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How To Make a Workout Routine & Stick To It

2017 is YOUR year. High five girl…

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It’s been exactly a year since I joined the gym. And you know what? I’ve actually gone, regularly, and *whispers* I quite like it. I’ve only missed sessions when I’ve been away and have pretty much stuck to three sessions a week where I do a bit of everything from lifting to cardio and HIIT to bodyweight stuff. I feel like after 12 months it’s all starting to click. I’m slowly making changes in my diet too (goodbye Coco Pops – we’ve had a good ride) and I’m starting to see a real difference in my strength and body composition. I’m one happy chappy.

If you’re ready to jump on the fitness train for 2017 I thought I’d share with you some advice that has helped me turn from a couch potato into a couch potato who just lounges slightly less these days. Only slightly. If you’re interested in how I actually plan my workouts, then you can find all my tips in this post, but when you actually want to stick to the plan – here’s what I’d suggest…

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Sweating can be fun. I think this is my biggest and most important piece of advice. If you crack this, then you’re in. The key is to find something that you both enjoy (perhaps with hindsight) and find challenging. For me, that’s been resistance training with my Personal Trainer – Paul. I wouldn’t say it’s enjoyable in the moment when I’m sweating so much that I have a ring of clingy, damp fabric sticking to my belly and I’m struggling to breathe; but the feeling of lifting heavier weights than the session before, or being able to do 10 jump squats without collapsing into a heap is extremely rewarding and is what keeps me coming back for more. Test out classes and research online, until you find something that you actually like doing – that way it won’t suck balls when you do it three times a week.

Accountability. In the beginning at least, I found that there had to be something of value that I was putting in to training or order to make myself go. In my case, it was money. Having a personal trainer isn’t the cheapest of things, but it’s an investment. The fact that I had booked a session with Paul and had paid him, made it something that I just kinda had to do. Whether it’s paying for sessions or booking yourself into a class that has a cancelation fee, or assigning your friend as a mini-coach to make sure you’re sticking to your schedule – some kind of accountability definitely helps in those first few months.

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Plan it in. I didn’t workout for years because I pulled out the classic ‘I just don’t have any time‘ excuse. I mean, I work from home and don’t have kids – I have time. Sure, it eats into my day and means that I have to fit in filming a video or answering emails into another slot, but it’s just a case of doing a bit of re-jig. On days where I have to be in London for 9am, I just go to the gym really, really early – at 5am. Yes it’s gross, but it gets it done and you can bet your bottom dollar that if I saved my workout till the evening then they’d be no way in hell that I’d actually go. I sit down a some point on a Saturday or Sunday and schedule in my week’s worth of workouts as though they are meetings. That way they seem important, they’re in my diary and I’m less likely to bail.

Get a crew. Since I joined the gym, I’ve managed to rope in Mark and my sister into becoming members as well. Working out with other people is seriously where it’s at. Although I find that we do tend to take it a little easier on ourselves than when Paul’s eagle-eye is glaring down us, we still break a sweat and it’s nice to mix in a less intense workout from time to time. This year quite a few of my other mates have got PT’s or started going to classes too and it’s nice to share tips or feel in the same boat when everyone is struggling to sit down because they did squats the day before. Plus you’re less likely to give up or sleep-in and miss session if you’re heading there with a mate. I’m sure Mark really appreciates my ‘Gotta get up! Gotta get up! Gotta get up!’ yells at 5.30am in the morning before 6am leg day. I’m so sure.

Photos by Lauren Shipley


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Comments

  • Liena Snow

    Great post Anna! Thank you for sharing these tips, great motivation! 😀 x

    http://www.lienasnow.com

  • Hi Anna,

    You have been one of my biggest inspirations for getting off my lazy ass and getting it into the gym. I’m now 2 and a half stone down since March and think it is time to invest in personal training. I’m scared but so ready! Really can’t thank you enough! Sophie xxx

    http://www.sophieblunt.com

  • good for you! but I hate working with people.

  • Leliforever

    Another Tip for beginners : Start SLOWLY.
    I started working out in September (PT – 30 min of TRX training) and I would schedule one class/week.That was it, 30 minutes once a week. Then in October I did the same twice/week, then November & December I did 3 times/week plus one 30min session on the treadmill (whenever my legs weren’t completely worn out after the class! Leg-days are seriously THE WORST DAYS) and now coming January, I’ve already scheduled 4 times/week of TRX training and I want to start a C25K plan (as soon as the weather allows it).
    When you start slowly, it becomes a routine seamlessly, especially if you’re starting straight from the couch (like me!!!)

    If you can afford it, I highly recomment PT. Money ALREADY PAID is a HUGE motivator everytime I don’t want to go.

  • Tamara

    Anna, you’re amazing! I remember when I started watching your videos a few years ago, you were not an athletic person whatsoever. And to see your progress, to see you become so enthusiastic about fitness, it is really motivating! 🙂 You are my inspiration to finally start working out regularly and stick to it.
    Wishing you all the best in 2017! ♥

  • It’s so true making yourself accountable to someone else (like a PT) can really help you stick to a routine as you don’t want to feel like you are letting someone down. Great tips Anna!

