Latest Adidas? Check! Cute clothes to match? Check! Plan for accomplishing fitness goals in the next month? Ugh, not so much. The secret to sticking to a fitness routine is, sadly, not the on-trend color of your shoes or the catchy slogan on your workout tank. The secret is in the plans.

Tips for Sticking to a Fitness Routine

Antoine de Saint-Exupery said that “a goal without a plan is just a wish” and, while he probably wasn’t thinking about how to fit exercise into his day, the same idea can be applied to sticking with a fitness routine.

The number one reason why people fail isn’t that they’re unmotivated or lazy, it’s that they haven’t developed a plan. If you’re struggling with sticking to a fitness routine, try planning out these key areas to help you stay focused and on track.

Set a time for working out

Don’t just write down “Exercise Today” in your planner, write down “Exercise at 6-6:30am”. Be specific about the time you’re going to work out and block it off on your calendar. Thinking about the time you could fit exercise in is great, but if you don’t set a specific time, life happens and you never get it done.

After you write it down, set two reminders on your phone to go off 15 minutes beforehand and at the exact time you want to start.

Plan out your workout routines

So, you’re all dressed up in your workout gear, you’re ready at the time you set aside, and then…what? You have to know what you’re going to be doing during that time in order for it to be effective. If you’re doing a streaming video program, set it up before your designated time and push play when your second reminder goes off.

If there’s no plan, you’re going to end up wasting precious workout minutes trying to find something that you feel like doing. And chances are you’re not going to feel like doing much.

Also, when you’re planning out your workouts for the week, make sure they’re things you enjoy doing. Not a fan of push-ups? Don’t include them in your upper body workout. Despise running? Ride a bike, swim, or walk instead.

You’re certainly not going to stick with things you don’t enjoy, so set yourself up for success by being realistic about your likes and dislikes. There are plenty of exercises around to work the muscles you want to tone.

Fuel your body for workouts

There’s some really interesting science surrounding nutrition and exercise. Basically, it comes down to the fact that if you’re not giving your body the nutrients it needs, it’s going to start rebelling. That rebellion can come in the form of lack of motivation, being constantly tired, or even getting sick.

Your body needs healthy, whole foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals – especially when you start an exercise routine. If you find that on about day 11 you’re feeling sluggish and completely unmotivated, check your diet.

Get enough sleep

Can you imagine an Olympian performing her best on three hours of sleep? No? Well, guess what? Neither can you. Sticking to an exercise routine can be challenging enough when you’re well-rested, but when you’re sleep deprived it’s almost impossible. If you’re committed to getting fit and exercising daily, you have to commit to getting enough sleep.

Sticking to a fitness routine hinges on your desire to commit to yourself. Commit to making healthy changes like getting enough sleep and planning out healthy meals. Commit to taking time to set a plan of action and then follow through with it. Fitness isn’t a one-time thing, it’s a way of life. Embrace it.