Not Exercising? Sign a Contract.

Planning to exercise regularly is easy. Doing it takes commitment. There are many ways to build commitment, from weighing pros and cons, to sharing goals with friends and family. But here’s a more straightforward strategy: Make a contract with yourself.

When you commit to an activity goal on paper, it formalizes your intentions and holds you accountable to yourself.

Your contract should lay out exactly what you’ll do and why.

Things to include:

• Your activity goal

• What activity you’ll do

• When you’ll do it

• Where you’ll do it

• How long you’ll do it

• Why you’ll do it

The “why” is important. Listing the core reason you want to be active will remind you that there’s something important at stake — something that makes the effort worth it.


Your contract might look like this:



My goal: Get active 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

My commitment: On weekdays, from 11a.m. to 11:30, I will get up from my desk, change into my sneakers, and walk to the bookstore and back.

My reason: I am making this commitment because, by next summer, I want to be able to hike with my kids.

[Your Signature Here]


Post your contract right on the fridge, so you can be reminded of your commitment every day.