Whether you’re just starting to work out or you’ve been exercising for a while and want to make it a more regular part of your life, creating a routine can be an important part of maintaining your motivation. A daily and weekly routine can help you to get the most out of any program and set you up for success when it comes to achieving your fitness goals.
Organization is the key to creating a good routine. It may feel hard to establish a routine when you’re starting out, but if you keep holding yourself accountable, then eventually it becomes easier.
Try to exercise at the same time each day.
If you’re new to working out and unsure of which time of day works best for you, try exercising at a few different times to find out. The goal is to understand when you have the most energy and can likely to get the most out of your workouts. Once you’ve decided the optimal time for you to exercise, schedule your week’s workouts at that time of day. You will be more likely to stick with it if you’re working out when you feel your best.
Consider your lifestyle too. Maybe you're an early riser so you start the day with your workout. Or you might find a workout is a great way to destress from your day, so exercising at night is best for you. If your workout is easy to fit into your schedule, you’re more likely to get it done. Put your workouts on a calendar to help make them part of your routine.
Try to prep for your meals each week.
Good nutrition is an important part of supporting your health and fitness goals. Fueling your body with good and healthy food is easier if you make it part of your routine. Planning helps prevent you from grabbing takeout or unhealthy options when you have no idea what to make for dinner.
Create a list of the healthy meals you want to eat, then shop based on those ideas. Even set aside time each week in your schedule to cook food in large batches and portion them out to meal sizes for you or your family. You can even freeze portions for days when you don’t have time and want a quick and healthy option. Planning and preparing meals creates an option that’s even more convenient, also making it easier to stick to your health goals.
Once you’ve created a routine that includes exercise each week, it can be hard to stick with it. Here are some tips to help.
Create a weekly schedule
For exercise or meal preparation to become a part of your routine, you need to try to create those healthy habits. That means making time in your week to work out, to meal prep, and for rest days. Plan for a whole week so you know you’re making time for everything you want to achieve. This won't always be easy and there will be days where you don't feel like sticking to your schedule. However, try to push through those mental barriers and follow through with what you originally planned. Over time, it will become easier to stick to your schedule. By making your health non-negotiable, you’ll be surprised at how much more committed you become to following through on your plans.
Have a backup plan
No matter how much you schedule, routines aren’t foolproof and that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a setback or miss your scheduled workout. Be prepared with a back-up plan so unhealthy habits don't take over. That might mean keeping an extra set of workout clothes in your car or making workouts social so you can fit them in while you catch up with friends. You could also have healthy recipes saved for the days when you’re short on time and need inspiration.
Start now, don’t wait!
If you really want to organize your routine and make long-term changes to your health and fitness, then it’s going to take some commitment. Instead of being overwhelmed by that idea, break it down into small tasks to make it more achievable. To keep focused in the long term, remind yourself why you originally wanted to make changes. Do this regularly to ensure you stay committed to your new routine.
Don’t put off making changes for another day. The best time to start a new routine is right now!