How to Make Working Out a Habit

How to Make Working Out a Habit

Adding fitness to your routine can be tricky at the beginning, but the rewards are endless.  Today I’m helping you get past that initial struggle with 5 Ways to Make Fitness Your Routine.

Hi friends!

Establishing a daily fitness routine is one of the best things I have ever done.  I did ballet and dancing when I was young through college, but didn’t keep up with it as an adult.  I had many years in my 20’s where I didn’t do any sort of fitness at all.  I thought I wasn’t tough enough to be a gym person.  Once life started catching up with me, I started off just going to a gym and using the elliptical three days a week.  I didn’t work very hard, but I was doing something.  That habit eventually led me to picking up running as a hobby and even racing.  A few years later I even ran a marathon.  Now I consider myself someone who craves being active and willing to try to embrace any new workout.  And here’s the catch… I am happier, healthier and stronger than I was in my early 20’s.  Can’t beat that!

I know how hard it is to start a new habit OR bring an old habit back, but I promise it is worth it.  One of the most challenge parts of starting a new habit is getting over that initial period where it’s not quite your routine yet and it feels foreign.  The trick is to plan for that so you can start a fitness routine that actually sticks.  Just follow my simple tips to make fitness your routine!

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5 Ways to Make Fitness Your Routine

1. Decide When to Workout

Finding time in an already packed schedule can be the most challenging part of starting a new fitness routine.  You may need to get up early, go on your lunch break or workout after work.  Figure out when you can squeeze it in and write it down in your planner like a business appointment.  I would carve out thirty minutes for fitness in the beginning.  Treat that appointment like a new interview and don’t move it.  Set a reminder on your phone and take it seriously.  That shift in mindset can get you out the door.

Remember, you don’t have to start out by working out everyday.  Start with three days a week and then increase your days to five to six days over time if you want.  Make each workout count by staying focused during your time.  Use your time to the fullest.

If you feel like you don’t have any time at all or you are responsible for tiny humans with no childcare, buy some workout DVD’s and do workouts at home before everyone gets up. That counts too!

Kettlebell Full Body Workout at home details at Running in a Skirt / Running in a Skirt

2. Pick Something You Like

If you hate to run with every fiber of your being, you don’t have to run for your exercise.  Go to a Zumba class or start Pure Barre.  Pick something that you know will work with your personality and something you will not dread doing.  If you are the type of person who gets bored easily, a big gym membership might be perfect for you.  You can try a different workout every time you go.

Remember though that any workout may be unpleasant at first, but it will get easier.  Give new activities a fair shot to turn fun before you turn your back on them.  I used to hate running and look what happened!


3. Pack Your Gear

Don’t go out and buy ALL THE GEAR at one time, but do get a few workout pieces in technical fabric and make sure you have a good pair of shoes.  If you are trying to run, I highly suggesting going to a local running store and get fitted for the proper shoes for your feet.

Keep your gym bagged packed and ready to go so you will have no excuses.

4. Go Slow

Start off any new activity slow.  When I started to run I literally could not run more than a quarter of mile at a time.  I had to take walk breaks until it got easier.  In the same vein, if you have never worked out don’t go to the gym four days in a row to start.  Your body will need a day to recover and rest.  You can get injured if you do too much too quickly.

As you get used to the new activity, you will be able to push yourself more and more.  Over time you will be amazed at what you can do and how you will feel!

10 Minute Morning Wake Up Workout. Photo demonstrations on Running in a Skirt.

5. Find Accountability

Tell your friends and family what you are trying to do and ask them to hold you accountable.  You can also get support from group classes, beginning runner groups and even apps. One of the best ways is to find a friend who shares the same goals you have and do it together.  You can run a race or simply meet at your favorite workout class each week.

They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit.  Fitness is certainly one that is worth your time and those 21 days.  Just think…. a month from now you can be someone who has a fitness routine and works out.  You just have to make the time and actually put some work into making it happen.  If you can get past that initial hump, you will find yourself craving those workout endorphins.  Perhaps you will even be chasing the elusive runners high.  I know you can do it!

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Your turn!

Any tips to add?

