Ever wonder how some people always seem to make it to the gym? Like the friend who always talks about her new workout, or posts Instagram pics of her flushed face beaming after her last sweat session?

I confess I am one of those people.

For the last seven years, I have exercised on a consistent basis averaging three to four times a week. This year I upped it to six days a week and I am even happier, more motivated, and energized– and I sleep better, too. I’m here to tell you how and why this works for me—and how it can totally work for you.

Always Be Open

People who exercise on a consistent basis have a few things in common. One is that they keep an open mind on what fitness means to them. They ditch the “all or nothing” concept.

  1. We use what motivates us to keep ourselves going each day. That means that if I am into running, I run. If I am moved to do Pilates or a HIIT workout for a while, then that is what I do. I also consider a day of yard work or walking the zoo on a school field trip exercise, too.
  2. Some days are hard and other days are easy. For example, one day I will push myself to the limit on a longer run or harder strength-training routine. Other days I mix it up and let my body recover by  doing yoga flow or Pilates. Knowing I’ll have easier days helps keep me focused and energized all week long.

Routine the Regime

Humans are creatures of habit and forming one around fitness trains your brain and your body in a healthy way.

  1. Exercise at the same time each day. This one was hard for me. I used to do it when I could fit it in. For the last five months, I found I am more consistent and work out longer and harder if I wake up at six in the morning and workout before my kids need to get ready for school.
  2. Lay out your clothes the night before. Seeing your running shoes or barre socks sitting next to your shorts and tank will give you the push to move.

Look, Listen, and Feel

Exercise for pleasure and you will always be motivated.

  1. I can plan a routine for the week but some days my body tells me that I need to take it slow, so I’ll ditch my plan and take an active recovery day instead. If I listen to my body, I’m happier— and my body is, too.
  2. If I’m planning a lift or leg day but I’d really enjoy a long run or a bike ride instead, that’s what I do.

Find what moves your soul and not just your body, and before you know it, exercise will become a way of life.