    Emma | HarmonyBlaze.co.uk

  • Some lovely tips – I always find that a good workout playlist and holding myself accountable really helps me stay motivated. I’m hoping that 2017 will encourage me to get back on the healthy bandwagon again, I’ve let go in the past few months and I’m desperate to get back on track!
    – Ambar x
    http://www.herlittleloves.co.uk

  • Jen

    Inspiring post! Getting into a workout routine is a focus for me this year. And you look gorgeous in these photos, Anna. x

    Jen | affecionada

  • You’re such an inspiration. Great tips! I definitely believe in finding a way of working out that you enjoy, it makes it easier to keep doing it. I want to try and fit in more workouts in 2017, even if it is at 6am before work!

    Natasha | The Night is Wild

  • I work full time and have two kids, so fitting in my workouts isnt always eqsy. But when I really plan them in my diary I am way more likely to stick to them.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Love it! I really want to get a personal trainer and I want to find the right one. But somehow I’d rather go to the gym alone than with friends/family. I feel like I’ll go all out when I’m alone but with people, I tend to distract myself and them. Eeek. xx

    http://uneditedbytes.com

  • Such a great post with some amazing and helpful tips! Thanks for sharing Anna. I really want to get more into fitness in the new year xxx

    Ciara Rose | http://www.ciara-rose.com | Bloglovin’

  • One of my goals for next year is to get back into shape after getting knee surgery earlier this year, so this was a very helpful post!

    Lynnsay x
    http://www.sartorialscot.com

  • Philippa

    I really enjoy aerobics classes, definitely key to find something you like doing!
    Philippa x

  • Ashley Christabelle

    I’ve had a PT eversince the beginning of November and I’ve been loving my sessions with her! You’re definitely one of my inspirations to head to the gym every week. Plus, buying new activewear seems to be the push I need to go to the gym too, haha!

    http://www.ashrealasitgets.blogspot.com

  • Thanks so much for these tips – I really want to get on track with a simple fitness routine this year and seeing how much you’ve achieved has been really inspirational

    – Natalie
    http://www.workovereasy.com

  • Such a fab post, wonderful advice and I love these shots! I totally agree, I’ve fallen in love with Sweaty time in 2016! x

    http://www.stylepetal.co.uk

  • I love this – I always plan time for my workouts because I know it will make me feel so much better! xx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

  • Hi Anna, fab post as always, Reading your tips on keeping fit has really helped motivate me. I incorporate a lot more wakling into my day (ala Zanna) and during the holidays have been walking further and further.
    Happy New Year!

    https://booksandwool.blogspot.co.uk/

  • I remember reading your posts at the beginning of the year and letting them wash over me with all of the other ‘I’m going to get fit posts’ that were filling up the blogosphere BUT it is so great to see you having stuck to it, it really is inspiring. Well done you, and hopefully this year I’ll invest myself more, and I’ll re-read all of your old fitness posts. Also, love the work that you and Lauren are doing together!

    http://www.englshgirlinnewyork.org

  • louemmy

    You are my workout inspiration for 2017 – you can see your hard work has really paid off. I’ll definitely be following your tips!

  • hanan abdi

    I have really struggled sticking to a routine this year, and reading your post has somewhat made me realise how it is worth sticking to, thank you for the insight :p xx

    A Girl’s Journal

    http://girlsjournal95.blogspot.co.uk/

  • I’ve never really struggled with sticking to my exercise routine. I just know I’ll feel awful if I don’t, so I just keep it up.

  • Becky Hughff

    The photos for this post are incredible! I definitely need to kick my butt in 2017 and get an exercise plan in place!

    http://www.ohsobecky.com

  • I love these photos! I need to plan my workouts in advance so I’ll stick with them. If I ever leave them for the afternoon, I never do them! Thank you for sharing your tips!

    Carrie | http://carrieelise.com/

  • Anna you look fantastic in these photos. Your makeup looks so fresh and you just look so healthy! Obviously all that gym dedication is paying off. Love the tips, perhaps 2017 will be by ‘gym goer’ year!

    Gemma x
    The Gem Agenda

  • Accountability is so huge! I’ve spent a stupid amount of money on SoulCycle in 2016, but guess what? I went to every single class and got my money’s worth. It’s what got me back into a fitness routine!
    Chelsea | chelseapearl.com

  • These are great tips, and I know they work because I’ve seen you succeed this past year! Hopefully I’ll be able to follow in your footsteps for 2017!
    Katie Actually

  • Today Souhaila

    great post, so helpful especially at the beginning of the year,the photos look good as well

    todaysouhaila.blogspot.com

  • These are great tips, I like how paying for something makes you feel guilty about ditching and then you feel like you have to go – a winner for anyone stingy like me!

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

  • Brilliant post with fantastic tips! Last summer I swore that I’d get in shape, but after a week found it difficult to keep up the motivation! X

    Victoria | VictoriaaHelenn

  • yeap! A daily walk-out routine is very good for both the body and the mind

  • Amber Holden

    Great tips and it made me laugh out loud. Getting back into shape is definitly on my 2017 hit list! x

    http://alittlebloggingspace.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Natalie Redman

    Sweating is definitely fun. Great that you’ve been sticking to it! I love going spinning. It feels like the one class I get the most out of during my visit to the gym!

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Great post Anna – I’ve been on track with my health and fitness and I see/feel the difference!

  • joyfuljoyous

    I needed this. I just signed up to the gym. You know New Year, New me and all that jazz. Just hope I’m able to stick to it.

    Joy

  • JESSICA BROWNE

    such a great post its good to get sweaty! http://www.j-anne.co