The ability to yank your shirt off with sheer one-handed confidence is undoubtedly a great feeling, but whole lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes for one to be able to enjoy that feeling. If chiselling out a perfectly-sculpted summer body was easy, everybody would be walking around with a neat set of abs under their shirts, just looking for an excuse to lose their top.

Getting Started is NOT the Hardest Part

Despite what you might have repeatedly heard, starting an exercise regime is not the hardest part. Testimony to this are the squads of people you suddenly see at the gym at the beginning of each new year, who are occupying all the good spots in an attempt to see out their latest new year’s resolutions.

These numbers very quickly start to dwindle because the hardest part of working your way to achieving your fitness goals is indeed maintaining your training regime. Consistency is very hard to maintain and unfortunately it is indeed consistency which is the key to attaining your health and fitness goals. Yes, granted the most challenging part of maintaining consistency is in the formative stages of building that consistency up. It’s not even like trying to learn a new habit, but more like trying to kick an old habit and then replacing it with a brand new one – a brand new one which goes against the old habit completely.

There are however some motivational cues one can put in place in order to ensure you stay right on your exercise regime and personally, they’ve worked wonders for me so far.

First Thing in the Morning

Look it’s definitely not for everyone, but I find that if I work out first thing in the morning then it’s much easier for me to diligently stick to my fitness training regime. Making my workout the very first thing I do in the morning is effective in both the scenarios when I only have one workout planned for the day or if I have two sessions.

The best workout I find to do in the morning however is whichever one that involves cardio, such as running. Seriously, I run even before I brush my teeth or have breakfast, otherwise if I’m feeling really hungry then I have a nutritious juice, protein shake or breakfast bar.

This ensures I maintain my focus on the task at hand, so no stopping to have a chat with anyone (it’s not just the ladies who want to look their best at all time hey). I even have a special running shirt with a heat-press printed message reading “I woke up like this!” If you want more reasons as to why you should exercise first thing in the morning, check out this excellent post.

Earning Your Keep

There are certain things in each of our lives we just live for and look forward to the whole day. Use these as a mechanism to force yourself to stick to your training regime by not allowing yourself access to them until you’ve completed your day’s planned workout(s). It’s not at all easy and there are definitely some days when I’ve said “Screw it, I can’t miss this game,” but I seldom manage to get back to the workout once the football’s finished. This is where my gym membership becomes important because I can’t just drop what I’m doing and head to the next room to watch football on the telly.

Create a Detailed Programme

A detailed programme should also include a sort of logging system, through which you essentially track you progress and try to relate that to the work you put in. There’s no better way through which to hold yourself accountable than by presenting yourself with evidence in black-and-white. You can even use some fitness apps to help you keep track of your progress.

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