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By | 2018-01-11T16:03:33+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Fitness, Healthy Living Tips, Motivation/ Inspiration, Running|40 Comments


  1. Nicole @ Fitful Focus January 17, 2018 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Love these tips! Scheduling time is key for me.

  2. Kimberly Hatting January 17, 2018 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Like you, I’m in much better shape now than I was back in my college days. I also do some kind of daily fitness, even it it’s just a quick 20-minute power walk. The benefits have been phenomenal 😉

  3. Barrie January 17, 2018 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    These are great tips- laying out my clothes at night for the next day’s workout is key for me – otherwise I will wake up my husband, and guilt myself out of doing it!

  4. Annmarie January 17, 2018 at 10:45 am - Reply

    Scheduling my workouts ahead of time definitely help me stick to my routine 🙂

  5. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy January 17, 2018 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Great tips! If I don’t schedule my workout, it is 90% less likely to happen. It makes such a big difference!

  6. Agness of Fit Travelling January 14, 2018 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Your tips are so practical, especially for people who find it hard to stick to a fitness routine, Julie. I really enjoyed reading your helpful and practical tips!

  7. Clarinda January 12, 2018 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Great tips, Julie! I like the always keep your bag packed! 🙂
    Clarinda recently posted…5 Delicious Additions to Make the Best Hot CocoaMy Profile

  8. Erinn January 11, 2018 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Great tips! Scheduling a time to workout and laying my clothes out the night before have been a great way for me to get my workout in everyday!
    Erinn recently posted…Winter Trail RunningMy Profile

  9. Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real January 11, 2018 at 7:40 am - Reply

    I had no idea that you ran the Chicago Marathon! I just went back and read your recap. Get this – I was a volunteer at the first aid station handing out water or Gatorade (I don’t remember which). Small world!

    I love the tip about accountability and how habits take 21 days to form.

    • JulieWunder January 13, 2018 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Nooooo wayyy!!! What a small world! I wonder if I took water from you??? So cool that you volunteered- that’s such a wonderful way to help!

  10. Susanna @Zealous Mom May 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Great tips! I would love to run a race with you one day!

  11. The Frugal Exerciser April 1, 2015 at 7:39 am - Reply

    Nice article I think I will send this to some clients that don’t do their exercise home workout. #wowlinkup
    The Frugal Exerciser recently posted…Workout Wednesdays – WOW #73My Profile

  12. Little Mrs Hurley March 27, 2015 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Thanks Julie, I recently wrote a post on this on my fitness blog, although now I have streamlined both my blogs into one. I think tips are key in wanting to workout. I still use a paper and ‘pen’cil planner, because it helps me to remember when I am actively writing things down. I don’t pack a bag anymore, as I’m staying at home with my daughter, but I always set out my workout clothes the night before. That way they are ready to be worn right away.

    Thanks and have a great weekend.

  13. Jaime March 25, 2015 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Not working out isn’t an option for me. I feel awful if I don’t exercise, and lunch hour is my best time with my schedule. It’s now getting harder to exercise on weekends!
    Jaime recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: First ice cream of spring #WordlessWednesdayMy Profile

  14. Cassi March 25, 2015 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    I workout at home so I don’t have to worry about the bag.

    Maybe add start small like walking around your block for 30 minutes. If you try to do an intense program (even slowly) right off the bat it’s almost like you’re setting yourself up for failure.
    Cassi recently posted…GoReIn2015 Q1 UpdateMy Profile

  15. Farrah March 25, 2015 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    These are such great + simple tips! I fell out of my routine (again). My schedule keeps changing every couple weeks and it’s driving me insane, but I’ll find a way to make it work!

