Fall Back Into Your Workout Groove After Summer Vacation

3 WAYS TO BUILD HABITS THAT STICK

In our day-to-day lives, habits can often be tough to form as there are plenty of distractions—summer vacation, holidays, birthdays, etc. To alleviate some of those troubles, here are 3 Ways to Fall Back Into Your Workout Groove after Summer Vacation and Build Habits That Stick.

SET SMART GOALS

By setting a SMART--specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound—goals, your exercise program will be motivated by a purpose making it harder to get off track on vacation or for any reason. A goal of "increasing upper arm strength" is open ended. A goal of "doing 15 full body push-ups in a row in the next 30 days" is a SMART--specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound—goal. Write your goals down and periodically review them and don’t be afraid to make revisions.

DON’T FANTASIZE…FOCUS ON YOUR PLAN

Effective planning is process oriented. Staying focused on the steps needed to reach your goal is key when you are trying to restart and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Saying, "I will exercise more" is not an effective of a plan as, "This week, I’ve already reserved spots in the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 6:15 am MRT classes before work." According to a study from UCLA, researchers found that those participants who included the process of what needed to be done to achieve the goal (visualizing themselves practicing every day after work) were more likely to stay consistent than their peers (that visualized themselves speaking French on a trip to Paris). Try doing a 30-Day Fitness challenge. This can help you both have a process-based fitness plan to better reach your individually determined SMART goals.

ELIMINATE EXCESSIVE OPTIONS

Pack a very similar lunch every day of the week or take MRT Class every Tuesday at 6:30 pm! There is great power in being boring according to a variety of research on self-control — and expounded upon in books like The Willpower Effect, by Kelly McGonigal. Take, for instance, Barack Obama’s insistence on never wearing anything but blue and gray suits — except for that one time. According to the president, "I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make too many decisions about what I’m eating or wearing because I have too many other decisions to make." The president’s belief is well supported by the researchKathleen Vohs and her colleagues’ study on self-control found that making repeated choices depleted the mental energy of their subjects, even if those choices were mundane and relatively pleasant. 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”—Aristotle