I remember getting into a friend’s car one afternoon to catch a ride to work. In the floorboard was a gallon jug of water. I thought it was such an odd place for this, unless her car was overheating and so I asked her why she had it in her car.
She told me that she made a plan to drink a full gallon of water every day and if it wasn’t right in front of her, she knew she’d never drink it. She told me if she kept it in the refrigerator, it would stay there. She would forget about it, or it would become a chore to get up and go get it. So she kept this jug of water with her all day, no matter where she was.
Even in all of it’s simplicity, that was a great plan!
Many of us make promises to ourselves to do better and to be better. We want to be fit and healthy, smarter, prettier, more handsome, etc. We make these expectations for ourselves and then along the way they lose their appeal and become either inconvenient, or forgotten. How can we maintain that enthusiasm? How can we make those goals we want to reach attainable and present? We are all quite capable of making this work for ourselves!
We simply need to have a plan that isn’t a spreadsheet or an app. We need a plan that is as simple as a gallon jug of water. Here are ten simple ways to make a plan and have fun sticking to it:
- Pick out the clothes you’ll want to wear to work out in, the night before. I have found that this one simple step makes working out a done deal in the morning. When I roll out of bed the first choice I make is already made for me, all I have to do is get dressed!
- Drink water! Like my friend, carry that gallon jug of water with you all day, or do the rubberband trick I heard about. Keep a portable water bottle with you and place a rubberband around the bottle representing each bottle of water you’ll need to drink to fulfill your quota that day. As you finish each full bottle of water, remove a band until all of the bands have been removed and you’re done for the day.
- Change your routine! Don’t do the same workout every day. If you go to a gym, try a piece of equipment you’ve never used. If you’re working out at home, walk to the grocery store with an empty backpack and do some light food shopping and then walk home with a heavier backpack. Try to change up your workouts every week so you don’t get bored and you might develop muscles you didn’t know you had!
- Look good! You know the old saying “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you already have”? Well, in my book that applies to working out too. Why dress like a slob in a nasty t shirt you wouldn’t wear to the store and sweats that have served their purpose decades ago? I like for my compression spandex to be an outfit, or at least attractive and I want to feel fresh. I want my skin to be moisturized and glowy. I want my hair pulled back and looking smart and I want to wear clean socks and nice trainers. Even though I do all of my workouts at home alone, if I look good, I feel good and I will work harder. You will too!
- Keep a wall calendar in your bathroom. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Mine is the kitty cat calendar I got at the dollar store. On it I make a plan to weigh myself every two weeks and I note at least three days a week I want to work out. That’s it. It’s not set in stone, but it’s there to remind me every day while I’m brushing my teeth. It sets a mood of determination.
- Eat healthy! I rewarded myself last year with a subscription to Cooking Light magazine as a way to introduce myself to the recipe possibilities. Pretty soon I was picking recipes weekly and making shopping lists for healthy meals. Go and have a look at their website! The front page is already a recipe for you to follow to healthier eating with the first page being about what foods are trending, how to eat during the holidays, healthy snacking and easy to follow recipes that don’t bust your budget. Try their online site and consider getting a subscription. I enjoy having the magazines around to mark recipes that I liked so I can make them again.
- Beef up your gear for the chilly seasons. I know it’s so much easier to stay under the covers and snuggle when those temps drop, but trust me, you’re better off going for a run! Don’t let a little cold weather keep you from working out! I have a set of gloves, a fleece scarf and a beanie that are part of my workout wardrobe for winter weather. Once you start working out you’ll shed them as your body temp rises anyway.
- My new guilty pleasure are podcasts! I use them as rewards for making it out of bed and into a workout every morning and I only listen to them when I’m working out. I have many favorites now and finding one or two you can get addicted to listening to is as easy as plugging in your headphones. I listen if I’m gardening, mowing the lawn, on the treadmill or circuit training with weights. I grin big if they’re telling me something I wanted to hear. I laugh out loud if they’re being funny and I walk away from every workout with beautifully sore muscles and a brain full of new information. What could be better than that?! I love Heather Dubrow’s World! She’s smart, witty and always has a show jam packed with great information you can take away to use in your own life.
- Remember when I said to change up your workout? Like one friend reminded me, mopping the floor is a workout too. One of your weekly workouts could be your own regular chores like yard work or deep cleaning. While you’re working be aware of the muscles you’re using and work a little harder to get that sweat going!
- Last but not least, reward yourself! Have a little something special you can reward yourself with each week you reach your workout goal. It doesn’t have to be something grand and expensive, just something to remind yourself that working out doesn’t have to be boring or dreaded. Working out can be a way of living that gives something valuable back to you. It gives you back good health, peace in your mind and creates a new self love and self care that might have gotten lost in the daily minutiae of living.
This is Madeline Laughs and as always I am working towards better living and a healthier attitude. If you read something here that makes you feel awesome, consider Following my blog by clicking the Follow button on the front page. You will get an email reminding you that I’m out here still thinking of new and interesting things to share. Have a great day!