5 Ways to Make Going to The Gym an Easier Habit
1. Do The Prep Work
First thing first, remove as much “resistance” that exists in your life to making it to the gym in the first place as possible.
Have your gym bag setup with everything you need (water bottle, headphones charged, workout supps, snacks, etc.). Have your gym clothes either pre-laid out or if possible already be wearing them if you currently work from home. Put everything right by the front door with your car keys if you need to. Additionally, schedule out a meal/snack in advance to ensure you are fueled and energized for your workout in the first place.
All of this should be done ahead of time so when it does come time to head to the gym you can just get up and go.
Your goal is to eliminate as many excuses/roadblocks that could deter you from heading out the door. Make it as smooth as a process as possible on yourself with very little energy required on your end.
2. Schedule It
Habits sink in best when they are something you do on a routine schedule. With this in mind you should have a concrete time of when you intend to arrive at the gym for your training sessions.
Don’t leave this up to, “oh I’ll head to the gym sometime in the evening” or “I’ll get there when I’m feeling energetic“. Have the exact time you are training scheduled into your day just like you’d schedule in a work meeting and stick to it.
If you’re having a hard time with this, consider signing up for any classes your gym may offer, so you are forced to show up on time.
Ideally, you can setup a training schedule that looks exactly the same every single week so there’s very little guesswork on your part with your scheduling/when you need to be at the gym each day.
3. Plan The Work Out
Just like having a consistent schedule will help you establish a gym habit, you should have a solid idea of what it is you are going to do for your training sessions.
The reason for this is it takes as much “emotional reasoning” out of the equation as possible. Anxiety based around not knowing what you are going to do once you arrive at the gym can keep you from getting their in the first place.
So, once you schedule when you are going to arrive at the gym, also lay out a plan for what you are actually going to DO. Example: It’s Monday, I arrive to the gym at 6:30PM, It’s leg day, I do *insert choice exercises here* for *insert choice set and rep scheme here*.
If creating your own workout plan is stressing you out, this is again where I’d recommend taking any classes your gym offers relieving you of all responsibility. All you’ll have to do is show up.
4. Set Reasonable Goals
If you are currently going to the gym zero times per week, don’t expect yourself to magically start a five day a week gym habit. You are setting yourself up to fail.
As a coach I see so many individuals fail before they even start because they set a goal that is completely unreasonable compared to their current daily habits.
Start extremely small. Can you consistently make it to the gym once per week? If you can prove to yourself you can make it once per week THEN add another day. Once you prove you can consistently show up twice per week add another day. So on and so fourth.
This sets you up for consistent progress overtime that motivates you, instead of immediately taking all the winds out of your sails when you fail a goal that was doomed from the very start.
5. Accountability Partner
Every other strategy failing you? Tell someone else about the goal you’ve set for yourself.
Ideally this is a person who has already established the habit you are working towards. Not only does this give you a partner to get through your workouts with, but now someone else is expecting you to show up with them.
Having that friend in your life who is going to hold you accountable even when you REALLY don’t want to head off to the gym is one of the most surefire ways to still make it, especially on those days where you’d rather be in bed.