6 Quick Ways to Ensure You Maintain a Consistent Gym Schedule

6 Quick Ways to Ensure You Maintain a Consistent Gym Schedule
Photo: Getty Images. Design: Allison Kahler.

We’re less than a few months away from 2019, and by now that vision board you created in January has probably gathered dust. And if you’re anything like us, there were a few fitness-related goals on there that fell to the wayside. There are always factors that make it difficult to get there, whether it’s faulty public transportation, a demanding job or health-related issues.

But when all of those things don’t exist, what is there left to blame? Spoiler alert: not much. Sometimes, we’d rather veg out on the couch than climb a Stairmaster, but the cold, hard truth is that it takes a certain level of motivation to maintain a consistent gym schedule. If you’re ready to finally get your act together, Dede Lagree, owner and director of training at Lagree Fitness Studio (and trainer for Rihanna!) is here to help. Ahead, five tips that’ll make fitness feel less like a chore.

MORE: A Quick-and-Dirty Workout From One of Rihanna’s Go-To Trainers

Take Baby Steps

Oftentimes, our excitement precedes our actual ability to take on a lot at once. While we love the idea of a daily sweat-inducing, hour-long workout, rarely can we jump right into something this intense and frequent. So don’t be afraid to stick to the basics.

“When you’re powering back up, it’s best to start out small and gradually get back to where you were,” says Lagree. “Start simple by introducing small, positive changes into your daily routine. Don’t try to get back in the game with one swing.”

That age-old mantra “slow and steady wins the race” actually has some truth to it. And in the long run, your body will thank you for it because you’ve given it an appropriate amount of time to adjust to a more active lifestyle.

Build Your Community

Unless you’re someone who has found success in solitary fitness, Lagree says having a friend to meet is a great way to get out the door. If you’re able to meet up for dinner or a night out, surely you can redirect that energy toward breaking a sweat together, too.

“Having a workout buddy or circle of friends who share similar goals creates accountability and support,” says Lagree. “Habit builds momentum, and momentum builds success.”

MORE: The Nutritionist’s Guide to Eating Healthy During Your Busy Season

Set Yourself Up for Success

It should go without saying, but keep it real! Whatever goals you set for yourself should be realistic and achievable. For instance, losing 10 pounds or sculpting a six-pack in one week probably won’t happen; in fact, it’s not healthy to begin with! So like your workout schedule, start small with your goals as well and while you’re at it, be sure to celebrate each success and goal as you achieve them.

Lagree agrees, saying, “Don’t overlook your progress. Mileage markers are a fun way to note your progress, but don’t get blinded by the numbers. Success also includes how we feel. What you say about you is more important than what a scale says.”

Get Crafty

We can’t help but agree with Lagree when she says “what gets written, gets done.” Don’t reserve your vision boarding for the top of the New Year. You can also craft a motivation board or Pinterest page to stay on track, too. If you’re intentional about creating healthy benchmarks and documenting them, the time you spent creating your personal masterpiece won’t go in vain.

“Creating a collage of the place you want to visit or the clothes you want to wear or the race you want to run will remind you why you want to get back in the game,” says Lagree.

MORE: These Are the Mistakes You Keep Making in the Gym

Pack Ahead of Time

Half the battle of making it to the gym is ensuring that you don’t leave your gear at home. Cut corners and save yourself a few minutes each day by keeping a stash of your favorite gym outfits at work. By doing this, you can change before you even walk out the door and jump right into your workout whenever you arrive.

Remember the Why

Lastly, continually remind yourself of why you decided to lace up your Nikes in the first place. “When you remember the why, it will give you that boost of motivation you need to push through barriers.”