14 Expert Tips on How to Stick to a Workout Routine

concept of workout plan

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Have you been a victim of starting and then quickly quitting your workout routine? You’re not alone. It’s hard to find the time and energy to stay committed to working out, especially if you’re not seeing results immediately.

According to statistics, only about 20 percent of people who start a workout routine actually stick to it. Most people give up within the first eight weeks.


In order to make sure you’re in that 20 percent that succeeds, here are 14 tips on how to stick to your workout routine:

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Tips on How to Stick to a Workout Routine

  1. Set realistic goals

    Most of us are guilty of setting overly ambitious goals, only to find ourselves disappointed and demotivated when we don’t meet them. We want to lose weight quickly, or we want to be able to do a headstand in yoga after one class. This often results in feeling overwhelmed and like we’re not good enough, so we give up.

    Instead, focus on setting small, achievable goals. For example, commit to working out for 30 minutes, five times a week. Once you’ve successfully accomplished that goal, move on to the next one. This way, you’ll feel a sense of achievement and be more likely to stick to your routine.

  2. Find an activity you enjoy

    If you dread going to the gym, you’re not going to stick with it for long. It’s important to find an activity that you enjoy so that you’ll be more likely to stick with it. This could be anything from running outdoors to taking a Zumba class.

    For instance, if you love the outdoors, go for a run or walk outside every day. If you prefer to be around people, take a group fitness class at your local gym. And if you like to be challenged, try a new workout every week.

  3. Set a regular time for working out

    One of the best ways to make sure you stick to your workout routine is to set a regular time for working out. This could be first thing in the morning, after work, or on the weekends.

    If you’re someone who struggles with staying motivated, setting a regular time for your workouts will help you stick to your routine. You’ll know that you have to work out at a certain time each day, so you’ll be more likely to make it happen. You will be psychologically and physically prepared to exercise at that time.

  4. Find a workout buddy

    Working out with a friend or family member is a great way to stay on track. Not only will you have someone to motivate you, but you’ll also have someone to hold you accountable. If your buddy misses a workout, you’ll be more likely to miss it too.

    All you have to do with your buddy is commit to a certain time each week to work out together. This could be at the gym, on a run, or going for a walk.

  5. Make a workout plan

    If you’re someone who likes to have a plan in place, make a workout plan for yourself. This could be as simple as creating a list of the workouts you want to do each week. Or, you could create a more detailed plan that includes what time of day you’ll work out, what type of activities you’ll do, and how long you’ll work out for.

    This will help ensure that you have a set routine and that you’re not constantly trying to come up with new ideas on how to work out. It will also help keep you accountable.

  6. Wake up early

    One of the best ways to make sure you stick to your workout routine is to wake up early. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to work out before work or the rest of your day gets busy.

    If you’re not a morning person, start by waking up just 15 minutes earlier than you usually do. This will give you enough time to work out and still have time for breakfast. As you get more used to waking up early, gradually increase the amount of time you give yourself.

  7. Pack your workout clothes the night before

    Another way to make sure you stick to your workout routine is to pack your workout clothes the night before. This sets the mood for the following day and reminds you that you’re going to work out.

    If you have everything ready to go, there’s no excuse for not working out. All you have to do is put on your clothes and go.

  8. Create a goal list

    If you’re looking for extra motivation, create a goal list. This could include things such as losing weight, toning your body, or improving your cardiovascular health. Having a goal in mind will help you stay focused on your workout routine.

    Whenever you accomplish one of your goals, check it off the list. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going.

  9. Get a workout tracker

    A great way to stay motivated is to use a workout tracker. This could be a fitness app on your phone or a simple notebook. The important thing is that it tracks your progress.

    This will help you see how far you’ve come and what still needs to be done. It will also help keep you accountable. As you start to see your progress, you’ll be more likely to stick to your workout routine.

  10. Reward yourself

    Whenever you accomplish a goal or reach a milestone, reward yourself. This doesn’t mean eating a pint of ice cream. Instead, opt for something that will help you stay on track.

    Some examples of rewards include buying new workout clothes, getting a massage, or taking a day off from work. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will help you stay motivated.

  11. Never allow guilt to eat you up

    If you miss a workout, don’t beat yourself up about it. Guilt will only make you less likely to work out again. Instead, focus on the fact that you’ll have another opportunity to work out the following day.

    Missing a workout every now and then isn’t going to kill you. As long as you stick to your routine most of the time, you’ll be fine. So, next time you backslide, don’t sweat it. Just get back on track and keep going.

  12. Set a reminder

    If you’re someone who is forgetful, set a reminder to work out. This could be as simple as setting a daily alarm on your phone or writing yourself a note.

