One of the number one questions I get asked is how I motivate myself to workout.
Discipline will take you the distance.
You will never always be motivated. You have to become disciplined.
You have to decide that you are worth choosing to take action over giving into temptation.
I dare say that most people would rather sit on the couch then workout.
Sitting on the couch is comfortable and warm and there is easy access to snacks and if you are lucky pet snuggles.
I workout 5-6 times a week and have genuinely become a person who likes to exercise, and even I don’t feel motivated to start at least 2 of those workouts.
So how do I do it when I don’t feel like it? When I am lying in warm bed not wanting to move?
I spring my ass out of bed and stand up as soon as possible. It takes as little as 5 seconds to let our inner voice convince ourselves out of doing something. I do not allow that voice to have that much time. I get up and list all the reasons it is better for me to exercise then continue whatever I was currently doing.
Here are my 8 tips for working out when you just don’t feel like it;
Number 1: Adjust Mindset Accordingly
” I get to workout” not “I have to workout”
“Exercise is a priority, not an after thought”.
I no longer look at exercise as an option. It is not sometime I squeeze in if I have time. This was a shift I made when I started this journey two years ago and I believe is the main reason I have succeeded. I view exercise as the key to me having a long and full healthy life. I know how much better I feel when I keep my workout routine. I feel less stressed and more energized. This feeling allows me to be a better trainer to my clients, a better wife, a better friend.
Number 2: Schedule Workouts at the Beginning of the Week.
I schedule my workouts every Sunday evening based on my schedule. Once they are penciled in they do not move. I treat my workouts as any other commitment I make that I would not cancel.
Number 3: Be Prepared
Always keep a gym bag packed and in a convenient location. If you are rushing in the morning and plan on working out after work, the last thing you need is to be rushing around trying to get your gym shit together along with everything else.
Something as simple as this helps you eliminate an avoidable obstacle. Plus, the packed bag will serve as a reminder!
Number 4: Find a Workout You Love
No matter how bad you want it, doing workouts you hate or with a person or place you are not into, is going to lead to missed sessions and can eventually lead to you quitting all together. Sign up for some free trial classes or gyms to see what you like. Taking time to do this in the beginning will keep you going in the long run.
Number 5: Find Someone to Keep You Accountable
In the beginning when I was in the process of building my exercise habits I often struggled to get to the gym. At the time the fact I had a trainer kept me accountable. I had to show up to my sessions with her and we had also made an agreement as to how many session I would complete on my own. She was checking in on me and that gave me a boost to train so as to avoid that conversation. This person can also be a friend, how ever I suggest using someone who has well established habits and can teach you. using someone who is also just getting started could lead to not just you but also them not making it to the gym. I once had a gym buddy who also lacked my discipline as the time. More than a few times we ended up at the mall across the street drinking Frappuccinos.
Number 6: Put Your Workout Where You Can See It
Make a visual and put it in a place where you can see. Every time you get in a workout give yourself a sticker or something. This could be a calendar or a chart you made. Whatever floats your boat. Just make sure to put it in a place where you walk by it often.
Number 7: Focus on the Positive
Keep a little journal that tracks how you feel when you get in a workout. Besides losing weight and getting healthier, the most immediate benefits you will notice when you start exercising are an increase in energy, better sleep patterns and an overall better mood due to an increase in endorphins. Tracking these feelings and looking them over when ever you are struggling with whether to workout or not may be the catalyst you need to get yourself off the couch and moving.
Number 8: Habit Stacking
Habit stacking is a strategy you can use to group together small changes into a routine that you follow daily
You likely already have very strong habits and connections that you take for granted. For example, your brain is probably very efficient at remembering to take a shower each morning or to brew your morning cup of coffee, etc. You can take advantage of these strong connections to build new habits.
One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. For example, when I started working out I scheduled my training time before work as my gym was on the way. I simply shifted my morning routine a little earlier and then stopped at the gym on my way to work. As for the weekends, I found a park I could hike in prior to my Sunday brunch with my husband. Building off of something you already do is a great way to ingrain habits in the beginning.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope these tips help you and if you have any others please tell us about them in the comments below!
Have a wonderfully fit day!