How to Keep the Exercise Habit

Kindergarten-Style Reinforcementcalendar tracker

We are now one month into the new year and it is the time when most resolutions begin to fade.  This is the time to find your motivation, to find your inspiration and to learn how to bribe yourself.

My favorite trick to keeping an exercise habit is exactly what drives toddlers to potty training success and motivates kindergarteners to a candy reward…STICKERS!  Simple and easy.  Pick the habit you want to reinforce (exercise, eating well, not biting your nails, whatever) and go pick out a fun calendar and stickers.  In my case, I pester my friend Neyzza in Puerto Rico to send me the latest wall calendar so I can dream about moving back, and then I use my sparkle smiley face stickers to track each time I workout.

My secret is posting the calendar on the wall by your toilet.  It sounds silly, but it is where you go the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.  It is a visible reminder that you made a goal and you are going to keep it.

Next, you set a goal and think of your best reward.  For me, my goal is to average 4 workouts per week.  My reward rotates between getting a massage, a new workout top, or a date night with my husband.  My Trainer Jill has some great tips on rewards and tracking even for those with more detailed goals.

Now you can hold yourself responsible!  If you get sick, feel low on energy, feel your pants are getting tight then look at your calendar.  You probably don’t see many stickers.  When you see a month full of stickers, you should feel healthy, proud and full of energy.  Keeping an exercise habit (or any habit for that matter) is easier when you keep it SIMPLE, FUN & SUPPORTIVE.

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