Blog, Planner

Habit # 2 Schedule

Use What You Already Do

The best way to stick to a new routine is to build it into your already existing schedule.  Unfortunately, many people try to make their exercise routine more challenging than it should by not incorporating it into their existing routine. They plan to be at the gym unrealistically early or late, add a complicated workout routine into their stressful day, and force-feed themselves food they don’t enjoy. It is easiest to plan your new workout routine to complement your hectic schedule.

KISS Keep It Simple Sweetie

Change in your routine is hard to start and harder to stick to. I’m going to show you different simple ways to make your new routine easier to stick to. You don’t want to count on willpower for your success; you want to rely on routine. Routine is something you do daily without spending energy thinking about whether or not you should do it.

According to James Clear in his book Atomic Habits, the best way to establish a new habit is to do it frequently.  The frequency technique adds a small attainable change to something you do daily. His example was to add one minute of meditation to drinking your morning coffee.

Most of us find small changes super doable. We can easily add a quick minute-long change to our day. How can we get back into fitness using the frequency habit?

Here’s the good news, the more often you work out, the less duration your workouts need to be. The easiest way to build a workout habit is to add your workout to something you already do daily. 

Schedule a Minimum of 150 Minutes of Exercise a Week

Starting a fitness routine and maintaining your fitness routine have the same amount of time requirements, 150 min per week.

You can accomplish this recommended workout volume of 150 minutes a week in different ways. You could schedule to work out 30 minutes a day for five days a week or 60 minutes a day for three days a week. The habit will be easier to stick to if you do it more frequently.

I will show a few examples of how different people schedule the 30 min for five days.

Schedule on Google Calendar, 

Most of us use a planner to track our appointments and work schedule. I use google calendar, which has reminders built into it. After looking at different apps to track my workouts, I made a recurring reminder to work out for 30 minutes every day at 6 pm. It’s super easy to use, and I like crossing things off my calendar. 6 pm is the end of my workday, and I can get 30 minutes in every day at that time.

#1 Technique Make it the First Thing You Do in the Day

This is an excellent technique for people who have days that are interrupt-driven. Busy moms and entrepreneurs are similar in that their time is not always their own. They have a hard time squeezing workouts into their full days. Getting a workout in first thing is the best scheduling habit for them. Consequently, they get up early before their kids are awake (or emails start piling up) and put on their workout clothes.

Lunchtime Walks for professionals 

A 30 minute walk is one of the best ways to build a healthy habit that will stick. It provides so much more than an exercise break. I guarantee you won’t have the afternoon slump if you get fresh air in the middle of the day.  Most people stop and munch while sitting in front of a screen. The complete break and some fresh air will leave you invigorated.

Stack your Schedule

If you are having trouble finding a scheduling technique that works for you. Try stacking your activities together. You could stop in at the gym on your way to or from work or after dropping kids off at school. Another stacking technique is to do your exercise while doing something you will do anyway, like watching your favourite show while walking on your treadmill. The idea is to pair the workout with something you’re going to do every day.