Whether you are embarking on a brand-new fitness routine or have made new fitness goals at the beginning of the year, there is a method to setting these goals and committing to a doable fitness routine that will set you up for success!
Ahead, we’re sharing what you need to know about how to prevent biting off more than you can chew when it comes to your fitness goals and then how to create a path to create a fitness routine you can stick to all year long.
7 Ways To Create a Doable Fitness Routine
Start Small & Work Your Way Up
Clinical psychologist Kevin Gilliland, PsyD, from Dallas, TX — an avid exercise enthusiast, cyclist, and triathlete — says there’s an antidote to those ‘too big”’ fitness goals: “Start small,” he says. “I know a 5-minute workout might make you feel like ‘Why bother?’” he said. But there is a point, and it’s a big one: it helps you build momentum.
Think of it this way: you can try a five-minute workout. Whether it’s a warm-up or a quick cardio sweat session, just give it a shot. Even if that’s all you have time for! If you feel like you can do more, take it from there. See if you have the time (or energy or mental fortitude) to keep going. If not, that’s okay! You got movement in today — give yourself a high five (no pun intended). If you’re ready for more, then yay! You’re on a roll.
Set Goals & Reward Yourself
Speaking of those five-minute workouts… Reaching the goal, in and of itself, is a reward. But celebrate the benchmarks along the way, too! “I wish that I had long ago appreciated how even a modest goal when successfully reached, can have a major impact on the quality of trajectory of one’s life,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Forrest Talley, Ph.D. He explains that if you give yourself a small, doable goal (one that’s part of your overall plan), and you then achieve that small goal, that tiny victory has a major impact on your mental health and your ability to keep going toward those bigger objectives. One positive action begets another.
Choose Workouts You Enjoy
If it’s not fun, you’re not going to do it. Think about that library book you haven’t returned, the dry cleaning you haven’t picked up, that one thing on your list you always say you’re going to do but never get to…. The common theme? It’s just not fun.
And of course, working out isn’t always fun. Even on your best day, with your favorite workout, it can be grueling. But making it as fun as possible means that you’re eliminating those barriers to entry, making your path to fitness success even clearer.
The easiest way to do this is to give yourself plenty of options, and test out different types of exercise to see what lights you up. How to create a doable fitness routine is as simple as finding what’s best for you.
Drop the Perfection Mindset
Avoid setting goals that mandate you do something every single day without fail; this can set you up for the feeling of failure when you miss a day. Life happens. It’s virtually impossible to do something every single day.
Take it from this author: one of my most discouraging New Year’s resolution experiences came from the year I decided to meditate daily. I wanted a ‘perfect’ 365-streak on my meditation calendar. The day I missed meditation was the day I started spiraling down into that failure mindset, when in reality, I had meditated so much more than the year before, and it had only been a couple of months. Unfortunately, that feeling of failure kept me from staying on top of the meditation routine. Lesson learned!
By giving myself more leeway (and grace!), I was able to incorporate meditation into my routine again — without the daily expectation (though it’s still a goal in the back of my mind!).
Don’t Overtrain: Be Sure To Take Rest Days!
Burnout is real, and it hinders your success. Going too hard and doing too much doesn’t get you to your goals more quickly, it actually can end up slowing you down. Pace yourself! This journey is a (metaphorical) marathon, not a sprint. Some of you might be reading this and thinking, not a problem, today is my Netflix and sweatpants day. Others might need a bit more help taking that proverbial chill pill — in which case, we can recommend some rest-day recovery stretching, meditation, and yoga. Just don’t forget to recover, friends.
Challenge Yourself To Try Something Brand New
Speaking of burnout, are you feeling tired of your usual workouts? Mix. it. UP! If you’ve been all Tabata, all the time, maybe it’s time to try some yoga. If you’ve been in Down Dog since what feels like 2017, give some cardio kickboxing or dance a try. Maybe you’ve been all cardio and no strength… time to explore some Pilates!
Give Yourself The Right Tools
No matter what goal you set, or how big it is, make sure you have a plan in place so the path toward success is clear.
One of the easiest ways to do this? Download the FitOn app (hello, it’s free!). The app will help you with so many of these other tips — you’ll get to choose workouts you enjoy because there are so many to choose from; you can challenge yourself to try something brand new with a new type of exercise, new trainer, or new format; you can start small with five-minute workouts.
FitOn will help to add fitness variety with hand-selected workouts in the app as well; you can set those workout reminders to keep you on track, work out with friends to incorporate accountability, and sweat with some world-class celebrity trainers.
The Bottom Line: Make Your Fitness Routine Work For You
The old trope “a little goes a long way” is so true here. The takeaway from all of these tips is to make your life easier. When thinking about how to create a doable fitness routine, start small, give yourself a clear plan (no guesswork!), celebrate even the littlest victories, make it fun, try to not be a perfectionist, rest, mix it up, and have the right support in place. Good luck with your new routine — we’re here for you, but we know you’ve got this.