    P.S. I love your top! :]!
    Farrah recently posted…Reflections on Pediatrics IMy Profile

  16. Gingi March 25, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Great post! I’m starting my fitness routine as soon as hubby is off paternity leave and I’m starting SMALL… just simple walks to the park and easy hikes. Thanks for being an inspiration girly! <3 –
    Gingi recently posted…Getting Ready for April Showers with a Good Directions Double Link Polished Copper Rain ChainMy Profile

  17. Nicole @ Fitful Focus March 25, 2015 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    All your tips are spot on! My number 1 is accountability. If I tell someone I’m going to go for a run or meet them for a workout, I besta show up!
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Syracuse Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

  18. Beverley Cheng March 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    These are all great tips – especially having a workout bag ready to go! I always pack mine the night before so i’m not stressing about it in the morning. So much more convenient 🙂
    Beverley Cheng recently posted…Pistachio Coconut Homemade GranolaMy Profile

  19. Jess @hellotofit March 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Loving these tips! It’s all about making it a priority! Something that helped me was definitely starting slow – with my yoga journey, committing to just once a week of practice was a challenge, even though it sounded easy. Now I’m on to two days a week 😉
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Heart-pumping hill repeatsMy Profile

  20. Danyelle Musselman March 25, 2015 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Be accountable… so true! It always helps me to tell my hubby when I’m going to do something, that way I won’t back out!

  21. Jen @ pretty little grub March 25, 2015 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Great tips. I really think it’s all about making that routine a habit. It’s funny because I used to be one of those people who exercised for a while and then quit for a long time. Now its been years of exercising and its just part of my life. I couldn’t ever imagine there being a time now where I wasn’t doing it.
    Jen @ pretty little grub recently posted…My running-life-crisisMy Profile

  22. Joanna @Makingmine March 25, 2015 at 9:33 am - Reply

    These are great – I’ve learned that if my workouts are not scheduled and I don’t have a bag packed, they will NOT happen! Adding kids complicates things due to childcare, but that just makes scheduling that more important! Great post! 🙂
    Joanna @Makingmine recently posted…just mama and meMy Profile

  23. Angelena Marie March 25, 2015 at 9:32 am - Reply

    These are great tips Julie! I love having a workout routine and schedule set for the week, it makes it easier to stick to.
    I am going to have to check out those accountability sites to find someone who has the same goals, what a cool idea!
    Thanks for linking up!
    Angelena Marie recently posted…Wild Workout Wednesday Runner Spotlight: JessMy Profile

  24. Annmarie March 25, 2015 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Love this, great tips! Love the outfit you’re wearing in the top pic too, super cute! 🙂
    Annmarie recently posted…Wild Workout Wednesday: Syracuse Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

  25. missy beeker March 25, 2015 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Hi Julie!
    This is just what I needed to hear this morning! I just started a new workout rountine this week. I am not a morning person at all. But I have started getting up early to walk on the treadmill before work. I start around 4:15am to walk for 30 minutes before getting a shower for work. Hoping to work my way up to running. This article is great motivation for me. Thanks Julie!

    • JulieWunder March 25, 2015 at 9:39 am - Reply

      Great job Missy! I’m really happy for you. Thanks for leaving me a message because it makes me so happy to know my articles helped someone. 🙂 I know you can get to running one day!
      JulieWunder recently posted…5 Ways to Make Fitness Your Routine TODAY!My Profile

  26. Starting slow and being accountable are the best tips. Knowing that someone is out there waiting for you is a great motivator. Nice tips
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Welcome Runs, BRF’s & CoffeeMy Profile

  27. Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes March 25, 2015 at 7:26 am - Reply

    Accountability is huge for me. If I don’t have someone meeting me I’m much more likely to slack off or even skip!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Solidcore Review: THE hardest workout you will EVER do!My Profile

    • JulieWunder March 25, 2015 at 9:37 am - Reply

      That makes a lot of sense! I’ve always run on my own, but I run my mouth about what I’m doing to a lot of people so I’d still have to answer to someone if I decided not to do it- haha!
      JulieWunder recently posted…5 Ways to Make Fitness Your Routine TODAY!My Profile

  28. Susie @ SuzLyfe March 25, 2015 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Great tips! Also, I need that long sleeve shirt. NO JOKE
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…The Skinny Confidential Book : A Swift, Sassy Kick (Giveaway)My Profile

  29. Blane Sherer March 25, 2015 at 6:48 am - Reply

    Great tips Julie!
    Like I have said before ” you practice what you preach “.
    You are a wunderful inspiration for all of us !

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