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How to develop a habit of regular exercise and liking it!

“I actually hate exercise and there is no way you can get me to do it”.

Those were the final words of one of my friends, who had given up after a week’s regular exercise habit. Quite a common statement, right?

According to a YouGov survey conducted in Dec 2020, the most common New Year’s resolutions people made for the year 2021 were regular exercising (46% said this was one of their resolutions), improving their diet (45%), losing weight (44%) and saving money (41%).

And we do start! We stick to the plan for a few days or probably manage to follow the set routine for a couple of weeks. But then one day skip, two-day skip, irregular workouts, and the discontinuation starts which finally ends with the stop!

Reasons could be many – laziness, lack of motivation, work-life balance, personal problems, other priorities, etc. But the truth is, we are probably approaching exercise or motivation completely wrong.

regular exerciseI mean, let’s be honest here – How many of you like exercise? Now we all know that exercise is important for general health, for weight loss and dozen other things. But are we able to follow a regular exercise routine?

So, what’s up with the people that regularly exercise, long-term and like it? That is what I am trying to answer in my present blog. The intention is to share some of the tips that will not only help you to develop regular exercise habits but also the liking!

PS: The mentioned tips are purely based on my years of running experience and the knowledge which I build during the journey.

By the way, the piece of my friend which I mentioned at first, she is doing exercise for 30-45 minutes daily and is liking it.

1.    Intrinsic motivation

The motivation to do regular exercise should come within. In other words, not forcing yourself to do it, not incentivizing yourself, not concerned with how others will view them?

So, awarding yourself is ok. But, if you use extrinsic rewards too much, it weakens your intrinsic motivation. So, a chocolate shake after exercise or that pizza after running may weaken your inner enthusiasm in a long run.

Take an example of your job: If you really hate your job, will you stay there for a long time even being paid some extra bucks?

2.    Do something you actually like

do what you likeIt’s a thumb rule. Do what excites you and it will act as a natural motivation catalyst.

Choose your regular exercise based on your interest. If you like to run, then run. If you love playing physical sports – Badminton, TT, Basketball, etc., then play. If Gym thrills you, start gymming.

Doing 15 minutes of something you like is better than doing hours of something you do not like.

3.    Set ultra-easy goals/short targets that boost your confidence

regular exerciseIf you are a first-timer, start-up by setting easy and short targets. You can break down your workout schedule into small milestones, based on your strengths and ability.

The feeling of completion always boosts morale and offers satisfaction. You can set the target initially for 2-3 weeks and based on the progress you can revise your strategy.

If you love running or want to develop the habit of running, you can visit our blog on 5k Running plan for beginners,  a stepwise training schedule designed for beginners.

4.    Make friends with similar goals or buddy up.

Two heads are better than one! Means – that when two people work together, they are more likely to solve a problem than one person doing it alone. And I have personally witnessed this so many times.

Make friends with people having similar interests. Workout together, discuss your goals, share stories. That way you will not find the regular exercise boring and mutual interest will keep this going.

Bonus tip: Ask your friend to give you a wake-up call in the morning or you can call him if you wake up first. It’s human nature that the probability to snooze the alarm is more compared to disconnecting a call. So, good morning. Let the day begins!

5.    Keep your running/exercise attire and gadgets ready

This really motivates me. Keep your apparels and gadgets like tees, shorts, smartwatch, etc. right in front of your bed. So, when the morning alarm rings, the sight of your training gears will not let you snooze the same.

Trust me, this hack creates a guilty feeling within you in case you think of missing your regular exercise schedule.

6.    Do alternate workouts

regular exerciseNow, this is an extension of the previous tip – “Do what you like”.

Choosing alternate activity or sometimes mixing your workouts will not let you feel bored with your regular exercise routine. You can plan your workouts to include various activities like running, swimming, yoga, cycling, etc.

Even though I like running, I do get bored sometimes and choose to meditate or play cricket as an alternate.

Now, there will be days when you don’t feel like doing anything. Those days you can try jumping rope for 10 minutes to avoid the guilt of skipping a workout.

Bonus Tip: Make sure you also have one rest day in a week in your workout schedule.

7.    Monitor your progress

I usually do this and even today keep a logbook to record my progress.

It’s a good practice to follow and monitoring your progress keeps you on track of your milestones.  It also motivates you to perform better.

