If you’re like most of the population out there, you probably have a tough time sticking with exercise. If you don’t, count yourself lucky. Or maybe you’re like me and you’ve been able to stick with it long enough that it’s finally become second nature to you. But if that’s not the case and you dread going to the gym, this year is the time to break that cycle!

Just so you know, I use to HATE exercise. I hated going to the gym, I felt incredibly judged, and I honestly felt lost and like I didn’t fit in. It was a miserable experience for me day after day. I would force myself to wake up at 5am to work out because I thought that was the best time, I would constantly talk down to myself for not looking like the models in the magazines, and I would buy in to all the gimmicks out there that told me I needed to take certain products if I wanted to lose weight. It was a vicious and miserable cycle that lasted until I was about 25 or so. That’s a lot of years wasted on hating myself instead of using that energy towards better things in life.

So today I want to share with you the three things that have helped me stick with exercise for the past 9 years. Since making these changes, I’ve been able to work out 5 or more days a week, every week, and truly enjoy every minute of those workouts. And because of that, my body has changed, my minor depression has gone away, I sleep better, I’m happier, and I wake up every day excited for what’s to come. All because I found workouts I enjoy and decided it was going to be part of my life, forever. Let’s do this!!

  1. Stop viewing exercise as weight loss – When I use to obsess about losing weight, I never lost weight. I put my body through more stress (messing with my cortisol levels) just by thinking about losing weight. Once I stopped worrying about weight and just decided I wanted to keep myself healthy and mobile long term, I actually lost weight and felt better than ever!
    •  These 3 things kicked this #1 step off –
      • I stopped obsessing over mirrors. I simply looked in the mirror, gave myself a compliment and moved on.
      • I threw out the scale and stopped weighing myself all together. Even at the doctor, I ask them to not tell me or show me my weight.
      • I stayed away from caring what my pant size was.
  2. Find a workout you actually enjoy – This is so incredibly important. If you don’t like the work out you’re doing daily, you’re not going to stick with it.
    • Try different workouts – Just because you don’t enjoy one type of workout doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy another. Mix it up, get outside your comfort zone, and do something that intimidates you because that is what will keep you going day after day, year after year.
      • CrossFit, HIIT, Olympic Lifting, Orange Theory, Zumba, Barre, Boxing, Strength Training, Personal Trainer, Pilates, Versa Climber, Running, Yoga, Spinning, Swimming, Pool Aerobics, Gymnastics, Trail Running, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Skiing, or whatever else is in your area!
    • Give yourself proper rest days – Exercise is incredibly important, but if you don’t give yourself adequate rest, you may injure yourself AND you won’t get true results from your hard work. Exercise breaks down the muscles, rest builds them back up.
      • Rest = results.
  3. Make exercise part of your to-do list
    • If you are a person who writes out your day, put your workout on that schedule. Make sure to fit it in with whatever you have planned that day so it’s not forgotten about or overlooked.
    • If you are NOT a person who writes out your schedule, maybe it’s time to make that a priority. People who tend to make to-do lists normally stick with those plans. Plan out your day, plan out your workout, and be successful day after day.
      • There are tons of scheduling programs out there like Asana, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Apple iCloud Calendar, Trello, or just a handy dandy Notes app like I use.

These three simple steps have changed my life for the better! And because of these steps, I’ve stuck with my exercise goals day after day, week after week, and year after year. It’s part of my daily routine and it’s now something that brings me such joy, even on my worst days. I have met some of my best friends at the gym, I met my husband there, and I know the gym will always bring a smile to my face, whether it’s because of the endorphins from the exercise or the people I surround myself with. Exercise is amazing and it really should be a positive part of your life. And it can be. It may take a little work at first, but you’ll be amazed how much exercise can change your life for the better. So let’s make 2019 your year together. Try these simple steps every day and remember that exercise WILL change your life for the better. You got this!!

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  1. Rebecca says:

    I appreciate how basic your reminders are. In my head it’s so easy to understand that in order to keep healthy I need to exercise often, and that I should be grateful that I physically have the ability to do so; but then life gets in the way (excuse) or I’m exhausted from working 10 hours a day (excuse) or blah, blah, blah. This year I’m working on limiting my excuses, or at least realizing the reality in my excuses I tell myself and just get the F over them. I’m loving your positivity in the past few posts, I’ve been needing it! Thank you for all of your content, even while on vacation! I may not comment on every post I see but I check your blog and insta daily and appreciate all of your posts!

    1. juli says:

      thanks for the love Rebecca!! remember that excuses are part of life. and since you DO work 10 hours/day, you won’t always have the ability or energy to get that work out in. so you can always start smaller, like 2-3 workouts per week depending on your flexibility and grown from there. if you say you’re going to work out 5x or more in a week and you can’t make that happen, that’s where upset and frustration get in the way and excuses become even more prevalent. i’m definitely hoping to keep the positivity going in the new year!! thanks for taking the time to comment!

      1. Rebecca says:

        So true, must focus on progress not perfection!

  2. Amy says:

    Hi Juli! What advice do you have for those of us who have no problem getting a workout in but struggle with being consistent with food? Thanks— love PaleOMG!

    1. juli says:

      you know what, I’ll do a post about exactly that soon!! thank you for the idea!

  3. Jami says:

    Such a great reminder! I am starting to fall into the New Years resolution trap and I need to make sustainable life style changes that I’ll stick to and enjoy! Great post!

    1. juli says:

      glad you liked the post Jami!

  4. Vera says:

    Hi Juli – quick question for you – do you wear Nike metcons for your crossfit workouts? What are your favorite shoes for crossfit? I normally like running shoes for my workouts, but I know my coaches recommend more of a training shoe especially for the workouts that are more strength training or Olympic lifting…

    Thanks Juli! Vera

  5. Nicki says:

    SO true. I fell in love with crossfit about 6 years ago and was able to workout through both my pregnancies and I got about 3-4x a week! I never get bored. Finding something enjoyable is crucial!

    1. juli says:


  6. Denise says:

    Thank you for that reminder of not looking exercise to loose weight but for better mobility, strength and health. Having knee surgery in the past mobility is more important as i hit the BIG 50 this year. All is good just dont want to be injured again. I changed up my work outs to be low impact and weight training. Just need to get up and do it before my day gets going or it is too crazy! Of course, working out in my new rockin’ PaleOMG workout wear!!! Happy New Year and Cheers to a Healthy year!