    The important thing is that you have some way of reminding yourself to work out. This will help ensure that you don’t forget and that you stick to your routine.

  13. Don’t start so hard on yourself

    Most people make the mistake of starting their workout routine too hard on themselves. They think they need to go all out from the very beginning. Remember, this is not a military boot camp. You need to start small and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.

    If you start off too hard, you’ll quickly become burned out. This will only lead to frustration and a lack of motivation. So, start small and work your way up.

  14. Do it for your own good

    The most important thing to remember is that you need to do this for your own good. Not for anyone else’s. It’s important to have intrinsic motivation. This means that you’re doing it for yourself and not for any external reason.

    When you have intrinsic motivation, you’re more likely to stick to your routine. You’ll be less likely to miss workouts and you’ll be more likely to push yourself. So, focus on why you’re doing this and let that be your motivation.

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Long-Term Sustainability: The Key to Lasting Fitness Success

Embarking on a workout routine is often fueled by a desire for change, improved health, and fitness goals. While starting strong is commendable, it’s essential to recognize that the journey to a healthier, fitter you is not a sprint but a marathon. Long-term sustainability is the cornerstone of lasting fitness success. Here’s why it matters and how to achieve it.

1. Avoiding the “Quick Fix” Mentality: Many fall into the trap of seeking rapid results through intense workouts and extreme diets. However, these approaches are often unsustainable and can lead to burnout or injury. Long-term sustainability shifts the focus from quick fixes to steady, gradual progress.

2. Creating Habits, Not Routines: A sustainable workout routine evolves into a habit—one that you genuinely enjoy and can maintain over time. It becomes a natural part of your lifestyle, not a temporary task.

3. Consistency is Key: The most effective workouts are those that you can stick to consistently. Consistency trumps intensity when it comes to achieving fitness goals. Sustainable routines allow you to show up day after day, making steady progress.

4. Preventing Burnout: Overly intense workouts or restrictive diets can lead to physical and mental burnout. Sustainability promotes a balanced approach that prevents exhaustion and supports overall well-being.

5. Adapting to Life Changes: Life is dynamic, and circumstances change. Sustainable routines are flexible and adaptable, allowing you to adjust to life’s ups and downs while still prioritizing your health.

6. Embracing Variety: Sustainability doesn’t mean monotony. In fact, it encourages variety in your workouts. Trying new activities or exercises keeps things fresh and exciting, reducing the risk of boredom.

7. Focusing on Wellness: A sustainable fitness routine considers your overall well-being. It incorporates elements of recovery, stress management, and mindfulness to support your physical and mental health.

8. Setting Realistic Goals: Sustainable fitness goals are realistic and achievable. They consider your current fitness level, lifestyle, and long-term aspirations. Unrealistic goals often lead to frustration and discontinuation.

9. Listening to Your Body: Sustainability encourages you to listen to your body’s cues. If you’re tired, it’s okay to rest. If you’re feeling great, you can push a little harder. This intuitive approach fosters a healthy relationship with exercise.

10. Celebrating Milestones: Small victories along the way are celebrated, motivating you to keep going. Recognizing progress reinforces your commitment to the journey.

11. Building a Support System: Sustainable fitness often involves building a support system, whether through workout buddies, fitness communities, or professionals who guide your journey.

12. Thriving, Not Just Surviving: Finally, sustainability isn’t about just surviving your workouts; it’s about thriving in them and in life. It’s about achieving your fitness goals while enjoying the journey.

Incorporating long-term sustainability into your workout routine ensures that fitness becomes an integral part of your life, supporting your health and well-being for years to come. It’s not about a brief transformation but a lifelong commitment to a healthier, happier you. Remember, consistency, balance, and enjoyment are the keys to lasting fitness success.


Sticking to a workout routine can be difficult. But, if you follow the tips above, you’ll be on your way to success. Just remember to be patient, start small, and focus on your goals. And soon enough, you’ll be seeing the results you want.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I make sure I stick to my routine?

There are a number of things you can do to make sure you stick to your workout routine. First, you need to make sure you have a clear goal in mind. This will help you stay focused on your workouts. Second, use a workout tracker to monitor your progress. This will help you stay accountable. Third, reward yourself for your accomplishments. This will help you stay motivated. And fourth, never allow guilt to eat you up. If you miss a workout, just get back on track and keep going.

What if I miss a workout?

Don’t worry, you’re not going to be penalized for missing a workout. As long as you stick to your routine most of the time, you’ll be fine. If you happen to miss a workout, just make sure you make up for it the following day.

What if I don’t have time to go to the gym?

If you don’t have time to go to the gym, there are a number of other things you can do. You could find some minutes of your day to do some exercises at home, walk or jog around your neighborhood, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Just make sure you get some exercise every day.

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