Five Things That Helped Me (Finally) Make Working Out A Lifestyle

how-i-made-working-out-a-habit

Good Morning!

Looking back on 2016, one of things I’m most proud of is the fact that I have made working out a lifestyle. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who did not have to think twice about fitness and made it simply a part of your day. I’m happy to say I’m at that point and I thought today I would share some of the things I’ve realized help me get there.

1. I found my why– I would say that the biggest change when it comes to my approach to fitness this year has been my rationale. Instead of trying to lose weight and setting unrealistic goals for myself my goals have shifted to simply be staying healthy. I want to live a long life and be there as Buel gets older. I also know that working out drastically reduces my stress which makes me happier overall. Lastly, my time at the gym is my time to myself and my reward is getting ready in peace and getting to work with my “me time” already under my belt. It really has become my favorite way to start my day.

2. I stopped beating myself up over setbacks- In the past when I fell “off the wagon” I would typically snowball out of control. This would lead to drastic swings and lost momentum which made it extremely hard to get back to the gym. Instead, I’ve come to realize that life happens and the things that set me back such as travel or busy weeks are just something that will pass and then I return to my normal routine when I can without issue.

3. I stayed consistent until it no longer felt like effort- After I lost my Dad I made the decision to get consistent with my workouts. I booked sessions with a trainer and stuck with working out with her twice per week. From there I stepped it up when our remodel started because our construction crew would arrive before 7:00 every day. It gave me extra motivation to get up and out and eventually it became a habit. Now I’ve been consistently fitting in exercise 4-6 times per week and it truly feels like a lifestyle.

4. We made it a family lifestyle- Rich started going to Crossfit in the Spring and we sat down and mapped out how we would make it work for both of us to get to our respective gyms. We’ve stuck to that schedule and the extra accountability of needing Rich to watch Buel gets me to the gym because otherwise it’s a struggle to make it work. Plus, it’s nice to both be working towards the same goals and have the same mentality when it comes to leading an active life.

5. I set realistic expectations- Last but not least I had to reset my expectations when it comes to my routine. I used to make excuses when it came to working out because I felt that I did not have times so the workout wouldn’t be long enough and wouldn’t “count.” These days it’s all about momentum. Most of my workouts are 30 minutes long and sometimes I’ll add in a 45-60 minute class when I can. Sometimes I’ll even only do a 10 minute stair climber session and that’s totally fine with me!

What improvements have you made to your lifestyle in 2016? Is there anything you plan on focusing on in 2017?

The Little Tweaks Add Up

Even though I’m full-steam-ahead working on my 2015 goals, I can’t help but continue to be a bit reflective on 2014. Last year was such a tough year for me, and when I think about how I felt last January vs this year I can’t help but feel grateful.

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Lots of big changes happened last year, but I also took many small steps towards big change. Looking back at these small changes inspired my Twelve Tiny Tweaks for 2015 so I thought today I would share these.

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Losing Weight In Three Easy Steps

In my 2014 year in review, I forgot to mention one thing. Last year, I accomplished my cliche goal to lose weight and ended the year almost 20 pounds lighter than I started it. I still have a small amount to lose before I reach my goal (whatever that may end up being), but this process has become so much more than that.

The main lesson I learned through this process was that losing weight isn’t easy. It’s more than just going on a diet, exercising more and drinking lots of water. It’s about making changes, figuring out why you are holding on weight to begin with and learning to let it go.

2014 to 2015 20 Pounds Lost

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How I Stay Organized

Good Morning!

When it comes to the beginning of the year, there’s no better time for a fresh start. As someone who loves staying organized, I could not love this time of the year more.

The past week or so I’ve spent some time organizing myself for the new year. Inspired by this post, I thought today I would share how I stay organized and keep my act together on a daily basis.

How I Stay Organized

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10 Tips for Working Out in the Morning and Not Hating it

Last week, I skipped Swim Club on Thursday night and felt pretty bad about it. However, I used this to motivate me and be honest with myself, evening workouts were just not working for me. With an hour and a half commute each way to work, I need to be smart about my time. After doing this for almost a year and a half now, I’ve learned what works for me. And that’s working out in the morning before my commute!

