I was talking to a dear friend last night and asked “what would you like to see me write about?” Her response? “What do you do to motivate yourself when you just don’t want to work out?”
This one is not always an easy answer or solution. It quite honestly can change with the day or my mood. Some days it’s as simple as putting on some peppy music and getting myself into the right frame of mind. Others it is telling myself to just go start and give it 10 minutes, if I’m not feeling it by that point I give myself permission to pause or stop the workout and come back to it later. Other times, I have to play Drill Sergeant and just force myself to go get it done.
Why force myself? Because I know I will be happier when I’m done. I’ll feel better and I’ll have accomplished something when my mind told me I couldn’t or wouldn’t. It’s not a perfect solution, and doesn’t always work. But some days it’s all I’ve got.
I admit I push and drive myself harder than many. It’s not because I have to, but because I want to. I’ve shared my why and why not, and touched on more this week. My workouts fuel my mind, body, and even my soul to make me a stronger, happier, and healthier version of myself. Someone I can be proud of. Getting that workout done, when I didn’t want to at the start? That’s something I can be proud of. Because I overcame an inner demon. I silenced that negative voice and proved it wrong.
I saw a great quote earlier this week on Facebook in one of my Fitness Accountability Groups. “Replace ‘I can’t’ with ‘I don’t'”. It was in reference to helping yourself overcome bad eating habits, but I think it definitely fits in this situation. Most days when we don’t want to work out, it isn’t because we physically can’t, it is more “I don’t want to right now because I want to do (insert distraction here)”. So, I think instead of saying “I can’t workout now because of (insert distraction)” say “I don’t want to let (insert distraction) keep me from achieving my goals so I will make the time/effort to get that workout in!”
I wonder, what do YOU do to motivate yourself and go do that workout when you don’t want to? Did you know that it is easy to do workouts even while watching TV? How about next time a commercial break comes up, you try doing rounds of 3 or 4 different workouts to work your abs. Just turn thee volume down/mute it and knock out a few things to work the body. Do some tricep dips on the edge of your chair/couch, do some crunches, and maybe even some lunges or squats. That right there, with 30 second reps for each, works 3 of the biggest desired muscle groups. And would take care of 3 or 4 commercials, leaving plenty of time to get back to the show when it comes back from its break.
I admit, the commercials idea, I borrowed that from Tony Horton (the creator of P90X). (In case you’re curious, you can see the video I’m referencing here.) No, I really don’t see him as one to watch a lot of TV, but he posted a video a few months back where he was showing workouts to do during commercial breaks. And what he said made sense. It also reminds me that one 30 minute show on TV, that’s the time it takes to do 1 21 Day Fix workout. Is it more important to watch something mind numbing on TV that I really don’t care about? Or to get up and get in 30 minutes of activity and to raise my heart rate to take care of me? Me? I choose the body. It’ll take care of me long after that TV show is no longer running unless in syndication.
I challenge you to give up just 1 30-minute TV show today to get in 30 minutes or activity. Or if you really “can’t” give up that show, open up a workout channel on YouTube on your computer and do that while you watch the show. Just get up and do SOMETHING! Turn the “I can’t” “I won’t” or “I don’t want to” into “I can” “I will” and “I want to!” Your body, your mind, your health, and your future self will thank you for it in the long run. As for me? I’ll be here, cheering you on while I sweat to my own workouts. 🙂