8.    Share in social media

exerciseOk! Now, this is not mandatory, but in today’s digital world, sharing your work out and experiences not only keeps you encouraged but also stimulates your friends and others for the same.

We often receive DM on our Instagram page the_running_monk, thanking us for our motivating and inspiring content. You can also follow the account to read amazing and influential posts!

Someone somewhere is getting inspired by YOU when you are running on roads. Be that person who inspires others.


Being fit is not a difficult choice. What it takes is a bit of discipline, little motivation, and of course your liking. The article was an attempt to direct your interest towards your regular exercise schedule to keep you motivated towards your fitness journey.

So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step, then a walk followed by a run, and finally a dive towards your fitness goal line.

Let’s start. It is child’s play, trust me. I started off as a child, hence I know!!

Thank You

Thank you for patiently reading this through. Through this blog, what I have tried is to touch base few points that may help you to develop a regular exercise routine. The above-shared tips are a collation of my personal experiences and have worked for me as well as for many of my friends.

And I believe it will work for you as well. So, please follow the tips and let me know your progress in the comment section. You can also reach out to us through our Instagram page in case of any queries.

Also, if you find the post informative and useful, please do share it with your friends and families. Your love and support are valuable and boost us to come up with amazing reads every time.

See you next with another post! Until then…

Keep reading! Keep sharing!


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This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Neha Saxena

    Such appropriate points….seriously…this is exactly what happens.
    After reading this I can surely think of following what is said.

    Thanks for the beautiful write up.

    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks Neha. Glad that you liked the article and are planning to inculcate the habit of regular exercise. Do share your transformational/ inspirational story and we would love to publish it in our next blog. Cheers.

      Keep Running, Keep Inspiring!!!

  2. Priya Meena

    Inspiring words

    1. therunningmonk

      Thank you Priya.

      Keep Running, Keep Inspiring!!!

  3. Sumeet

    Very nice article. Particularly in times like this exercise will keep everyone focused and motivated

    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks Sumeet. Yes, keeping yourself fit by regular workout will help to fight the virus and increase our immunity.

      Keep running, Keep inspiring!!!

  4. Rajkumar Tiwari


    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks Dr. Raj.

      Keep running, keep inspiring!!!

  5. Mahavir

    Well written Harry…

    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks Mahavir.

      Keep running, keep inspiring!!!

  6. Shiv

    Thanks Hari very motivating blog

    1. therunningmonk

      Thank you Shiv.

      Keep running, keep inspiring!!!

  7. Indrajit

    Sahi h👍

    1. therunningmonk

      Thank you Indrajit.

      Keep running, keep inspiring!!!

  8. Pradeep Doiphode

    Awesome Sir, such a great information in pandemic situation.

    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks Pradeep. Yes, it is required in the current stage to be fit by not going out and working out indoors.

      Be fit, keep inspiring!!!

  9. Shiva Baira

    Great ideas. Let me try..

    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks Shiva.

      Keep running, keep inspiring!!!

  10. Ganesh Kanojia

    Hope many people inspire by reading this.. good one bhai 👍

    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks a lot Ganesh.

      Keep running, keep inspiring!!!

  11. Pravin

    Dear Hari,
    Post is brilliant but we found very difficult to get into real life…tried alot but always within 5_7 days we drop it and come into our casual laziness attitude …how can we overcome this…

    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks Pravin. Rightly said, this is one of the common problems faced by many of us. Remember the rule of 21. It takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle. Prepare a workout plan for 21 days and follow it diligently for those 21 days and notice the change in your body and mind before and after 21 days. After seeing the results after 21 days i bet you will no longer look back in your past. Do let us know once you complete your 21 days and how does it feel like after that 🙂

      Keep running, keep inspiring!!!

  12. Ganesh Kanojia

    Superb bro 👍

    1. therunningmonk

      Thank you Ganesh.

      Keep running, keep inspiring!!!

  13. Suchismita Padhi

    Thank you Hari for featuring me and accepting my request to post an article on this 🙂
    Yes Guyzz, the person in example is me. This is a blog for the people who wants to stay fit but always be irregular practicing the same.

    1. therunningmonk

      Its our pleasure Suchismita. We are glad that you got motivated by reading our blogs and continued your workouts diligently.

      Keep running, keep inspiring!!!