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Starting is going to be THE hardest part!

How many of us have sat thinking, 'I should start exercising' and then we think about how and when, and we get super excited and motivated on the IDEA of it, but when it actually comes down to starting, we delay, a day, maybe two, maybe another week. Then we tell ourselves, 'okay, next month'!......I've been there!

Somehow, with everything that's going on around us with parenting, our jobs, household chores, and kids' activities, we always, always put our needs at the bottom of the pole because, at the end of doing everything for everybody else, we're just too tired even to think!

I've started an exercise routine and dropped off of it many, many times. When my son was very much younger, I used to wake up at 5 am to run around the block before getting him and myself ready for school and work- that didn't last for long.

When my son was in middle school, I used to run AFTER I sent him to school and BEFORE I had to be in the office. It was a tight fit, but I tried to make it work, but then I trailed off because something would come up at work, and I'd have to be in the office early, or we'd be late for school. So it was a challenge trying to fit in exercise in this slim slice of time I had.

After work wasn't an option for me, it was preparing dinner, spending time with my son, doing homework, doing housework, and planning for the next day, and I'm normally dead by the time my son is in bed. Or if I'm not dead, then I'm probably on my computer continuing my office work.

In the past couple of years, I've managed to get into a routine that I found suited me the best and have successfully maintained it. And I'm very proud of myself!

Why do I like working out at home? Well....

I don't have to waste time going to and from a gym

I have the flexibility of doing it in my own time

I save on gym membership

I don't have to get all fancy dressed for it

I can focus on myself instead of other people, which would be the case if I were in a gym

I don't have to feel embarrassed if my form wasn't exactly perfect, yet

I don't have to be busy feeling self-conscious about myself

Most of all, I'm home with my son!

I think the most significant change I made for me to be able to get into a routine and maintain it seriously is - my MINDSET - I changed it and gave it more meaning as to why I wanted to exercise. I asked myself why I wanted to do it and the answer that I gave myself is something I hold dearly, and it has been motivating me every single time when I'm feeling too lazy or too tired.

Apart from my changing my mindset, I want to share three essential things that I did that have made me not only start a workout routine at home but actually stick to it.


01 - Take time and think about your goal and plan for it

The one thing that might be setting you up for not being able to stick to your routine long-term is not having a goal to begin with.

We are all at different stages in our lives, and our goals might be different depending on this. Whether it's losing weight, building strength, building muscle mass, or just staying healthy and feeling good, you would need to develop some goals for yourself. Really think about what your reasons are and what your end goal is.

At different stages of my life, my goals changed - earlier, it was about losing weight, and now as I'm getting older, it's more about being strong and working my muscles so I don't lose it with age.

So depending on what your goals are, you can then decide on what kind of exercises you would have to do in order to achieve those goals.

Whether it's cardio, strength training, HIIT, yoga, pilates or even a mix, you'll have to know your goals first and then only you're able to pick your poison!

02 - Decide on a time that works best for YOU!

Check your schedule and decide at what time of the day that would motivate you the most to exercise. Sometimes, that might not be realistic, so figure out when exactly CAN you spare time to exercise.

It might be anything between 15 - 30 or even 45 minutes, maybe in the mornings, evenings or the middle of the day! You might also want to split your workout sessions throughout the day. Decide also how many days a week would be best for you. You need to be able to decide what fits you best.

I would love to wake up at 5 am and do my workouts then and have everything figured out before my son wakes up for school, which I have tried, but that's just not possible for me, so now I prefer to do my workouts in the evenings when everything has settled, the house is cleaned, son in his room, when everything is quieter. I can better focus on myself then.

I so envy moms who can work out with their kids, and some might use their kids as weights which seems so much fun! But somehow, I simply cannot. I'd get derailed even if my son comes out and asks me something as simple as where his socks are. If I'm unable to focus, I end up not giving my all for that 20 or 30 mins. I often have to remind myself that it's ONLY 30 minutes out of my whole day. It won't kill anybody.

As I said, everyone's schedule, allowances, and preferences are different, so choose what is right and best for you.

Once you've decided, make sure to include it in your daily and weekly calendar, make it a priority!

03 - Follow a workout video

If you've already decided on your goal and you've set time for yourself, then you don't want to waste the time you've put aside aimlessly working out.

I strongly recommend following workout videos available on youtube. There are so many of them for different kinds of workouts and different levels, you'll be spoilt for choice.

Following a workout video gives me structure and allows me to plan my routine for the week and track my workouts.

I have gone through and followed many workout videos, from terrible ones to ones that I've enjoyed so much that at the end of the workout, I wanted to carry on and do more! Some videos offer good workouts but the trainers talk too much, and it just stresses me out, so those kinds are a no for me. On the other hand, it might be what you prefer!

So go through a few videos to see what you would enjoy following.

You need to enjoy, if not love, your workouts. Only then you'll look forward to your next workout, and you'll be able to sustain your routine long-term.

After all, consistency is key!

Since I've developed and discovered my own workout routine that works best for me, I've been loving it! I look forward to my workouts, and I've felt extremely good about myself. We all know the benefits that regular exercise can do for you physically and mentally. Taking care of yourself is extremely important. You need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others, right?

A piece of advice - don't compare yourself to others and don't worry too much about what the scales tell you. The results are not going to be overnight, so be patient with yourself. What's important is for you to know that you are doing your best and for you to know that you're doing something good for yourself and that you feel good about it!


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