Set Up Your Environment for Fitness Success
Updated: 12 hours ago
When you stop to look around you - what do you see? Maybe a bedroom with some laundry that needs done, a basket filled with unmatched socks, a few baby toys and a snoozing 7 year old who snuck in your bed in the middle of the night. Your goal is to get up and go to the gym today - ask yourself - is your living environment set up for you to feel motivated enough to go?
If you think about it, the way we live and organize our lives greatly impacts our motivation and success. It can hold us back without us even realizing it. If you are really wanting to make an effort to change your routine, your eating habits and make it a point to head to the gym three maybe more times during the week, you've got to set yourself up for it - especially if it is hard for you to stay motivated in the first place. And that's OK! Sometimes it takes a little extra push and shove to instill some lifelong, healthy habits.
Designing your environment to support your values and goals constitutes one of the simplest and most powerful ways to increase your chances of embodying and realizing them. To start, here are seven simple ways to set up your environment - at home, in the car, work and more - to get started on a successful, healthier journey:
Have your workout clothes cleaned and laid out the day before. Nothing is more stressful than fishing through laundry at 5 a.m. to gather your workout clothes just to find out you have a missing sock or your yoga pants are still wet. A situation like this can easily shift your plans for the day. Your mind may begin to build excuses - I can just go later or tomorrow or I can just lay down and get an extra hour of sleep. Have everything ready and laid out the night before to avoid any bumps along the way. Or, if you are getting up very early, wear your clean workout clothes to bed!
Set your running shoes next to the bed. Before you call it a night, leave your gym shoes nearby, close to your bed. This instills a mental note in your head that your goal is to run in the morning. You are more likely to stick with her goal when it is within sight and reach!
Keep healthy snacks in the car. Life is busy, and when you are dropping the kids off at school, driving straight to work and have the gym on your mind at the end of the long workout day, hunger will kick in. If you don't have a healthy snack nearby (think, raw almonds, natural granola bars, fruits and yogurt) your mind leans toward quick and convenient - aka unhealthy, fast food choices, or this can even cause you to overeat. Keep your metabolism and hunger at bay by eating whole foods that satisfy your hunger and help you make it to lunch. Whether you're someone who likes to eat first thing in the morning or intermittent fast until lunch, make sure that the first thing you eat every day is fueling your body. It works as a ripple effect, if you start the day eating healthy, the better chances you will continue to eat healthier food choices throughout the day.
Have healthy foods within reach at home. If you are surrounded by donut holes, sugary cereal and other frozen, processed foods, more than likely that is what you will eat - it’s science. Remove all of the bad processed foods (not just for your heart health, but for your family's health, too!) and have fruits, veggies and healthy choices within sight. This will naturally trigger your mind to have no choice but to eat those foods. Put five pieces of fruit in a bowl by the front door, for example, and set a goal to grab one piece every day on the way to work. Every little trick helps!
Surround yourself with people who have similar health goals. If you head to happy hour after work with people who have no interest in health goals, this will make it harder for you to reach yours. The people we surround ourselves with really does matter, especially when you are making an effort to change. Find a running/hiking/walking group to meet up with instead or friends and family who have similar health goal like yours. Replace a happy hour with a happy workout hour instead followed by a real-fruit smoothie or coffee chat.
Find a podcast or audiobook so you have something else to look forward to while walking. Listening to a podcast or talking and walking increases your chances of walking a little further than you had planned - whether that be an extra 5, 10 or 15 minutes. Every extra step counts, and if your mood is boosted, this can motivate you to keep those healthy habits flowing.
Go straight to the park after work and do your walk before going home. After school, if the sun is shining and sporting events aren’t taking over your day, head straight to the park or trail before anything gets in the way. Once you get home, it will be harder to gather up all of the things again and make it a point to go outside. Play at the park, go on a 30-minute family walk and don’t forget the healthy, after-school snacks! The same goes for your gym goals, head straight to the gym before or after a busy day at work. The day w will happen, so get up and go before anything gets in the way!
Here is the honest truth - no one is perfect and there will be times when you treat yourself to that ice cream cone with the kids, and that is OK! You can not avoid all negative influences, we are surrounded by them daily, but you can decrease your exposure to them and build your immunity to stick with the healthy habits you are building. Start small and pencil in time for your health - get in touch with a personal trainer to help keep you accountable, make exercising a part of your schedule just as you would schedule a meeting, find healthy foods you like and watch your habits change one day at a time.
Need some guidance? Check out Trainers Spot to begin your fitness journey, from finding a personal trainer, to joining in on a class or workshop, or get connected with a certified nutritionist.