1.Speed Up Your Workouts
It’s harder to talk yourself out of a 15-minute workout as opposed to an hour-long workout. It’s only 15 minutes of your 24-hour day. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is great for these short workouts. These short, challenging workouts are great in that they build muscle, increase your metabolism, burn calories post-workout and they put your fitness skills to the test. You are essentially sprinting towards your goal.
2. Sweat Together
It’s one thing to bail on your own workout, it’s another bailing on a workout buddy who is counting on you. You are much more likely to stick to a schedule if you have to meet up with someone. Moreover, the intensity of your workouts is almost always greater when you work with someone or with a team as opposed to working out alone, you exercise harder and more than twice as long as opposed to people who exercise alone. Why would this be? You don’t want to be the weakest link.
3. Think Small
Stephen Guise came up with the Mini Habits strategy. He experimented with personal development strategies for a decade. When he accidently started his first mini habit - and the changes he made were lasting - he realised that the prior strategies that he relied on were complete failures. The science in mini habits exposes the predictability inconsistent results of most popular personal growth strategies and reveals why mini habits are consistent.
"Stupid small" habits lead to bigger results. A stupid small positive behaviour that you force yourself to do every day; The habit is so small that you literally cannot fail it. Choose a habit that you want to continue for an indefinite amount of time. On average, it takes 66 days to instil a habit. Initially, it will be difficult but with time, it gets easier.
Use willpower over motivation. Using motivation to instil a habit is like building a house on liquid - it's not stable. Since the number one rule for establishing a habit is it must be stable, rather use small amounts of willpower.
The problem of not achieving lasting changes is not the person but rather their strategy. To make changes last, you need to stop fighting against your brain. When you start playing by your brain's rules—as mini habits show you how to do—lasting change isn't so hard.
4. Progress Photos
Plain and simple, exercise is hard work and we can easily get discouraged from a lack of visible progress. Taking a few bathroom selfies on a regular basis can make one fully realise how much progress they have truly made. Whether your goal is to lose fat or gain muscle, these selfies can help keep you on track, even when you think nothing is working.
5. Keep a Food Journal
Keeping a food diary is an effective way to keep track of the amount and type of food that you eat it a day. More often than not, people eat more than three times in a day and most extra calories come from eating between meals. If you are trying to lose weight, the most important part is keeping track of these calories. In fact, recent research has shown that people keeping a food diary six days a week lost about twice as much weight as those who kept food records one day a week or less.
You can download an online food journal such as, MyFitnessPal. These online journals will show you what you need to eat as well as help you plan out your meals.
Bonus Tip: The Energy Boost
A cheeky cup of coffee could be your weapon. Caffeine is known to increase the brain’s production of dopamine. Higher levels of dopamine, also known as the “motivation molecule”. This can enhance drive and during your workouts, helping you get the most out of each and every session. Research has also shown that drinking caffeine before you work out can have the following benefits:
- Increased Metabolism
- Improved Circulation
- Less pain
- Muscle Preservation
Sass, C. 2014. 5 Reasons to drink coffee before your workout. [Online] Available: http://www.health.com/nutrition/5-reasons-to-drink-coffee-before-your-workout [2018, June 18].
Guise, S. 2013. Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results. [Online] Available: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20567918-mini-habits [2018, June 18].
Magee, E. n.d. Can a Food Diary Help You Lose Weight? [Online] Available: https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/can-food-diary-help-you-lose-weight#1 [2018, June 18}.
Osen, F. 2017. Mini habits by Stephen Guise. [Online] Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hosrTiZ5Dcg [2018, June 18].