It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or just trying to hit your 10,000 daily steps. No one is motivated all the time. To take on a challenge or new goal you can’t rely on being motivated 24/7.
Here’s what works for me when I’m having a hard time getting started
Don’t think about it.
This is easier said than done. But the days that I can get myself started without necessarily thinking too much about it are my “easiest” days. My workout seems go to a lot smoother if I already know when I’m exercising, what I’m doing (yoga, running, cycling, etc), and what route I’m taking. Taking the guess work out of it gives you less of a chance to talk yourself out of your workout.
My personal favs:
- Free Garmin training plans: I love my Garmin Vivoactive for many reasons, with the training plans being one of the them. You simply tell Garmin what your current milage it, goal pace, and what distance you’re training for and they set up a plan for you (and export it to your watch). Literally the only thing I have to think about is where I’m going to run because Garmin tells me how far I’m going and how fast I’m running that day.
- Do Yoga With Me: It’s no secret that I’m a fan of this website. When I was initially getting into yoga I relied on this website to “teach me” how to do yoga. I still use this website when I’m feeling uninspired to do my own flow or want to switch things up.
Negotiate with yourself.
Running five miles or doing an hour of yoga sounds especially daunting when I’m feeling unmotivated. It’s easy to say “I’m just going to take today off and do it tomorrow”. But will I actually feel more motivated tomorrow? Most of the time I end up regretting putting off a workout. Alternatively, I’ve found it’s better for me to negotiate with myself. Instead of “I’m going to do an hour of yoga”, I say “I’m going to do 10 minutes of yoga”. Anyone can do 10 minutes of yoga. If I still feel like quitting after 10 minutes, then I’ll let myself. But 98% of the time I end up doing the entire hour. The hardest part is starting. I’ll do the same thing for running except I usually say 1 mile vs 10 minutes. Some days I end up stopping after that 10 minutes or 1 mile, but it’s rare. But even if I stop I can be proud of myself for trying and knowing today just wasn’t my day.
Groups are a fantastic way to hold yourself accountable and make exercise fun. Though depending on where you live, fitness level, and comfort level this may or may not be realistic for you. But regardless of the aforementioned areas, texting someone is always doable. Just telling someone what your plans are helps to hold you accountable. Your friend or family member isn’t giving you a pep talk, forcing you out the door, or coming with you every step of the way (most of the time) but the act of you telling someone else what your plans are helps you stay accountable for your workout.
Just yesterday I texted a friend of mine “I don’t want to run today”. Her response was “I did. It sucked”. Some of you read that and probably think that’s not very motivating. But truthfully, it didn’t matter what she replied because me telling her that a run was my plan today was all that needed to happen for me to get myself out the door. (And honestly, her reply made me laugh!)
Change your mindset.
I think it’s safe to say that everyone reading this has experienced an injury and/or been sick at some point in their life. Personally, I have had my fair share of ankle issues requiring two surgeries and years of non-stop pain. My last surgery was almost two years ago and I still think to myself almost daily “I can’t believe I don’t have pain anymore”. When I don’t feel like running, I’ll remind myself of how blessed I am to be able to run pain-free again.
Read Atomic Habits.
If you’re consistently having a difficult time making something (it can be exercise-related or anything else) a habit, I can’t recommend this book enough. Such a good read! Check out my Amazon Affiliate link which will not be any additional cost to you but may give me a small percentage of your purchase.