Why It's Important to Take Inventory of Your Habits
Daily exercise isn’t just good for the body, but it’s also important for the mind.
We all want to have healthy habits but forming them and keeping them is easier said than done.
The first step to creating healthy exercise habits is understanding just who you are:
- What motivates me when it comes to my health?
- Am I goal oriented?
- Am I inspired by a challenge?
The better you know yourself—or are honest with yourself—the easier you will find and keep an exercise regimen.
So…How Can I Make Exercise a Habit?
- Make Exercise Fun. Listen to music or a book on tape while you workout. Take a dance class or a group fitness class with your homegirls. Finding something you enjoy doing will keep you doing it.
- Get a Wellness Bestie. Accountability partners motivate and encourage you to set and keep your goals. Knowing someone else is watching makes it more difficult to slack off and knowing that someone else is counting on you does the same. An exercise friend can offer support and encouragement. Plus, you will be less likely to fall short of your healthy habits if someone else is counting on you.
- Reward Yourself. Rewards are such an important part of habit formation. Some rewards are immediate and some rewards — like weight loss or physical changes from exercise — take longer to show up. That’s why it’s important to build in some immediate rewards to help you form the habit. Enjoy a massage on a rest day or buy some new cute workout gear; workout clothes and shoes have been shown to increase confidence and motivation to workout.
So…What Can I Start Doing Daily to Make Exercise a Habit?
- Stick to a regular time every day.
- Sign a contract committing yourself to exercise.
- Put “exercise appointments” on your calendar.
- Keep a daily log or diary of your exercise activities.
The lesson is that habits take a long time to create, but they form faster when we do them more often, so start with something reasonable that is really easy to do and that you enjoy doing!