How to Make Exercising Become a Habit

I started fitness training when I was 13 years old. Even if my focus changed over time, I stayed consistent. The longest exercise break I had was for a little less than a month, due to severe back pain.

Working out regularly has become a habit that keeps me fit wherever my travels take me. Along my fitness journey, I acquired some little tricks that made it easy to stay consistent with my workouts.

Two years ago, I stumbled over the book “Atomic Habits” where James Clear addresses the power of small habits. I was impressed how his four laws on forming sustainable habits matched the learnings from my fitness journey.

For most people working out is something they do for a while until life happens, and they stop. Because it has never become a true habit.

That’s why I want to share today how you can make working out become a habit. And like that become sustainably fit.

Make it obvious
Set out your workout clothes and gear the night before in a visible location, such as by your bed or in the bathroom. This serves as a visual cue that reminds you to exercise first thing in the morning or whenever you’ve scheduled your workout.

Make it attractive
Find ways to make exercise enjoyable and something you look forward to. This could involve listening to your favorite music or podcast while exercising, joining a fitness class with friends, or adding activities you genuinely enjoy.

Make it easy
Start with small, achievable fitness goals to make the habit easier to stick with. Instead of committing to an hour-long workout every day, begin with just 15-20 minutes of activity, such as a short workout routine or at least a brisk walk. As you build consistency, gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts.

Make it satisfying
Celebrate your progress and achievements along the way to make fitness more satisfying. Set milestones, such as completing a certain number of workouts in a week or achieving a personal best in a particular exercise, and reward yourself with non-food rewards, such as a massage, a movie night, or a new workout outfit. Whatever, treat yourself.

These four have helped me and many of my clients make exercise a sustainable habit that gets and keeps them fit. And I’m sure they work for you too.

Once exercising has become a habit, being in great shape is easy.