Yes, schedules for workouts can aid in keeping yourself accountable But being too rigid could result in a negative outcome. “When you’re putting out expectations that are extremely high, such as, I’m going to go to the gym five or six times every week If you fail to make it on Tuesday, you feel that your week is over,” says Boardman. “You’ll just toss it away.”

In a different study in 2020, led by Milkman Researchers found that the use of routine incentives (i.e. paying gym members each time they went to the gym during a scheduled daily timeframe of two hours) resulted in less gym visits than flexible incentives (i.e. paying gym members every time they visit the gym regardless of the time). The idea is that if individuals miss the two-hour period, they feel they’ve failed, so they quit and do not go to the gym in any way.

“Having a plan is crucial but you must also prepare thatit could be delayed back by 15 or 20 minutes and you’re likely to run for about 25 minutes this morning,” says Boardman. “Be a bit more accepting of it.”