Until recently, I looked at exercise as just another thing on my daily to-do list. It usually fell towards the bottom, too, because putting work obligations first always seemed more important. I would procrastinate my work out to the point where it was rarely ever happening. Plus, most days I’m lucky if I get through everything on my list, so needless to say exercise was fast becoming fantasy rather than reality.

Then one day I had an epiphany. What if I scheduled my workout just like I do any other meeting or appointment? I started that day and haven’t missed a sweat session since. After making this change and reflecting on why it worked for me, these are the three reasons I came up with:

1. It provides consistency

Consistency is what I’ve always struggled with when trying to form a workout routine. I’d make it happen for a couple weeks but then it would get put on the back burner for the millionth time, and I’d eventually just give up on it completely. When I started scheduling it, it suddenly became something I couldn’t skip. I also want to clarify that I work out at home, so I’m not relying on scheduling with other people to hold me accountable. Before I knew it, I had gone eight weeks without missing a single workout.

2. It makes working out a priority

Like I said before, working out typically fell under the category of things to do “if I had time” or “if I get through every work assignment.” I would actually feel guilty putting off work so I could exercise. After realizing the guilt, this is when I had a change in my mindset. Moving my body and working out consistently is just as important as work. Of course, I’m not encouraging you to skip a meeting or turn things in late, but if you don’t make yourself a priority, no one else will. Work is never-ending and there has to come a time when you’re willing to put it aside for an hour so you can work on your health.

3. It helps build new habits

Ultimately, what scheduling did for me is help build a new habit. Habits get harder and harder to change and form as you get older, so the sooner you can make fitness a habit in your daily routine, the better off you’ll be. Even if it seems impossible, you can do it! I recommend literally penciling it into your planner or adding it to your iCal, then setting a reminder alarm to go off when your scheduled time is 15 minutes out. This way you’ll know it’s time to shift your mindset and wrap up any projects until your workout is complete.

Don't have time to go to the gym? Watch this 10 Minute At-Home HIIT Workout by Sophie Jaffe or Home Flexibility Program by Sam Negrin.