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Have you ever made yourself a promise, only to immediately break it? Maybe you promised yourself you’d start a new exercise routine. You bought the clothes, the equipment, and the gym subscription… but never quite made it to the gym. Ever.

We find it so easy to break promises to ourselves because there’s no one else to hold us accountable or to suffer the consequences. Except there is someone who suffers the consequences of your broken promises to yourself: You!

When we make promises to other people and break them, we feel guilty. We know we’re hurting someone and that in turn hurts us. Breaking a promise you made to yourself puts you on both sides of that confrontation. You become the hurter and the hurtee. It’s a double blow to your self-esteem. After all, if you can’t keep a promise to yourself, how can you ever be considered reliable enough to keep promises to other people?

Today’s the day to stop breaking promises to yourself. With our help, you’ll learn to build self-discipline from the ground up. We’ll start by building a solid daily exercise routine.

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Exercise for Beginners: Steps to Building a Routine

1. Plan the work.

Did you know that, when people vigorously plan when, where, and how they intend to exercise, they’re more likely to stick with it? It turns out that planning has just as much influence on building habits as actually performing them!

When you create one daily routine, it creates an anchor in your life. These anchors provide you with support, strength, and stability as you go about your day.

2. Keep it simple.

Note that I said simple, not easy. If you’re just starting a new exercise routine, you don’t want to be bogged down by unnecessary complications. Running, for example, is a great exercise for beginners. It requires no special equipment–just comfortable running shoes–and can be done anywhere at any time. You can also run alone or with a partner or group based on your personal preferences.

3. Reduce your excuses.

The secret to sticking with an exercise routine is figuring out how to make it easy for you to exercise every day. By reducing the amount of willpower required to go for a run, you’re more likely to do it, reap the benefits, and want to do it again. So, set your workout clothes out the night before your morning run. Or, if you plan to run in the afternoon, bring a change of clothes to work with you.

Also, make sure you have all the equipment you’ll need to start. If nothing else, make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. Take some time to try on multiple pairs and jog around the shop. Comfort is key!

4. Work the plan!

Running is not an easy exercise. It’s high-intensity and high-impact, which means it can be extremely difficult when you’re first learning how to do it. Your muscles and joints will hurt and you won’t feel like you’re making much progress. However, the fact that you are out there running at all is already progress! Remember, it’s not how far you run or how fast. It’s about running consistently and with good form. As long as you do those two things, you’re doing it right.

Start by exercising three times this week. Pick days and times that work for you. If you’re not sure, we recommend Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, to give your body plenty of rest between workouts. We also suggest running first thing in the morning, so you can’t put it off!

Finally, remember that you have the whole Fabulous community at your disposal! We’re available on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and we want to hear about your exercise journey or answer questions you might have. Come tell us all about it!

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This is how you can sustain effective habit change

Through our work with researchers from Duke University, we’ve packaged a unique collection of behavioral change insights inspired by elite sports and behavioral economics to help you build effective habits.

Willpower is overrated and you can’t always rely on it to change your habits. This is what you should do instead.

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