How to Stick to your Workout Routine: 9 Tips that Have Helped Me Stay Accountable

How to Stick to your Workout Routine: 9 Tips that Have Helped Me Stay Accountable



 Most everyone knows that consistency is prerequisite for fitness results. Even the most amazing workout in the world won’t have much effect if only done sporadically. But knowing the importance of consistency and staying consistent are two very different things. Indeed, “staying consistent” is probably the most common challenge that keeps people from reaching their fitness goals.

Below is an assortment of strategies, ideas, and “quick tips” that have helped me to stay consistent with my workouts for over 15 years. 

  1. Start with “Why”—clearly defining your goals, and more importantly, WHY they are important to you, is a step that most people skip. “I know I should go to the gym,” is not good enough. Connect to the emotional root motivation, and you’ll see your consistency skyrocket.
  2. Discipline beats motivation—reading a motivational quote, or hearing a story that inspires you can be a fantastic way to motivate yourself…in the short term. In the long run, if you need to rely on motivation to get to the gym, it’s unlikely you’ll stay consistent. Instead, develop the discipline to stick to your routine.
  3. Keep records—the first half of “accountability” is to ACCOUNT. Keeping a workout journal can go a long way towards building consistency. As you watch your journal fill with entries, you’ll be encouraged, and motivated to continue your progress.
  4. At least get dressed—Here’s a rule I’ve been following for almost a decade now: If I want to skip a workout (and don’t get me wrong, I DO skip workouts from time to time), I must at least get dressed for the gym first. Oftentimes I’ll think I don’t have the energy to exercise, but once I’m dressed to go, it’s easier to just walk out the door than to go back to bed. This tip is especially useful for morning workouts.
  5. Have a plan—as the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. Lacking a structured routine forces you to come up with a new idea every time it’s time to work out. That makes it too easy to say “I’m not sure what to do today” and skip a workout.
  6. Enlist the help of a friend—an “accountabila-buddy” can be a major asset in sticking to your routine. Find a friend who’s as committed as you are; it will be hard to let each other down.
  7. Hire a coach—being accountable to a coach is a great strategy to help you stick to your routine. Not only will you be hesitant to disappoint your coach, but your coach will take all the guesswork out of your routine (see “have a plan”).

    Interested in having the team at Catalyst be your coach? We’re offering a “Two Week Kickstart” of training at a special low price of just $199. It includes two 1:1 sessions, and two Semi-Private sessions. Click here to register:
  8. Keep it fun—Sometimes we need to work through unpleasantness on the way towards our goals. But if your workout is a constant source of dread, that’s not helpful either. Find exercises and workouts you enjoy.
  9. Set process goals— “We have a right only to our labor, not the fruits of our labor” (Bhagavad-Gita). Becoming too focused on outcomes, we can often lose sight of the day-to-day work that must be accomplished. Ultimately, we don’t have direct control over ‘what happens,’ only ‘what we do.’ Process goals don’t replace outcome goals, but complement them. 

Jason Kapnick
Co-Founder, Catalyst S.P.O.R.T.

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