- Your fitness and wellness shouldn't be left to something as fickle as "motivation".
- In this article you'll understand what it means to create a solid system that lets you get up and moving no matter how you're feeling.
We all have that one guy in our circle or contact list who seems to have his workout routine sorted. He’s regularly sharing pictures and videos of his workouts and gym sessions. And everyone wishes they were that guy – most people, at least.
Without trying to brag, I can confidently say I am that guy. If all the messages I receive are anything to go by, most people would love to move more, exercise more, and generally live more active lives. But for some reason beyond their control (or is it?) they can’t seem to find a way to achieve this important lifestyle goal.
In this brief post, I’ll do my best to help you understand the real reason you’re struggling to have a consistent workout routine, and what you should do to turn it around. Let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
Building a “System” is the secret ingredient to a consistent fitness lifestyle
There may be other reasons of course, some of which we’ll get into in this article, but the major reason you’re struggling with a consistent workout schedule is this – you haven’t built a “system” to help you achieve this. I’ll explain.
Let me start with a personal example. Not too long ago when I was myself struggling to get back into a consistent routine, I shared it in a tweet, and I also shared what I thought must have been the major culprit: lack of a “system”.
Funny example of systems vs motivation – when I used to commute 1-2 hrs to work, I never missed the gym because it was close to the office. Now that I WFH, I haven’t been to a gym in months even though there’s one 15-20 mins away.
Need to find a way around this.🥲
— Dèjì (@dejistudio) September 20, 2022
Back then, I had a 1-2 hour commute to and from work, so I had only one option – use the gym close to my office. And that’s what I did. I registered at the nearby gym. All I had to do was come a little earlier to work, change into my gym clothes, put in a good workout, have a bath and change back into my work clothes. Sometimes I switched things up a bit and hit the gym immediately after work, which was just as good.
The major lesson here is that the gym was really close to my workplace, so I was able to connect both in a “system” that helped me stay consistent for months at a time. In this system, going to work for me was almost the same as going to the gym. I simply had no reason to skip the gym.
Building a system that integrates your workout routine into your daily schedule means you’ll simply have to do it, be it a home workout or a gym session, whether you’re feeling like it or not. A system helps you overcome that need to be “motivated” and gets you started with or without it. As you would have realised by now, relying on motivation alone to get things done, including important things like working out, doesn’t always work. In fact, it is a poor way to get yourself doing the things you really need to do.
Having a clear goal that truly resonates with you
There may be other reasons you’ve not been consistent with your workouts, like not having a clear goal. To be honest, does anyone really need a reason to workout? Yes, of course. Even though working out in itself seems like its own reward, because the benefits are endless, we need to have our own personal reasons to keep doing it, else it can be pretty easy to run out of steam.
For me, working out has become a way of life, but I still have goals I want to reach at every point in time. Someone asked me a while back why I hadn’t gotten bigger after being a gym rat for so long. Haha. That’s because my goal is not to become the next Phil Heath or Ronnie Coleman. I simply want to have a strong, well defined body, among other things.
So, find your north star – find a reason that aligns with your lifestyle and personal goals – and this will be very helpful in the long run. Then go ahead and build a system that helps you stay active whether you’re feeling like it or not.
Some worthy reasons include:
- I want to gain 10kg (It’s better to be as specific as possible).
- I want to lose 10kg.
- I want to get stronger so I can lift my girl on our wedding day (this is even better because it has a time limit attached to it).
- I want to have a great body shape so I can simply look good dressed or naked (vanity can be a strong reason too, trust me).
Whatever it is, make sure you truly resonate with your reason – that is, make sure you’re doing it for yourself and nobody else. If you can pull this off, trust me, you’ll most certainly become “that guy” (or babe) in no time.
Adding joy and excitement to your workouts
Another reason you may be finding it difficult to workout consistently is a lack of excitement with regards to working out. This is a mindset issue, and quite frankly, most of our inhibitions all start from our mindset about things. Some people see exercising as tedious, miserable activities that feel like a punishment. It’s no surprise that anyone who feels like this would miss multiple workouts or even stop entirely. In reality though, working out should be a fun and community building experience. It has been scientifically proven that working out literally makes us happier and boosts our self-confidence, but we’ll get into that in another post.
If you fall into the category described above, you should consider doing the following so you can start to actually enjoy your workout sessions:
- Join a group class, whether online or offline.
- Workout with a friend, colleague or family member.
- Add variety to your workouts with different routines and equipment – simply put, switch up your workouts. Try all the machines or routines you can find. Explore, and find the ones that match your vibe!
- Create a playlist with your favorite songs. Music has been shown to be a crucial partner in this journey, and you’ll most likely find it to be so. Put your headphones on and get moving!
- Join community events like runs (Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja have regular marathons, for example), dance workouts, and more. Find the available ones in your community, or what’s more, start one! Your community fitfam would be grateful!
Thank you for reading this far! If you did, you must really care about your fitness and wellness goals, and we hope you reach them too. We’ll be here no matter what! Follow us on Instagram at @naijafitfam for more engaging content.
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