Establishing a new, healthier fitness routine is often troublesome. You have this whole diet and fitness regime planned out, but then work gets stressful, the kids get sick, and before you know it you’ve gotten nowhere. Sound familiar? Even the best plans fail without consistency. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to get results.
Limit decision fatigue
To quote an article in the New York Times, “The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts.” In order to save mental energy, your body starts either acting on impulse (bingeing on cookies, anyone?) or doing nothing at all. Neither of those is very conducive to results in the fitness world. We all know how much harder it is to get to the gym when you’re exhausted.
While you might not think you make that many decisions in a day, you might be surprised. What to wear, what route to take to work, what to eat for dinner, and even when to wake up accumulate until you’re tired. Setting a routine helps eliminate these decisions and increase the mental energy to progress in the gym.
Set triggers for habits
Starting any new habit, even without mental fatigue, proves difficult. We may already be set in a certain way (our prior routine) and need to work to establish a new one. Using your current habits as triggers for new ones helps with that transition.
For example, if you’re trying to do 50 pushups a day, connect the action with something you already do, such as brushing your teeth. Do 10 every time your brush your teeth, 10 after walking the dog, 10 after you drop your kids at soccer… you get the idea. Eventually, those old habits will become new habits and you can release the triggers.