In the health world, so many people swing violently back and forth between drastic measures and giving up completely. I think the perfect way to avoid this is to draw out a sensible routine for yourself and stick with it for the long haul. It's easier to hold yourself accountable for staying true to your plan if you actually HAVE a plan.
I'll tell you a little bit about my routine, but please keep in mind that everyone is different and it's okay if yours looks nothing like this. Basically, I work out 5 days a week with a combination of cardio and weight training. When I was losing weight, I did 45 minutes of cardio (power walking on the treadmill or a brisk jaunt on the elliptical) paired with weight training on two different muscle groups, which I switched up daily. So my routine might be 45 minutes on the treadmill followed by an ab workout and a thigh workout. Then the next day I might do the same cardio but finish by working my back and calves. While it's good to have a routine, you do need to vary your target areas so your body doesn't get too tolerant of the exercises you're doing.
Now that I'm trying to maintain my weight, I'm still working two muscle groups but I've cut my cardio down to 30 minutes a day and I've been at my current weight for over 3 years. The days off are important- it's how I've been able to maintain this routine for as long as I have without getting sick of it. In fact, I look forward to it. If you get a good routine going, it's easy to work it into your life because you come to expect it. I've heard many people say they don't have time to work out. I understand it can be difficult to clear an hour out of your day, but if that hour is spent making you feel better the rest of the day and adding years to your life in the long run, I'd say it's worth it.
What is your ideal routine?