I’m proud of myself for getting back in the pool after a very long hiatus (since fifth grade) and can now confidently say that I am comfortable in the pool and can swim much further than I could in November. So, joining the Swim Club paid off. But, after two months of struggling with scheduling my workouts, I’m throwing in the towel. I’ll still be swimming, but on my own time.

This morning, I was up at 5:00am and to the gym by 5:30am and couldn’t be happier. I know that this is the right decision for me and getting back in the habit feels AMAZING!

Even though morning workouts aren’t for everyone, I make it work for me. For me, waking up early is second nature, I was up early to be on the ice for years. If you’re looking to start working out in the morning, here are ten tips that will help you do so:

10 tips for morning workouts

1. Be Prepared- Prep everything and I mean everything the night before. I pack my breakfast and lunch, set up the coffee maker, lay out my workout clothes and pack my work clothes and toiletries to take with me to the gym. I even go as far as lying out my contacts and hair tie next to the sink so all I have to do in the morning is get dressed, brush my teeth, put in my contacts and throw my hair in a ponytail. Then, I pour my coffee to go, grab my lunch and bags and I’m out the door!
2. Establish a Bedtime Routine- The hardest part for me with morning workouts is not getting up in the morning but getting to bed on time. I do my best to cut myself off from the computer and TV about 30 minutes before bed. This gives me time to relax before I have to fall asleep. I try to use this time to read, take a bath, or talk to my hubby.
3. Find Your Support System- Tell as many people as you can about your morning workout efforts, so then you can be held accountable. I’m lucky to have a lot of people holding me accountable for my workouts. First of all, I’ve given my husband strict instructions to not let me sleep in. Also, my neighbor Jackie and I text each other when we’re up and moving and then meet at the gym and say hi to make sure the other person makes it to the gym. I also have a handful of friends that I text after I’ve worked out to hold me accountable. On my way to the train, I always call my Dad and we talk about our morning workouts. These people are necessary to my success!
4. Own your day-When I don’t work out in the morning, I’m usually groggy, running late and generally just not happy to be up and moving. When I workout, it feels like I’ve made the choice to start my day on a positive note and nothing beats this fact as motivation to workout. It feels like I’m owning my day, not like my day is owning me.
5. Plan your workout- I plan my workouts at the beginning of the week so it’s easy during the week. Although I sometimes switch out workouts depending on how I’m feeling, I always have an idea of what I’ll be doing at the gym. The less thinking the better.
6. Do not press snooze- The more time you have to reconsider the workout, the worse off you’ll be. I set two alarms a minute apart. The first one wakes me up and the second one reminds me that, yes, I need to get out of bed.
7. Give yourself something to look forward to- For me, the best feeling ever is having NOTHING to do at night and knowing I can sit on the couch guilt free after my workday. Either that, or I make fun plans like a dinner date with a friend, or a show I really want to watch, or a meal I want to cook. Then, I have something to look forward to that I’ve “earned.”
8. Think about how you’ll feel after- I have to admit, after I’ve worked out in the morning I feel pretty bad ass. I am awake, alert and have a sense of accomplishment to start my day with. I used to dread my workouts all day at work, but now I have them out of the way and feel great!
9. Make it a habit- Just like anything else, the more you do something the more it becomes a habit. Some days will suck more than others, so it’s good to be able to go into autopilot on those days.
10. Know that life happens- Some days you won’t be able to workout. You’ll be sick, be up way too late at night or are just generally worn out. On those days, don’t beat yourself up. Just know that tomorrow will be a new day and your new habit will carry you through!

So there you have it, my tips for how I get my butt to the gym in the morning! Today, I was excited to get back to the gym in the morning but tomorrow may be a different story. Hopefully these tips will help me get back on track with my habit and help you too!

When do you workout? What do you do to make sure it happens? Any tips for motivating yourself to workout?