Train with a plan and a goal
When you train with a plan, you train with purpose. Walking into a gym without a plan is a great way to stunt your progress. Studies have shown that working out with intention is the key to making your habit stick.
In a 2001 study, participants were split into three groups. The first was the control group, and they were asked to track how often they exercised over two weeks.
The second group were called the “motivation” group, and they were asked to track their exercise and read materials on the benefits of exercise.
The third group was called the “intention” group. This group was given the same motivational materials as the second group but was also asked to make a two-week plan for when and where they would work out and for how long.
The study found that 91% of the intention group exercised at least once a week, compared with just 38% of the control group.
There was very little difference between the control group and the motivation group, proving that motivation isn’t always enough to maintain consistency. While motivation might be great to kick start a new workout routine, it’s the habit of working out that will keep you going when the shiny glow of your new workout plan starts to wear off.
And this is where working out with a plan comes in helpful. When you know exactly what you’ll be doing when you arrive at the gym, you’re more likely to a) show up and b) give it your all.