“I really need to start working out again,” my friend Lena said to me. "But the gym is so far and I don’t have any motivation."
Sound familiar? How many times has something like this happened to you? Promises of hitting the gym, goals of losing five, ten, 15 pounds. We try hard to stay motivated, but alas, we eventually give up. So what’s the key to consistency in working out? Simple: It's making it as easy as possible for you to go work out. The path of least resistance, if you will.
Here's what you need to know.
1. Location matters.
Find a gym that is the shortest distance from where you usually leave from to work out. What does that mean? If you usually leave from home to the gym, find one closest to home. If you want to start going to the gym after work, find one as close as possible to your workplace. If you live in the dorms, take advantage of the on-campus gym.
You can also try to move to the dorm closest to the gym to make it even more convenient. Maybe you live in an apartment and would rather not drive out to use the gym. Well, find a place that has a gym included as its amenities. During days when you are highly motivated, driving 20 minutes to a gym may not be a huge problem. But during the days when that motivation is towards low, this can make a difference. When you keep the distance to the gym short, you will be more likely to go.
2. Schedule it.
Google calendar is great. I love being able to see clearly what meetings or engagements I have at what time and even schedule reminders that pops up on my phone and computer. I find that intentionally blocking out a chunk of time and labeling it “gym” is like making a commitment to myself. Once I have made this commitment, I try to stick to it as best I can. I think intrinsic motivation is most effective but to help you get started/very lazy days, you could try a reward system.
3. Set it on repeat.
You can’t go to the gym twice a month and expect to see abs a month later. Our bodies don’t work that way (unfortunately). So set a routine and stick to it. Check out this simple visual hack to help you to maintain your consistency.
Long story short, consistency is key to seeing progress and results. The more consistent you are, the faster it will be for you to see results. What are you waiting for? Get started!
Chloe Lim is in graduate school studying health promotion. She enjoys matcha lattes, avocados, and the beach.