Finding the fun in routine
I know, I know. The word routine is just so... boring. That's the whole point of routine. You don't have to think about it. It just happens, you've set it up to make your life easier.
But give me a second. I've been thinking a lot about routine recently as I haven't had a set routine in a LONG time. For the last few months I've been working odd hours, then I was on holiday for two weeks and now I'm settling in to a new commute and job and all that entails. All fun and good things but all guaranteed routine killers.
And it's been pretty bad for my fitness and health goals.
Looking for inspiration I came across this article which argues against goal setting infavour of the process (or routine) of getting to the goal.
I get what he's saying but I also think goals are an amazing thing. On those days when it's hard to get out of bed, even when you KNOW how good you'll feel at the end of the workout, sometimes you need that bigger goal to keep you going.
But fundamentally, what he's saying is that the big goals never happen without the routine workouts, the day-in-day-out process of getting better.
So you need to get the routine and the process right. Learn to love it.
Here are a couple of things that help me get those routine work outs in even when I don't feel like it:
1. Remind yourself of the end goal. Bikini season? Half marathon? Wedding? Lowering your blood pressure? Whatever it is that made you start, keep a reminder of that nearby so you always know why the small workouts and daily changes you're making matter.
2. Switch it up. You're not enjoying what you're doing? Change it! I think there's always room in a training schedule for a little bit of variety. Go somewhere different. Take a friend. Try a new healthy food option if you're bored of steamed broccolli. Even a tiny change for one day sometimes rejuvenates me or reminds me why the regular routine is just fine.
3. Reward yourself. Even if you know you'll feel great at the end of a workout and you'll be one step closer to that goal, sometimes that's just not enough. Small rewards are a nice way to make the journey seem a bit more fun (or even just tolerable on the worst days). Have an ice cream. Buy yourself that new pair of trainers or treat yourself to that massage.
4. Find a partner/group. This is the single most important thing that I've learned in the past year. I always thought I was preferred working out alone -- which a lot of times I do -- but on those days where it's still dark, cold and wet when you need to leave the house, one great thing to help get you there is knowing that there's someone else depending on you to be there and a smiling face when you do.
Right, so -- now that I'm feeling all motivated, time to get my new routine in order!
What tricks do you use to motivate yourself to stick to your health/fitness routine?
Thanks to gymflow100.com for the image.