I noticed last night that the gym was still busy but not crowded like it was last month. As much as I enjoyed not having to wait too long for the machines I wanted, it made me a little sad to think of all the people who wanted to make a healthy habit but veered off track. It did not take long for the workout motivation to wane.
Have you made the commitment to exercise and started out with all your zest and vitality, only to find that you’ve come screeching to a halt? It happens to us all.
There are several ways to conquer the I-don’t-wanna-work-out monster and here are my top five:
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Change Your Mindset – Once you have made the decision to exercise, it is important to make the commitment that you will follow through. Change how you view your new-found decision by making it something positive and rewarding rather than just one more dreaded thing you have to accomplish. When I went down a pant size I celebrated by buy some really nice workout leggingsfrom Athleta that I had been eyeing! The reward was something I felt was a prize but since the prize was workout gear, it is something I have to keep using to enjoy.
Visualize – Practice visualizing your goal. If your goal is to be healthier, spend some quiet time imagining yourself sitting on the beach — being healthy, happy, and whole. If you are heading toward a long-awaited vacation, picture yourself in a beautiful sundress or bathing suit that you have wanted for a very long time. If imagining the future is hard for you (like it can be for me) then take monthly progress pictures and look at them when you are ready to give up! Seeing the change can really inspire you to continue.
Get Together with a Friend – Match your calendars to find that time slot where you are both available for 30 to 45 minutes of exercise. You will find that the motivation of another and being accountable to that date and time will open up the time slot needed for exercise and socialization as well. I work out with someone I have been friends with for a very long time. We don’t always work out together but we normally do. It helps keep me accountable and I get to socialize!
Make Exercise a Family Affair – Rather than taking the kids to the park and sitting on a bench watching them play, grab your bicycles and go for a ride or jog. Not only does that make time for exercise, it also makes time for family. We jump rope together outside on the afternoons when we don’t go to the gym. When your children are enthusiastic about playing with you, that enthusiasm will become contagious and continue to motivate you.
Exercise when You Least Want to – So many of us are guilty of feeling and thinking too much, especially when you are having a “bad day.” It is at that moment that you should replace your downward spiral with exercise. It is not only good for you physically, it will work wonders for you mentally and emotionally as well. It helps you release the frustration and anger. You will actually be able to turn something negative into something positive.
Track those times when you feel better mentally after a workout and turn to it during those “I don’t have the time or I don’t feel like it” moments, you will read the results right off the page and get moving.
Bonus tip: Get some workout tanksor shirts that motivate you! My friend gave me a shirt for Christmas that says “I can I will.” I wear it on those days that I know I have a hard workout. (The days when my workout plan has the words “pause” and “squats” put together….)
It’s normal to not want to work out every day. But to get the results, we have to power through it anyway.
What do you do to motivate yourself?
Want to know where I started on my fitness journey and why? Read more here.
My favorite things:
Running shoes for my flat feet: Brooks Ghost
My “squatting” shoes: Merrill Pace Glove
Knee Supports: Knee Sleeves