Find an Exercise Buddy or Two (211/365)

One of the biggest challenges of picking up a positive but challenging habit is finding the consistent motivation to stick with it. If you’re operating by yourself, it’s very easy to talk yourself into taking the easier path.

This phenomenon is true no matter what the habit is. From changes in how you spend money to alterations in your fitness, motivation is often a big determining factor when it comes to success.

I can certainly see it in my own life. When I was changing my finances around, my “buddy” was Sarah. We were constantly there, pushing each other to make better choices, talking over difficult decisions, and congratulating each other on good moves. There was a large social push to make good financial decisions, both for me and for her.

In other aspects of my life, where Sarah and I are not chasing a mutual goal, it’s much more difficult. The simple presence of someone that you’re accountable to that’s also cheering you on makes all the difference.

Exercising on the Beach

As was discussed yesterday, exercise has a pretty impressive impact on your financial state. It staves off health care costs and adds to your own energy level, allowing you to tackle more earning or money-saving tactics.

However, exercise is one of those “positive but challenging” habits described above. It takes a ton of internal resolve to succeed at this alone, and many people fail (at least in part) because of this. The force of the short-term desire to relax can easily take precedent over the long-term goals of exercise without some proper motivation.

An “exercise buddy” can provide that motivation.

An “exercise buddy” is someone that you’re essentially in a “mutual coaching” relationship with. You provide some of the role of “coach” to each other for the purposes of exercising. You encourage each other to actually get out there and do it. You provide positive feedback for success. You provide a sounding board for the other person’s ideas. You offer up suggestions. You do everything you can to ensure the other person can succeed.

Most importantly, an “exercise buddy” provides that short-term social pressure that can often be enough to convince you to get out of bed at six in the morning for a jog instead of hitting the snooze button.

Of course, you can have a “buddy” for pretty much any personally challenging positive habit that you’re trying to establish. All you need is to find someone facing a similar struggle, then agree to work together to ensure your individual successes.

Having a “buddy” can make all the difference if you’re attempting to achieve something that’s really personally challenging. If you’re struggling to achieve your goal, whether it’s exercise, money, or something else, a “buddy” can go a long way toward making it work out.

This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “365 Ways to Live Cheap,” which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere. Image courtesy of National Media Museum. (For those wondering, Brittany had a wonderful picture for this post, but I chose to make a last minute image switch due to concerns for the amateur model used in the photo.)

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