Motivation and Variety When Working Out Alone

I recently visited a local gym and went to a free introductory cardio kickboxing class. I was really surprised at what a great workout I got in the class, but I’m not ready to dedicate the travel time, money, and gas that goes along with a membership there.
I looked at the class and said, “What can I do to emulate this at home?” None of the exercises we did during the class used any special equipment or more space than I have available to me at home. I already knew all of the exercises. Why wasn’t I already doing this on my own?
My problem was the monotony of working out. I got bored with the plan that I had set up for myself, so I began skipping workouts. I recognized the problem and introduced some variations, but then there was the added effort of planning each workout. It just became an annoyance and I fell back to the basics of pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and sit-ups. These are good exercises, but not really enough for where I want to be.
The class made it simple for me. I didn’t have to worry about which exercise I would do next. The leader told me. This was actually a bit disturbing to me. I don’t want to rely on others to think for me or motivate me. I pride myself on being self-motivated and choosing my own path. This spurred me to get my act together!
I made a list of the exercises that I wanted to incorporate into my exercise routine and put each exercise on a 3×5 card. I separated these cards according to the muscle groups that they worked out so that I can rotate through exercises for those muscle groups. It’s different for each workout and I don’t have to plan each individual workout. I just have to see what exercise is at the top of the stack for that day.
Variety is the spice of workouts and the stack of 3×5 cards lets you do it with minimal planning.
How do you vary and plan your workouts?

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