I’m always fascinated at how warm weather can be a great motivator for fitness. The temperature finally warmed up enough to let the stale, season-old air out of my home. As I unlatched the window in the bottom floor bedroom, I was immediately greeted by the distinct laughter of children at play. I couldn’t help by smile and wave as my neighbor’s kids rode swiftly by on their bicycles.  I worked my way around my home to open up a window in every direction. My momentum slowed at the east window as the latch creaked with resistance. The windowpane fought to hang on to the last remains that the rigid temperature of winter left along the sliding window tracks.  As I threw all of my weight upward, the sliding window cracked open, letting a small draft in. The scent of fresh cut grass filled my nostrils as the fruits of my neighbor’s yard work wafted in through the small crack.  My arms remained outstretched upward as I struggled to push the window frame beyond the point of resistance. My arms grew shaky and weak and I set the window down again to reset and try later.

In the aftermath of my arms losing a struggle to a window, I thought to myself that my house was not the only thing that needed to wake up for the season.  My workout routine had also gone dormant for the winter and I needed to get my fitness schedule back on track. With the extended hours of daylight, I knew there would be a larger opening in the window of opportunity to get outside and get moving. With health on my heart, I found the motivation to make my fitness needs a priority for my schedule and my budget. I did it with the following changes in attitude:

  1. Decide Today How Hard You Will Work – I learned from my sales business that what you are doing today is what the landscape for your business will look like in the next 90 days. If you want to evoke change, don’t wait for the near future to happen. Decide right now to commit to your fitness goals and commit your motivation, your intensity, and your time to those goals.  Three months from now, when you look back, you will be able to see progress.
  2. Consider Your Budget When Joining the Gym – According to StatisticBrain.com, the average annual gym membership costs nearly $700 and only about 33% of people actually use their fitness club membership. Consider if $700 is in your budget. Then, be honest with yourself and decide today that you will commit to going to the gym at least 5 times a week. Want the change bad enough so that you will follow through with your commitment. This is the only way you will get your money’s worth.

If you decide not to make the investment in a gym, there are PLENTY of ways you can achieve your fitness goals without paying for a gym membership. Enjoy the warm weather by taking your cardiovascular exercises outside. Go for a hike or a bike ride. If you live a reasonable distance away and the sun is shining, consider walking or biking to work occasionally.

  1. Schedule Your Work Out – Success is the direct result of proper planning. This is the case in business and personal matters. You’ll be relieved to know that this is also the case when it comes to fitness. Plan your schedule out for the next three weeks, scheduling 45-90 minutes a day for a workout. The time you block off should include the approximate time it takes for the workout, changing, and cleanup afterward.
  2. Wake Up with A Work Out – Athletes warm up to mentally and physically prepare for a performance. While your official job title may not be “athlete,” there are benefits to warming up your morning with a workout. You will jump start your metabolism, feel more energized and alert, and you will feel less hungry throughout the day. Over 90% of morning exercisers feel that they are more likely to stick to their fitness schedule if it takes place in the morning (it’s the only way to reduce the chance of something unexpected crowding you out of your workout.)
  3. Bring Your Workout Clothes With You Everywhere – Have more than one workout bag with workout clothes, footwear, a water bottle, and toiletries. Put one in the back of your car and leave one in a drawer at work. Instead of driving home to change, you will be less pressed for time (and more motivated) if you have a change of clothes on hand.
  4. Make Your Meals Ahead of Time – There is more to fitness than getting your body moving. Nutritionists, health experts, doctors, and bloggers will all agree that what you eat has just as much to do with fitness. Be sure to pack healthy meals in small food storage containers and store them in your fridge or pantry for quick pickup. For larger dinners with others or family members, make your meals ahead of time and store them in the freezer. Before you leave for work, defrost your meal, throw it in a slow-cooker, and be ready to eat it when you come home.
  5. Vary Your Workouts – Search Pinterest – If you do the same exercises every day all year around, do not be surprised if you stop seeing results. Your muscles work just like your brain does. Your muscles may burn out or get bored of the same repetitive activity. Vary your workout from time to time. Mix it up. Search Pinterest for relevant workouts and start to work at least one day a week in where you do something different.
  6. Appreciate the Work You Do In Whatever Form or Fashion – There WILL be times where something interrupts your workout. Perhaps, you’re in the middle of a good run when your daughter calls, needing some help with homework. There will also be times where you eat more calories than you should have. Do not let these things hinder you from continuing your fitness routine. Do not let these interruptions distract you. Let go of the guilt too and understand that it is normal to do things outside of your routine. Carry on with your routine and forgive yourself!