How to Create an Unbreakable Workout Routine Anytime, Anywhere

Guest Post By Thomas Nemel

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Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash

Let’s face it; motivation is overrated!

How many times have you created a plan at the beginning of the year and failed miserably at it whenever you lacked the motivation? How many times have you derailed your goal while envying successful individuals who seem to have a double portion of passion? Well, that’s about to change.

But you’ll have to scrape out everything you’ve ever been told concerning motivation, especially as it applies to creating a healthy lifestyle. We will take an entirely different approach to habit change that combines science, psychology, and experience.

Ready to figure out why you have been failing at creating healthy lifestyle habits and how to plan like a champ? Consider these tips.

Make Diet and a Healthy Lifestyle Obvious

When starting workouts, people slip into the mistake of ‘doing too much too soon.’ Some cliché practices include using 20-minute YouTube videos to train or going full-blown on a specific diet. You can only do that for as long as you have the motivation, which means maybe once or twice before you call it quits.

Instead, start focusing on tiny habits geared towards your desired goal – to lose weight. Many people throw in the towel before crossing the Plateau of Latent Potential. This is the line before you start witnessing meaningful results in your weight loss program. But have this at the back of your head: there is no such thing as an overnight success, so avoid falling into that desperate valley of disappointment.

How can one avoid this mess?

Consistency!

Create a habit scorecard of your diet and healthy lifestyle. This involves listing down all the activities you do during the day and see how many times you get to exercise. A simple activity such as walking or cycling to work daily can make a meaningful difference in the long haul.

Restructure Your Goals

As you begin your healthy lifestyle journey, there are three levels at which meaningful change can occur;

  1. Outcomes – Lose 20 pounds; get back in shape; or lift a 300lbs weight.
  2. Processes – Get cycling more; start rock climbing; a change in healthy lifestyle activities such as cooking at home rather than eating out.
  3. Identity – Become a healthy person; become an outgoing person; become comfortable and confident in your skin.

Identity-based goals allow you to change your worldview and judgments about yourself and develop processes to help you attain and surpass your desired outcomes. It’s one step to remind you of the little progress when you feel too out of shape to exercise.

Develop a mantra that focuses on your desired identity.

  • Next time ice cream seems appealing, remind yourself, “I am a healthy person, and a healthy person wouldn’t do this.”
  • Next time you think of taking a cab to a nearby location, remember, “I am a fit and outgoing person. A fit and outgoing person will not mind taking a walk.”

Next, you need to work on your processes by creating implementation intention. This specifies where and when you will need to get into your workout clothes. You can combine this with habit stacking – stacking a new practice on top of another. It goes something like:

After saying my morning prayers, I will get into my running shoes for a morning jog.

Writing that down will act as a good reminder of your healthy lifestyle daily routine, even when you don’t have the willpower to act.

Motivation vs. Environment

The famous social psychologist Kurt Lewin developed a behavioral formula in 1936 that goes something like:

B = ƒ [P,E]

Behavior is a function of a Person in their Environment

For the longest time now, motivation speakers have overrated the need for motivation whilst not factoring in the environment. You have to agree, it would be arduous working out if your workout resources were tucked in some hidden box. Likewise, it would be hard to eat healthy if your fridge is full of junk and snacks.

This notion follows the adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.” However, we can inverse that to make workouts mandatory for us, even on those bad hair days.

Start by getting rid of activities that act as temptations not to work out.

  • If you are addicted to the television even when you should be working out, unplug it each time you finish up or even take it a step forward and lock it in the closet.
  • If going to the gym seems like a hassle, choose one that’s in your daily path. It won’t cost you extra to stop by the gym on your way to work.
  • If eating healthy seems like something that super-people do, start by getting rid of every junk in the fridge and kitchen cabinets. Change places where you buy food and start shopping in a grocery store. In other words, minimize any possible friction between you and working out beforehand.

You catch the flow, right. The mission is to find the motivation to start your healthy lifestyle and maintain it daily. Simply setting healthy lifestyle goals isn’t enough. If your environment leads you to slack every time, your progress will inevitably be slack and disappointing.

Make a Healthy Lifestyle Irresistible

Let’s be honest, there are many workout regimes out there – it’s impossible to exhaust them all. Don’t get us started on the thousands of diet plans, websites, and books out there – it’s overwhelming, to say the least.

But how many people do you know start all pumped up only to last a week or two?

Let’s look at the other side of the coin: why is it so easy to slip back to old habits of Netflix and chill instead of lifting the weights. Or pizza and cheese instead of veggies.

The answer is simple – temptations!

Diet books will tell you to stop visiting or ordering from McDonald’s but will not tell you how to resist such tempting offers. How many people know alcohol and cigarettes are not good but still keep on increasing their intake?

Make a healthy lifestyle luscious and irresistible. Well, there’s nothing sexy about eating veg and sweating in the gym, is there?

Nope, but you can develop your temptation-building plan. The idea is to incorporate something you enjoy doing in the habit stack to get you exercising.

  • “I’ll get to listen to comedy only when I’m on the treadmill.”
  • “After closing my laptop for the lunch break, I will do 20 pushups. Only after that will I go to lunch with my colleagues.
  • “Before my evening walk, I will enjoy my pre workout without caffeine.

That way, you will make immediate rewards possible as you await your long-term healthy lifestyle changes. Let your environment work for you by surrounding yourself with a tribe that gives you the support you need.

Endeavor to Make a Healthy Lifestyle Satisfying

The plan is to ensure you stick to healthy lifestyle choices even when everything around you seems to be ganging up against you to have you trip. An excellent way to do this is to create a habit tracker of sorts.

Research is clear about this: you are twice as likely to lose weight if you track your progress. The same can be used with exercise. A habit tracker shows you how consistent you have been with the healthy lifestyle identity. Breaking the chain becomes an added punishment in itself when you see your calendar marked with X‘s, signifying the days you have consistently gone to the gym.

Moreover, having an accountability partner with a healthy lifestyle contract may just act as the much-wanted boost on those rainy days. The contract should state clearly your goal, how you intend to reach there, and list the punishment applicable if you fail to do something. Sign it off with one or two accountability partners to keep you in check.

However, make sure you follow Goodhart’s Law to not fall into the trap of making the measurement your goal. Keep the benefits of the healthy lifestyle in mind as you track your progress and work on your goals.

Are you ready to work out now, even with zero motivation?

Author’s Bio:

The author is Thomas Nemel. Having experienced the downside of poor lifestyle choices in his early years, he endeavored to change his life. Thomas dedicated his studies and time to pursue the answers in a quick-changing world. Besides being a fitness enthusiast, he is also passionate about psychology, cars and motorbikes. Follow Thomas on his social media:

https://www.facebook.com/thomas.nemel

https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomas-nemel-40175b174/

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