Some women work out every single day. Other women don’t understand those women. (And as much as we’d like to fall into the former camp, that’s totally us.) You know how many days sounds good to us? Three. Here, eight ways to make it happen.
DON’T QUIT AFTER THE FIRST WEEK
If you’re someone who doesn’t know a push-up from a burpee, don’t expect to take to the gym like a fish to water. Settling into a routine takes time and patience. And while the jury’s still out on how long it actually takes to form a habit (popular opinion ranges from 21 to 66 days), trust us when we say that if you stick with it for a few weeks, the results you see will be more than enough reason to keep going. Eventually, you might not even remember your life before thrice weekly sweat sessions.
BUY A NEW OUTFIT
A gym outfit, that is. Think about it: Would you rather drag yourself out of bed at 6 a.m. to hit the spin studio in a ratty old T-shirt you got at college orientation or a cool, strappy tank top that may or may not be nicer than some of your real-life clothes? It sounds superficial, but a chic new sports bra or a cool pair of sneakers can be just the motivation you need to push laziness aside and actually make it to a workout.
ENLIST A BUDDY
There really is strength in numbers. Having a friend agree to start working out three times a week with you will hold you both accountable. It’s easy to convince yourself to watch another episode of This Is Us instead of going to Pilates, but if you know that doing so will leave your pal high and dry, you’re less likely to skip a session. Plus, having someone to roll your eyes at when an instructor tells you you’re only halfway done is always a good thing.
SIGN UP FOR CLASSES
Many boutique fitness studios have some kind of financial penalty for skipping classes (or even canceling them late). Nothing like the thought of wasting 30 of your hard-earned dollars to get you off your butt and to a class.
…But be smart about it. So, don’t say that for every week you hit the gym three times, you get to eat a box of Double Stuf Oreos. Instead, make it something not food-related. Bi-weekly manicures (but only if you’ve been to the gym six times) sound pretty nice.
TRAIN FOR SOMETHING
Whether you go all in for a Tough Mudder or opt for a local 5K where you get to dress up like a Disney princess is up to you; the point is that signing up for a race or competition is an excellent way to reach your goal of working out three times a week. Working toward something specific makes it easier to follow through with your plan, lest you end up a sad little mermaid who couldn’t make it past mile one.
FIND A FUN WORKOUT
Obvious as it sounds, too many people give up on their fitness goals because they’re bored with the same old elliptical-free-weights-abs routine. So find something you actually like doing. If slow-flow yoga sounds like your version of hell, find a dance workout in your area. Or, if you need the motivation of a ripped dude screaming in your face to do more squats, try a boot camp. It’s all about seeking out things that will keep you interested enough to stick with your plan.
…BUT SWITCH IT UP, TOO
That being said, even if you do find a workout you actually like, chances are you’re going to get bored of it at some point. Switching up workouts not only keeps you interested, but it works different parts of your body in different ways, meaning you’ll see results way faster. Both great things, if you ask us.
This article first appeared on PureWow