Three simple steps to creating a successful exercise program


The other day I went for a run and it started to rain. It was not raining very hard, so I decided to finish my run instead of heading home. As I ran past my neighbor’s house I heard my neighbor’s young son ask his mom why I was running in the rain. His mom replied “I have no idea! It doesn’t look like anyone is chasing her!” I had to smile at this comment as I am sure it seemed silly to them that I would be running in the rain while they were running into the house to get out of the rain. For the duration of my run, I was thinking about the boy’s comment. Why was I running in the rain?

I run because it makes me feel good both physically and mentally. I run because I get stressed out at work. I run because my kids drive me crazy sometimes. I run because it is a beautiful day and I need to get outside and feel the sun. I run because I have to clear my mind and stay sane.  I run because I promised myself that I would.

Whether you are a marathon runner or watching marathons of Netflix shows, we all need motivation to get moving.  If you are just starting out with an exercise program, or if you are trying to talk yourself into doing your daily workout, you need to find some motivation.  Your motivation might be different than mine, but we all have our own motivation and our own reasons why. The key to a successful workout program is to figure out your ‘why’ and come up with a plan. Are you are trying to lose weight? Maybe you want to get stronger, faster, leaner, healthier physically or mentally? So, how do you figure out your motivation and develop a plan? Start with the end in mind and follow these steps.

  1. What is your end result? What does it look like and feel like? Be specific and write it down. Don’t just write  “to feel better” or ‘to lose weight.’  What does it feel like to ‘feel better’? How will you specifically feel? Is it a mental change or a physical change? Do you want to lose weight? How much weight do you want to lose? 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 100 pounds? Is it a number on a scale or a number on your clothes? Maybe your end result is to be able to move for a consecutive amount of time. Maybe you want to exercise for 30 minutes straight. Maybe you want to walk for 2 miles, 5 miles, or even run a full marathon! Think about your end result and get a clear picture of you achieving it. Write it down and post your goal for you to see every day. Then, when you want to skip your workout, look at your goal and find your motivation!

2. How are you going to get there? What is your plan? Are you going to walk every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday? Find a yoga class every Wednesday? Develop your plan and include the time, place and activity.

3. Schedule yourself time to workout.  Just like you are scheduled to work certain hours, or your favorite T.V. show is scheduled at a particular time, we all need a schedule. Life is busy and when things get crazy the easiest thing to drop is taking care of ourselves. Write up your schedule (see #2) and post it for all to see. Make sure that your schedule works for you. I am not a morning person, so getting up a half hour earlier does not work for me, but right after work is my time.  Schedule yourself time and stick with it. Would you ever just not show up for work?? The same goes for your exercise schedule. Make sure all of your family members are aware of your schedule and respect your time. But also make sure you are following your schedule, if you don’t respect it nobody else will.

So to sum it all up, Write it, post it, do it, repeat!