Prepare your mind for exercise by setting small, attainable goals and tracking your progress -- such as split times or number of repetitions completed. Think of the benefits of working out as you exercise. Perhaps your goal is to improve conditioning, or maybe it is to increase your strength for sports competition; think of how the activities you are completing are contributing toward these goals. Give yourself permission to celebrate successes along the way. If you decrease your split time by one second in swimming, but your goal was to decrease your split time by three seconds, then allow yourself to feel happy about it -- even though it is not the end goal.
Stick to your exercise regimen and know what you want to accomplish before you begin. Keep your goal for the day simple. If you are just beginning a routine, don't focus on how many repetitions or how far you run; focus instead on how long you exercise. For example, you may be working on arm and leg muscles for half an hour and moving to cardio exercise for the remaining half hour of your workout. Individuals with good fitness levels or competitive athletes may want to focus on decreasing the amount of time it takes to run a mile.
Curb Unhealthy Behaviors
Make a conscious effort to pay attention to unhealthy behaviors such as eating out excessively. Self-awareness helps promote change by putting the desired effect or goal at the forefront of your mind. Work at making small changes first, such as restricting eating out to once monthly or decreasing the amount of soda you drink to one can each week. Bringing the unhealthy behaviors to the forefront of your mind could also lead you to intentionally avoiding routes that include fast food restaurants while on your drive home from work.
You will not be able to accomplish all your goals in one day, and most goals have setbacks. Some people might become injured while training and may need to modify their workout. In this case, turn the negative into a positive. If you twist your ankle, think of all the arm exercises you can do. Think of new and creative ways to keep your routine interesting.
If you do not accomplish the number of repetitions you wanted to complete in an allotted time, add more time for that day to accomplish the goal. Although your overall goal may be to increase speed and strength, everyone has off days. Rigidly sticking to your routine may lead to negative feelings, and you may become discouraged and resist exercising in the future. Change your schedule if it is not working for you and shake up and change your routine from time-to-time to keep from becoming bored.
Surround yourself with people who support your goals, and set yourself up for success by setting attainable goals. For example, your goal could be to increase the amount of exercise you do each day rather than to lose 15 pounds in one month. Lose no more than 2 1/2 pounds per week for sustainable weight loss. A primary care physician can work with you to tailor an exercise plan to fit your individual physical and dietary needs and that fits your lifestyle.