Back in April, I set out to challenge myself to stick to a workout routine and healthy eating plan for 4 weeks. I called it the #GlamandStrong challenge, and the goal was establishing consistency and maintaining my workout routine – which is something I have tried and failed at before. I didn’t want to fail this time, and I had to be honest with myself about why I had failed before. One big thing was consistency and discipline, which will get you much further than motivation.
The key is to still workout when you lack motivation. When you literally have no desire to do anything but eat ice cream and binge watch reality tv shows. When I look back over what helped me maintain consistency with my workout routine, I noticed five things that I always did that seemed to work every time. So I’m sharing them with you!
Secret #1: Work out first thing in the morning. You might have heard this ‘secret’ before, and if you’re not a morning person, you ignored it. Trust me, I’m not a morning person either, but when it comes to hitting the gym, it works. For me, this is about having no time to make excuses. When I workout first thing in the morning, I am literally on auto-pilot. I haven’t had a chance to think of all the reasons why I can’t get it done, and it is less likely that something random will come up in my schedule for the day.
The last thing I want to do is ruin my hair with a morning workout, knowing full well I have to go to work right after. This is where the Slap comes in and saves the hair day. The Satin-lined Caps (Slaps) by Grace Eleyae are stylish caps that keep hair moisturized, protected and knot-free while sleeping, and stay in place day or night, thanks to each cap’s elastic band. I can literally wear this to bed, and roll right out in the morning without worrying about my hair.
Secret #2: Work out right after work. If you must workout after work, go straight to the gym or home and workout – do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars (Monopoly reference). Eliminate as much ‘down time’ as possible, because the more time that lapses between getting off from work and your workout, the harder it is to get to actually work out.
Secret #3: Put on you gym clothes as soon as you get home. Now this might sound crazy, but it works for me. On Fridays, I take a Zumba fitness class at 7pm. But I get off from work usually around 4:30pm on Fridays so that’s a lot of ‘down time’ between work and working out. To keep me honest, I change into my workout gear as soon as I get home from work. It keeps my mind on the fact that I have a workout planned, and I’d feel really crazy wearing workout clothes and not actually working out.
Secret #4: Meal planning and not skipping meals. I notice that when I’m not eating well, or skipping meals, I have way less energy and motivation to workout. You also don’t want to add extra stress to your body by pushing it to exercise when it hasn’t been nourished properly, especially if you plan to workout in the evenings. Taking the time to plan meals, meal prep for the week, and actually eat throughout the day gives you the fuel you need to workout.
If you don’t have time, or want to ensure your meals are balanced, consider using a meal prep service. I recently tried out Moe-tivated Meal Prep, which is based in Newport News, VA, and really enjoyed the meals. They were tasty, well balanced, and affordable. It was very convenient to just grab and go, and everyone at work was jealous. If you’re in the area, try them out. If not, look for an affordable meal prep service in your town.
Secret #5: Find workouts that you love. Listen – if you don’t like running, don’t run. Hate cycling? Don’t do cycling. Not a fan of dance workouts? Don’t do dance aerobics. There are TONS of exercises out there, so find an activity that you enjoy AND JUST DO THAT. Forget about what’s trendy, or even promises of dramatic results. Think about finding workouts that you’ll enjoy doing and not dread. That way, exercise becomes something you look forward to doing.
These are just 5 of my secrets to sticking to my workout routine over the 4 weeks of my #GlamandStrong challenge. It must’ve worked, because I worked out 4 days a week for the duration, lost 3 pounds and 1.25″ in my waistline. Now I’ve developed some discipline and gained a little motivation to keep going.
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.