1. They’re patient
It takes at least two weeks – and probably more like four to eight weeks – to turn a new exercise strategy into something that’s second nature. You have to stick with it long enough to face all the challenges you meet regularly in your life and find a way to fit it in, no matter what. If you can do something for three weeks in a row, you’ve established a good habit. You’ll know it’s working because if for some reason you can’t get your usual exercise, you’ll miss it, or suddenly realize that you’re not feeling so good because you haven’t had your usual exercise “dose.”
2. They take it seriously
Buy the healthy foods you need. Set aside time for socializing. Schedule exercise. Don’t leave change to chance. Make your newfound habits a regular part of your day, or log them in your diary and treat them as a commitment.
3. They get support
Tell other people about your new routine and ask them to help – by reminding you, encouraging you or coming along with you. You can get even better motivation by joining or creating an exercise group or finding an exercise chum – someone with whom you can walk or work out, or just communicate by phone or via an online support group.
4. They know that small changes lead to big things
Once you start making changes, you’ll find that one move leads to another. When you start to see the benefits and feel the rewards, you’ll be encouraged to carry on, and to make more changes to multiply the gains.