1. Your mindset is key.
Keep in mind why you want to exercise. If you don’t have the motivation, it’s going to be hard to commit to something. If you feel a lack of motivation, remember that exercise not only benefits your immune system, it also protects you from chronic disease AND it improves your mental wellbeing. (1)
Again, why do you want to exercise? Give it some serious thought.
2. Be realistic and stick to it.
If you can only commit to once a week, then set a time and day and stick to it. If you just start out, try and commit to it for at least 10 weeks. After that it will become easier.
3. Slow, steady and successful.
It’s been shown that implementing a small change is most effective. It is more manageable, which increases your self-confidence and decreases your chances of “failure.”
Simple and small steps become habitual more easily and more quickly.
Last, but not least:
small changes pave the way to bigger changes down the road. (2)
4. Cut yourself some slack.
Making something habitual is the goal, but it may happen that once in a while something (urgent) comes on your path. You can always change the day or time you exercise if you find it’s not working for you anymore. In the end, you are in control and you can make it happen, as long as you want to.
Choose the exercises you enjoy doing. Like to go solo? Or do you prefer team sports? Pick something that aligns with your own interests. Your friend likes to go weightlifting, but you don’t? Your friend will be fine without you.
I hope these tips are helpful.