Cooking Light is running a feature where each month is dedicated to a new healthy living challenge: exercise regularly, eat more whole grains, etc.  This, along with the 30 day trials on this site and my total inability to stick to any kind of fitness routine since 30DS, has got me thinking about taking the punch card approach to establishing good habits.  You know, sort of like a Lunch It Punch It for exercise.

I want to make my routine more, well, routine.  When I’m not sick, I will typically run about 3 days per week, and will get in something exercise-like on at least 2 of the other days.  That may be 30DS, walking home from work, digging in the garden, riding the bike, etc.  All of these are good things, but they don’t really constitute a regimen, which I’m increasingly noticing that I need in order to stay on track.

I also want to decouple exercise from indulgent eating.  You know what I mean: the “I ran 5 miles so I deserve this ice cream” or “I biked to work so I get a donut with my coffee”.  To some extent, this is fine.  I do legitimately need more fuel before and after my long weekend runs.  Eating a 300 calorie donut in place of a 300 calorie healthy breakfast isn’t the best choice, but it’s not a terrible one either.  But that shouldn’t be my mindset whenever I exercise.

I want to start exercising before work.  If I get up when the alarm goes off (instead of snoozing an additional 30 minutes), I should be able to get in a 3 mile run or a round of 30DS.  This will get my day off to a good start, and will get my workouts in before the day heats up.  I’m going to make up a punch card, and plan for non-food rewards at designated intervals.  I’m going to intermittently post about it here in hopes that it’ll keep me honest.  Wish me luck.


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  1. I am a person who definitely needs a regiment. I need to feel like I have to exercise or I will come up with a reason to skip it. I’ve gotten into a pretty good routine of doing a Jillian Michaels workout after work (usually either a 30DS or No More Trouble Zones), but if I have anything going on in the evening I usually don’t have time, so I keep meaning to try to do it in the morning before work. But it’s so hard to get up earlier than I have to!


  2. Awesome idea! I’ve been thinking of using a gold-star chart, myself. I need to try SOMETHING to keep me motivated.


  3. I’m also a star on the calendar if I workout person. Or lately I type it in my phone and then I look through the weeks/months and see what I’ve done, plus makes dates to workout. If I don’t plan it (like packing my lunch) it probably won’t happen 😦


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