply because you’re approaching the development of your exercise habit in the wrong way...

1. Set Easy, Realistic Short-Term Goals

This is probably the first and most important step in developing your exercise habit. Nothing will drag you down quite like repeatedly not meeting unattainable goals. Be kinder to yourself. Set easy, realistic short-term goals. This way, you'll get small tastes of success, and though it might be simply from taking a short brisk walk after work, it will be enough to make bigger things feel more within your reach. Starting off small and working your way up is much better than starting big and beating yourself up when it doesn't go your way.

2. Reward Yourself

The thoughts of a warm bath after a run or kicking back to watch a movie after a hard work out will help motivate you to get through your exercise. When your reward is finally achieved, working for it will make it feel all the more worth it. Don’t forget to set long-term rewards too. This could be buying yourself that pair of shoes you've had your eye on for months whenever you successfully stuck to your exercise habit for a whole month.

3. Be Clear and Specific

Having a laid out plan of exactly what exercise you want to do and when exactly you want to do it will make implementing an exercise habit into your daily routine feel more manageable. Whereas if you have a vague plan of attempting some form of exercise as some point in the day is the kind of plan that is almost destined to fall through right from the onset. It will feel like a more concrete, key part of your day if you have the specifics planned out early on.  

4. Be Habit Driven, Not Results Driven

While having an end goal of weight loss and fitness in mind is probably what made you decide to start exercising in the first place, focusing wholly on these results can be a bad idea. This is because focusing exclusively on being ten pounds lighter will quickly develop frustration whenever this doesn't happen as quickly as you would like. Focusing on the implementation of a positive habit within your life will be easier than getting bogged down and frustrated by the changes that aren't happening quick enough. Instead, focus on the small things that you can change which will in turn change bigger things in the long-run.

Do you have an exercise habit? How do you stay motivated? Tweet us your tips and advice!

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