I skip the gym sometimes too,…. Or maybe a lot of times. Honestly, it has taken me years to get in the right place with the gym. I used to be really good at it. I went 5 times a week and i looked like it too. Then i had baby.. And another… and another. I love them so dearly, but pregnancy and raising babies really zaps the motivation right out of you.
I have been in a state of constant fluctuation when it comes to fitness for the past 6 years. We just had Superboy and he’s our last so now i am feeling very motivated to get as close to my pre-baby body as possible and stay there. I actually like the gym. I love working hard at something and seeing the fruits of my labor. I love the science behind it and how muscles work and all of the little ways to sculpt your body into just the shape you like. Having initiative is not my problem, fear of the gym or not knowing what to do is not my problem. My problem is the busyness of life.
Since i’ve started having babies i have tried so many gym schedules, home workouts, signed up with various accountability groups and really nothing has stuck. However, i have finally rectified my 6 year long struggle with gym consistency and i have some tips i’d like share that i hope will help you get on the right track as well.
1. Focus on one goal at a time
If you’re anything like me you might be thinking that you want to hit the gym hard and accomplish all of your goals as fast as possible. Well i can tell you from experience, you don’t have that much time. Taking 2 hours to squeeze in my cardio, weights, and hopefully some sauna time just wasn’t going to work for our family. Focus on only one goal at first. Ask yourself what is most important right now? Losing weight? Growing muscle? Maybe gaining strength?
2. Keep it Simple
This one probably helped me the most. Choose a workout that you are familiar with or that doesn’t take any forethought. Then, do it on a small, easy level until you have established the habit of going to the gym. Once i simplified my workouts I didn’t dread going to the gym. Taking it down to a manageable level made it almost enjoyable. Don’t feel bad if your doing really easy stuff at first. Getting there every week is a huge step in the right direction.
After a month of making it to the gym consistently i began to interval train and push myself harder. By then i could tell that i was ready to switch up my routine. I simply needed to establish the habit of going to the gym and keeping it simple really helped me stay on track.
3. Take your kids with you
This may seem counterintuitive but if someone else is watching your kids then there is always a time limit hanging over your head and that can be distracting. Even if Superman is watching our Superbabies i still feel this pressure to get home as soon as possible because i know it’s a lot of work for him that he’s not used to doing.
I suggest finding a gym that has childcare that your kids actually enjoy. If your kids complain about going then that is just one more excuse not to go. If they are there, happily playing and no one else is ‘dealing’ with watching them then it gives you the chance to really focus on yourself.
4. Find a time that Works
Sometimes the time you want to go is not the time that actually works. Im not a morning person by nature. It’s something that i’ve had to grow in, but it’s still not my prefered time to do anything…unless it involves coffee and sitting. Lol.
I have discovered that the perfect balance for me is about 10:30am. It’s late enough that i don’t have to be in a morning rush to get everyone out the door but still before everyone starts getting grumpy and ready for a nap. I have tried super early, after dinner and mid afternoons and nothing else has been a sustainable solution. Our routine is wake up, breakfast, morning basket, gym. All of those things are non-negotiables and are the same everyday.
5. Make it a Priority
Don’t tell yourself you’ll go to the gym after you hit Target, the bank and get gas. You won’t, trust me. By making the gym the priority you’ll be surprised how easy it is to get it all in. The endorphins released when you work out almost makes shopping with 3 kids easier. Make the gym your first stop while you still have the energy to go work out. If you’ve already gotten in and out of the car 4 times you won’t feel like going and it will be that much harder to make yourself go.
Examine your daily routines, find out where your will power consistently fails and then correct it. My biggest issue was just getting there, but i leave my house every day for other errands. So maybe i should just go while i’m already out? On my first try i said i’d go after i did X, Y & Z. But i was worn out so i didnt go. How can i fix that? Go to the gym first. It’s all about really being honest with yourself and trying things until you find out what works. You haven’t failed until you stop trying.
6. Make it a Habit
I am a very habitual person. I like to have exactly the same schedule every day. My bible study at 6:00 am may be different than other days, but 6:00 is ALWAYS bible study. It’s honestly how i keep my life in order. By nature i’m a pretty free spirit and i have learned over the years that if i don’t schedule everything my mind wanders and stuff gets forgotten and lost in the daily mix of to dos. Just like going to the gym.
Experts will tell you that it takes about three weeks to establish a habit. It can seem like a long time when you first start but the good news is that after that first month those daily decisions to get dressed and go will be SO much easier. This is one of the most important things you can do to be successful. Do whatever it takes to stay focused for a month and don’t let up. Habit is what will get you there on days that are busy and stressful. It’s what will keep you on track during vacations, holidays and other seasons of life when you would usually fall off course. Your determination will serve you well.
These are obviously not overnight solutions. At some point it will still boil down to will power and you’ll have to make the decision to go to the gym. I can’t help much there, that’s up to you. This list is a few of the obstacles that always kept me from the gym and finding a solution helped me get back on track to reach my goals and be happy with my body again. I hope that these can do the same for you and maybe show you some other areas that you can make small changes in so that you will be able to reach your goals too.