Ok ladies, NO MORE EXCUSES! School has either started or will start in the next week, and our precious little jewels will be back off to school. If you are like me, summer packed a lot of interesting activities, most of which were centered arounds kids. As a result, my fitness consistency went out of the window and I landed zero points for staying active…active with my kids and grands – YES…active with fitness – NO!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that being consistent is very necessary to a successful change in life, health, and weight. On the other hand, it is pretty clear that building a consistent routine of a regular workout regimen and healthy eating is not an easy thing to do; especially with things like “summer” coming into your life. Sometimes it’s hard to get back on track. Ladies, we all went into the summer with the best intentions – to exercise, keep a log of our food intake, and make healthy choices. But then school closed and summer happened. Along with that, some things happened during the summer break: kids got sick, had to take that unexpected trip and hundreds of other surprises that can really wreck your desire and opportunity to work out. Before you know it, your plan is in trouble and your prospects for “sticking to it” are not looking very good. As a matter of fact, things probably got worse over the summer as the days and weeks went on. Now that it’s the end of the summer, your energy is totally zapped for exercise and even the thought of preparing a healthy meal feels like a HUGE burden. When those “crumb snatchers” return to school, all you really want is a break. Your mind’s telling you, “something’s gotta give.”

What gives, more often than not, is your desire and plan to exercise and eat right. When it’s time to do everything, the things most likely to go undone are those that don’t affect or involve anyone but US, ladies. So how do you change this pattern? Here are a few rules for building back your workout consistency. These few little rules, when followed faithfully, will make your fitness life so much easier, even on those rough/tough days.

Motivation Rule #1: Never tell self, “I’m not motivated.”

It may be true that sometimes you don’t have the desire to exercise or that you really want to stop and get your favorite fast food rather than cooking a healthy dinner at home. This is very understandable and it does not mean you’re not motivated. It’s just means that you have to decide between two different and opposing things. Telling yourself that you lack motivation is just your way of denying that you really do have a choice.

Motivation Rule #2: Build momentum one step at a time.

Changing old habits can be very challenging. Starting a new routine can be even more challenging. It usually takes anywhere from 21 to 40 days to create a new habit…whether good or bad. And during this time of change, you will have to be very diligent and work pretty hard to make that change, even when you don’t feel like it. Be nice and gentle to yourself by starting with something that’s pretty easy to manage and build up from there. Set a small goal of one 10-minute exercise session per week then increase it to two 10-minute sessions. Gradually add minutes to each workout and eventually add one or more additional workouts to your week. Continue with this until you are where you deserve to be. PUSH yourself!

Following these simple rules will help you overcome some common obstacles while building the momentum you need to stay consistent. At the very least, you will be able to take all those lemons that life hands you and make some good ‘ol fashioned lemonade out of them.