Establishing a workout routine isn’t easy. It takes a great deal of motivation and discipline. But even if you have both the motivation to move and the discipline to be consistent, there are so many ways that you might be standing in your own way and keeping yourself from establishing a fitness habit that will stick.
According to fitness instructor and The Sculpt Society founder Megan Roup, there are five common mistakes that people make when embarking on a fitness journey for the first time. In a recent TikTok, she laid out the missteps she sees most often as well as effective ways to address them.
1. Workouts that are too long
“Commit to less, so that you can show up more,” Roup urged. She finds that long workouts are often a culprit when people are struggling to establish a consistent fitness routine. Short workouts—even five to 10 minute routines—are “key” to building a “sustainable habit around movement,” she said. If you opt for shorter sets, you will be more likely to move more consistently throughout the week.
2. Workouts that you don’t enjoy
Another reason you might be finding it difficult to establish routine could be that you haven’t yet found a form of movement that you like to do. “Find a way of working out that you actually enjoy, that you have fun doing, that you look forward to,” she said.
3. Working out alone
Anything done alone is harder to do, according to Roup. When it comes to working out, “it’s so important that you find your accountability buddies,” she explained. That way, you will “have more motivation to show up to your workouts.”
4. Working out without a plan
“If you’re just floating around, doing random classes, you are not going to get all the amazing benefits,” she said. Following a program “that comes with a calendar” is key. That way, you will reap all of the benefits of your exercise regimen and won’t experience “decision fatigue.”
5. Workouts that aren’t suited for your level
So often, people choose workouts that aren’t fit for their level of ability. According to Roup, she sees it most often with beginners, who jump straight into intermediate or advanced classes right off the bat. By doing so, you’re more likely to leave “feeling really unsuccessful,” which might discourage you from future movement, she noted.