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  • Writer's pictureAndy Fortuna

How to start a new routine | Meditation, Fitness, Running

This time we are talking about effectively starting a new routine, but more importantly creating one we can stick to.

Its currently January 17th 2021, and by this time many new years resolutions are already starting to dwindle. Its a very low percentage of people who actually stick to their routines and achieve their goals.

Now, Im going to share my story of going from barely training once a week to training 1 to 2 hrs 5 days a week and running a 5k.

So originally I would train whenever I had “time” which was usually once or maybe twice a week after work at around 8 pm and I would do a set of whatever I could and head home.

Being that my office is inside a gym this should have been extremely easy for me to get done. But it wasnt...

One day I looked in the mirror and didnt like the look in my eyes. It was a dull , glassy eyed, and spaced out type of look. I was starting to feel burnt out a feeling I was all to familiar with.

I wasnt taking the time to actually take my health into my own hands. I did not prioritize it and it was last on the totem pole.

It was time to finally kick my funk and get myself to train consistently.

So, I came up with an outline to make sure I finally stuck with it this time :

Since that day I have been consistently training 5 days a week for the last 8 months

Here are the 6 steps that I outlined:

  • Define your Why, and How :

  • Why do you want to do this?

  • How are you going to get it done?

This will be your guiding light and will help give you clarity for the next few steps. But most importantly, when things become difficult (and they will) this step will help keep you going

  • Make an appointment with yourself :

  • Pick a Time, Day, and Location : Be specific

If you dont schedule it doesn't happen, You have to treat self appointments like you would any other appointment. Officially add it to your schedule and make sure not to cancel, no show, or double book. This not only prioritizes your routine/activity but mentally makes you more accountable.

For me , I created an appointment with myself for every morning at 6:30 am at the parking lot by my house to train.

  • K.I.S.S: Keep It Super Simple

  • Start short and simple: The less you need and the faster you can get started the better

  • Start with 5-15 min and build up : helps to build consistency, creates an easier transition in into your regular routine, minimizes likelihood of burnout or disinterest

Oftentimes we overcomplicate things. Instead make it so easy to get it done that it becomes extremely difficult not to do. For me, what started as a 10 min qi gong set turned into 1.5 to 2 hrs of training 5 days a week after about 3 months.

When things get difficult make it even easier. On days I don’t feel like training I go for a walk or do a 5 minutes routine just to work on a few things. Usually, I get encouraged after those 5 minutes and actually do the whole thing.

When the weather isn't cooperating or something comes up I get it done however and wherever I can. Even if that means doing a warm up routine next to my bed or in my office before I see a client.

  • Layer on other activities slowly : Follow the 2 week rule: do something for two to 3 weeks and then add another

  • Build a steady routine and schedule first

  • Focus on one activity at time : take longer if needed

  • Slowly introduce another activity same way you did activity #1

  • Your first activity is the foundation and the other activities build on top

For me I started with Qigong for the first few months , then added strength training, then running a few months after that, and then added more martial arts practice in between.

Instead of starting everything at once, I built a foundation and layered other activities on top. Take your time with layering as some activities take more time to stick.

  • Revisit your why, and how:

  • Do you have the same goal? Have they changed?

  • Do you still feel connected with what you’re doing? Do you enjoy it ?

  • What’s the most difficult part and how can you improve?

These are questions you should ask yourself frequently to make sure you're still headed in the right direction. Things change and its important to make improvements along the way. That could be within your routine, planning, or may be changing goals altogether

  • The Long term Game : 3-5 year Lifestyle transformation vs 30 day trend

  • Focus on making this routine part of your life and not a phase or summer trend

  • Embed and incorporate into your everyday life

Remember in order to do something consistently we often have to make lifestyle changes and not just short term fixes. Make routines and activities part of your daily life and surround yourself with like minded people who are trying to achieve similar goals and can assist along the way.

These are the 6 steps that have helped me build a strong training routine and create a healthier and performance filled life.

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