Over the past year and a half, we’ve heard lots of feedback from Fit with Friend-ites. They’ve shared goals, excitement, encouragement, trials, successes, and their motivation to exercise. We’ve since analyzed their feedback and noticed some patterns.
Users have lots of different reasons for wanting to be healthy, but there was one recurring theme that really stuck out. Fit with Friend-ites are successful when they are consistent.
When users exercise daily, not only do they stick to the Fit with Friends program longer than those who don’t, but they also report feeling accomplished, successful, and happy with their progress. The best part is, this happens even when Fit with Friend-ites do just little bits of exercise each day.
Setting goals of consistency
Often, when we set goals at the beginning of the month, a few Fit with Friend-ites set the goal of exercising every single day.
As one of the users put it, “this month, I’m reminding myself that consistency is key, even if it’s just making small changes every day.”
Starting out with a positive mindset that exercise can happen every day, even if it is just a few minutes, is one of the keys to success.
Fit with Friend-ites reported maintaining consistency in a few different ways.
Fit with Friends motivates some of the users through the process of manually tracking workouts. Tracking workouts and seeing workouts on paper is motivating to the users. Accountability is promoted through workouts that become tangible once they are written down.
Each time users choose to exercise and maintain consistency in their habits, they feel successful, accountable, and motivated to continue.
Another way to maintain consistency is through scheduling time to do it. One user shares, “if I put it on my calendar in reasonable time blocks, I have much higher odds of getting it done especially during busy weeks!”
Each user has to find which habit promotes accountability for themselves.
Creating a habit
Earning points makes the habit tangible, and adds an extra level of motivation, encouragement, and feeling of success. One user says that earning points is a “reward for exercise.” Using points as our reward reinforces the positive feedback we get from exercising consistently.
One participant says he “still managed to get in mini exercises like push-ups every week, and even a few runs, despite all the busyness.” Recognizing that we are busy people and it is difficult to find time to exercise grants us the self-permission we need to feel successful in our consistent lifestyle changes.
Seeing the results of consistency
Checking in on the sheets from users with the goal of exercising every day, I noticed that, yes, there was something logged every day! Some days they earned 1,000 plus points, while other days they just earned 100 points.
One user said her goal was “to do *something* from the spreadsheet every day, no matter how small.” This goal of consistency helped change her lifestyle. She said, “There were many days I just wanted to go to sleep, but didn’t without at least doing some mountain climbers or push-ups!”
The users struck a balance between living a healthy lifestyle, creating disciplined habits, and staying sane with a busy schedule. Some days, users exercised a lot. Other days it was just a few minutes. But the users were successful because they added movement to each day.
When we choose to do at least one little thing each day, we are building habits, creating success stories, and learning how to be healthy in a way that serves us well. As we say in Fit with Friends, “never give up, never give up, never give up!”