Where to start
Write them down. People roll their eyes at goal setting but without a point of focus it is too easy to drift back into old habits. It can be a simple as setting a short-term goal of exercising a minimum of four times a week for the first month. Or a long-term goal may be to play 18 holes of golf while pulling along your buggy without passing out in a sand bunker on the way! Write your goals down, frame it and leave it somewhere where you'll look at it every day, or make it your phone's background.
Be specific with the time and what activities you would like to do, then enter each session as a recurring appointment in your calendar. For example, Monday − 30-minute walk at 7pm; Wednesday − morning swim at the local pool at 6.30am.
If you're swimming in the morning, for example, lay out your swimsuit and pack your gear and have what you'll wear to work hanging up ready to throw on after your shower when you get back from your swim. If you have kids at school, pack their lunches before bed or have your partner pack them in the morning so when your alarm goes off all you have to think about is getting out the door.
How do I stay motivated?
The feeling of actually completing a planned workout is already intrinsically rewarding, but sometimes you need some external motivation to get you to the gym on that afternoon when your willpower is lacking and the couch is calling. Allow yourself to indulge in a massage or facial each time you complete 10 workouts in a fortnight, or wear a pedometer or Fitbit and splurge on a new piece of activewear every time you manage to clock up 500,000 steps.
Music is extremely motivating. Or listen to a gripping audiobook − it'll make you look forward to hearing the next chapter.
You may have signed up to a new gym with the best of intentions but if you don't turn up, the gym receptionist certainly won't be calling you up to ask why you haven't swiped in that day. A personal trainer, on the other hand, will.
By doing this you will be promoting many important functions including flushing toxins and balancing hormones, which in turn keeps us feeling energised and in a better mood overall.