Finding the will to work out can be hard.
If it wasn’t, everyone would do it You might have the best intentions right now to start working out this week. You might make a mental note to stop at the gym on your way home, or think about which Jillian video you’ll do before dinner, or maybe if it ends up being nice outside which route you’ll run. But then you get stuck at work and by the time you get to the gym it’s going to be too busy, or it’s raining out and you can’t run, or maybe you just don’t really feel like squeezing in a workout in before you start dinner. We’ve all been there, life is busy!
But have you noticed how the more you do something, the easier it gets? You blow of your workout one day because you don’t have time, then a few days later it’s because you don’t feel well, then next week there are a few more reasons and all of the sudden working out is something you only do when it’s convenient, but even then you could still find other things to occupy your time with. It’s a slippery slope!
Why do you work out?
If you’re down on yourself for missing workouts but still can’t seem to motivate yourself to start up again, think about why you want to work out.
- Do you want to get stronger?
- Are you trying to lose weight?
- Is working out something that makes you feel good?
- Are you training for anything?
- Do you like your workout routine?
If you’re working out for the wrong reasons or for anyone other than yourself, it’s not going to stick! The first thing you need to do is figure out why you want to want to workout. For me, working out gives me a sense of accomplishment. It’s a mental escape, and those endorphins keep me sane. I don’t want to workout all the time, and I get into ruts where I lose motivation, and it is hard to break that cycle. The thing that brings me back is paying attention to how I feel.
Do you notice having lower energy, craving more sugar, feeling a little foggier, and maybe a bit moodier when you aren’t exercising? After a few days of feeling like crap, you start to pick apart your body and feel even more down. This negativity is a vicious cycle, but you can play your own mental game! If working out gives you energy, or you love the way you feel when your done, or noticing physical changes are results that you really value, hold on to that. When you don’t feel like working out, remind yourself of these things.
Make it a priority.
If you’re serious about consistency, then work it into your schedule. Your excuses might be valid, but so are everyone else’s. Not to get all TedTalks up in here, but you are in control of how you spend your time! Here are a few more things to consider (I know, I like lists):
- What workouts do you enjoy?
- What time do you feel most motivated?
- Which elements of your schedule can you reorganize?
- Where do you want to workout?
Once you figure out what you truly enjoy doing, be it jogging, cycling, barre class, weight lifting, whatever, get it into your schedule. Be honest with yourself about timing, too. Don’t pretend you’re going to all become a morning person of the sudden if you aren’t. Pick a realistic time for your workout and plan your day around it. Tell your family, coworkers, and friends if it comes up- your workout is as high a priority to you as are your other obligations. If you believe it, others will too!
Finally, check in with yourself. Pay attention to your mood, your eating habits, your energy, and your relationships. Find the types of exercises you like, and stop trying to force yourself to do whatever it is you don’t (looking at you, long-distance running…). Being excited about your workouts makes it all the easier.
At the end of the day, working out is about health, and health is more than your physical appearance. Start making yourself your priority and work on building a healthier, better you!
Written by Tianna Larson