56: 4 Things That Have Helped Me Stay Consistent With Solo Lifting

consistency habits movement Apr 01, 2021

Do you yo-yo (or maybe triangle) between lifting weights, running, and being a couch potato?

I mean like... maybe you find a really cool video program, gym, or personal trainer to lift weights,

and then you stop lifting weights because you're super focused on training for a race and there's only so much time in a day and you can't get yourself to run and lift so you just pick running,

and then the race is done and you go into couch potato mode,

and eventually you pick running or lifting again, repeat, repeat, repeat.



It can be super frustrating and also confusing to know how to spend your time and how to be consistent with cardio AND strength training.



I struggled with this for years. I would train for a marathon and completely drop strength training and then start a new strength training program and not run at all. And then there were times we were traveling or an unexpected life event happened or I fell into a depressive hole and I just wasn't doing any kind of consistent movement.


I figured out a way to be consistent with lifting weights, and I wanna share it with you. When you are consistent with lifting weights, your body gets stronger. You stop focusing on the scale so much. You stop focusing on trying to shrink down.

You start focusing on empowering yourself and getting stronger.

It's a super cool place to be, and I think it's something all females need in their lives. I wish I learned this in high school, but I was busy doing step aerobics classes and feeling clumsy instead of focusing on strength!


Ok, so yesterday I shared with you 11 things that have helped me stay consistent with solo running. Today I am going to share 4 things that have helped me stay consistent with solo lifting.


1. Decrease your expectations on time when lifting by yourself. Go for 15 minutes a day.

When I am by myself running, I only expect myself to run for 20 minutes. When I am with a friend or a group, I can run for 30-60 minutes. (Not training for a race right now!) 

When I am lifting by myself, I only expect myself to lift  for 15 minutes. When I go to a class at my gym, I am there for 45 minutes. When Paul and I lift together, I will do 30 minutes. When I have met with personal trainers, I am there for 60 minutes.

Again, when I am lifting by myself, I only expect myself to stay focused for 15 minutes.

This draws from the ZPD or Zone of Proximal Development.

Basically there are things you are able to do on your own,

there are more advanced things you can do when you have help,

and there are things waaaay outside your ability that you're not able to do at all.


I can stay focused and lift for 15 minutes on my own. I don't really love lifting weights. I know it's something I need to do, but I am never really excited to do it.


One way I get myself to CONSISTENTLY lift weights is by setting a timer for just 15 minutes.



2. Have a menu of options for lifting weights and write down a quick plan.

Some people love watching videos for their workouts. I used to watch videos for my workout, but I'm not a big fan anymore. It's just a personal preference.

I am on a screen already for so much of my day. I am typing this blog on a screen, I record videos on a screen, I have Zoom sessions with my clients on a screen, I watch trainings for growing my business on a screen, I watch trainings to be a better coach on a screen... I'm just over being on a screen.

Anytime I can do things without a screen, I am all in.

I have a Movement Menu for myself pictured here. I give my clients one too that has pictures and options for using weights, bands, and your body weight.


Using this menu, I might write a quick workout for myself like this:

2 minutes flexy

6 minutes- 20 squats, 40 lunges, 20 step ups, repeat until 5 minutes is up

6 minutes- 15 deadlifts, 20 side lunges, 20 hip thrusts, repeat until 5 minutes is up

1 minute- plank


I pick which moves I want to do and will actually do. Because remember- consistency is the goal! 

I never want to do burpees, so I don't make myself do burpees. I want to ensure I actually show up for consistent workouts, so I pick things that will ensure I will consistently do the workouts. This was also really helpful when my knee and hip were hurting. I picked which moves I was able to do and gradually built myself up to doing lunges and squats without pain.


I started the Movement Menu in March 2020, and this is the most consistent I have ever been with solo lifting weights.


Using the Movement Menu can help you pick which moves you will actually do and help you stay consistent with solo lifting. 



3. Play a podcast or music you like.

Again, I don't want to watch a screen.

I don't want to hear a trainer on a screen yell and scream at me that I am not working hard enough. I'm over that. Not fun.

What is fun and makes me want to do the workout is getting to listen to things I like to hear in my ears. Like podcasts and music I like! Again, consistency is that name of the game, and having podcasts and music I like helps make lifting more appealing and motivates me to actually take time to lift.


My favorite liftening options: 


Serial- Season One 

This American Life

Planet Money

The Indicator 

A Little Bit Culty

Actually, You Are a Real Runner

My Spotify Playlist


Hearing something you actually want to hear will help you stay consistent with solo lifting.



4. Color the 365 Habit Tracker.

Have you downloaded your copy yet? This thing is magical. Get your copy here.

I have written "15 min lift" and color in a box.

Some days, I do more than 15 minutes. But I only expect myself to do 15 minutes. Anything over that is extra credit.


Coloring in the 365 Habit Tracker and seeing your daily actions add up feels really good and will help you stay consistent with solo lifting. 



Lifting weights is going to help you get stronger. It's going to help you reduce the likelihood of getting injured while running. If you are training for a race or just casually running, you no longer have to drive to a gym to do a 45 minute workout. You can just do a 15 minute daily workout.

If you're trying to lose weight, building muscle is going to help you a lot more than fleeting cardio workouts. 

And also, you feel so badass when you see muscles forming on your body or when you can move up and use heavier weights!



Do you yo-yo between lifting and not lifting? Which tip will help you be more consistent?

Let me know: [email protected] 

Grab the 365 Habit Tracker: https://www.systemsforselfcare.com/365HABITtracker


Was this blog helpful? You can support the blog by buying me a cup of coffee 






50% Complete

Master your Meals, Movement, Mindset, and Sleep! Register for Ease into Imperfect Eating and get a FREE, weekly health tip from Jaclyn in your inbox every week.