7 Tips To Help You Stick To Your Workout Routine

7 Tips To Help You Stick To Your Workout Routine

Getting started is the hardest part.
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This summer, as many people do, I'm sure one of the goals you set for yourself was to develop a healthier lifestyle and actually use your gym membership. But sometimes squeezing in a good hour at the gym and the commute there and back is hard. You spend all day (and night if you're like me) at work, and on those rare days you have off you actually want to do something fun with your friends or family. One week goes by where you don't go to the gym, and then Sunday rolls around and you tell yourself, "Okay, this week I'm starting fresh. I'm really going." And then before you know it you're back at Sunday and you still haven't gone. So here are seven tips I've discovered that help me get my a** to the gym.

1. Pack your gym clothes the night before.

This way, you have no excuse. Pack your stuff the night before and throw your gym bag in your car so you bring it to work with you and when you're done the work day, actually put your gym clothes on. Now, you're already dressed and ready and you can't talk yourself out of going on the ride home.

2. Hold yourself accountable.

Whether this be on social media or with a friend, find a way to motivate yourself socially. Tell your friends you've started going to the gym, heck even drag one along with you and the two of you can hold each other accountable. Make a post on Facebook that you've started working out, throw a pic of you walking in the gym on your Snapchat or Instagram story - do it all. There's something about making your lifestyle habits social that helps you stay on track.

3. Get all the right swag.

Sneakers, work out shirts, baseball hats, leggings- if you can name it, go get it. Feeling good about yourself and being excited to show off your sick new leggings will give you the extra push to go to the gym. Plus, you'll tell yourself you just spent all this money on gym clothes and now you need to go use it.

4. Go at the end/beginning of your work day.

Okay, you might think this one is crazy but here me out. Whether you work 9-5, or the night shift, or odd hours at a restaurant, there's always a part of the day where you have just a couple hours to yourself. I work 9-5 on two days a week for my internship, and at a restaurant on the weekends. On the days I work 9-5, I've started going to the gym after work, and, just as I advised in tip #1, I bring my gym bag to work an change before I drive home. I thought I would have absolutely no energy by the time I got to the gym, but I was wrong. Spending 10 hours sitting at work and in the car I need to move around. Not to mention it's the perfect stress reliever after sitting in traffic. All I've really done is add an hour and a half or so to my day, and when I get home I can just eat dinner and relax and feel good that I had a full day. On the days I work in the restaurant, I'm not in until 11am at the earliest so I go before my shift. Again, all I've done is add the same hour and a half to my day and going to the gym before helps wake me up. Now my days off from both jobs can really be my days off.

5. Put yourself in the right mindset.

Every day you want to go to the gym and then end up skipping and you tell yourself, "Eh, it's okay I'll go tomorrow" and then tomorrow comes and you do the same thing. Nothing will change if you keep giving yourself this free pass of constantly skipping and never starting your routine. You have to change your mindset and actually hold yourself accountable. When you start to talk yourself out of going, really ask yourself why you're not going and develop some self discipline when you give yourself a lame excuse.

6. Set goals and attack them.

Setting a goal of wanting to get in better shape or lose weight is great, but they're not specific enough. Do you want to lean out, grow muscle, lose fat? Do you want to lose 20 pounds, 5 pounds, 5 pounds by the end of the month or by the end of the summer? You need to set a tangible goal so you can really go after it, and take pictures too. On day one, snap a picture, and take one every single week. You may not see a difference week to week, but when you compare your pictures across multiple weeks, or months, you will see your hard work paying off.

7. Get addicted.

Working out is incredibly addictive, ask anyone you know that's been going for years. Once you get into that routine you just can't break it and furthermore - you don't want to. Open up your mind, don't be timid, and let yourself fall in love with your new lifestyle.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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It's Time To Take More 'Me Time'

Did you ever stop and think about how important "me time" is?

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I know it's not everyone's first priority to think about just hanging out by themselves for a day, but why isn't it? Self-care is so important and some people don't do enough of it. Here are some way you can get some me time in, while still having a productive day.

Me time doesn't just mean relaxing

Yes, sometimes we all need a break, maybe it's just taking a long shower, laying in bed for an extra hour, or treating yourself to a yummy dessert. But, having me time doesn't necessarily mean you can't be productive. Have yourself a day and learn to enjoy your own company. Being around family and friends is certainly nice, but sometimes taking some time to yourself and collecting your own thoughts is good for your health.

It's okay to say no

No thanks. It's something that some people don't realize that it's okay to say no, just let them know beforehand. Such a cleshay, but it's not going to change anything if you say no to hanging out with your friends for one night. Take a night off and put on a movie or your favorite tv show and chill in bed with some of your favorite snacks.

Schedule it

We schedule classes and dentist appointments in our daily lives, but why don't we schedule me time? Sometimes just telling yourself that you're going to give yourself 20 minutes before your next task gives you a time dedicated to relax and collect your thoughts. It may seem funny to think about, but this is how you will be able to fully remind yourself, and hold yourself accountable, to giving yourself some alone time.

Treat yourself

Do it. Buy it. Now. Second guessing is first nature, but who needs a second opinion when your gut is telling you one thing? Once in awhile it's good to get yourself a sweet dessert or the new pair or shoes you've been eyeing.

Reflecting

Journaling is something that I spent a lot of time doing in High School, but once I entered College I never really had the time or motivation to do any reflecting. Reflecting on your life doesn't even mean writing it down in documentation, but even just taking 5 minutes before you fall asleep, let your thoughts sink in and evaluate certain things in your life you want to change, and cherish the moments that you will think about for the rest of your life.

Never feel guilty for taking time to yourself. Others will understand, but in the end, they're not you! Remember that taking me time is important for your overall health and encourage everyone around you to do it. Keep in mind that carving out some time for yourself is vital for the long run. Laugh and smile more.

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