I really do enjoy working out. I love a good run. I get my kicks from a challenging pilates class. Bottomline- working out is something I usually look forward to and don’t consider a chore. Note I said usually. I’m human- I too have those days when sleeping in seems more appealing. Sometimes the hardest part of my workout is getting out the door! It happens to all of us- things get in the way, we’re worn out, stressed out, distracted, worried about not having enough time and so on. But… I honestly can’t remember a single time when I made myself go that I regretted it. So… because I know we all face those roadblocks to working out that are mostly mental – here are some motivational suggestions to get you out the door.
1. Remember a time when you couldn’t workout. Have you ever had an injury or even been stuck traveling or working late when exercise was just not an option? Do you remember how you felt when you really wanted to work out but could not?? There’s nothing like someone or something making that decision for you to make working out seem more appealing. As you are humming and hahing about whether to workout or not- remember how it felt when you couldn’t. I’ve had surgery in the past and remember counting down the days til I could workout again. It seemed like an eternity!! When I am making excuses not to get out the door- I remind myself how that felt and how lucky I am that the only thing stopping me now is myself.
2. Change it up! Whether you decide to try something new- a new class, instructor or different workout or just to change the workout you normally do- a little change can go a long way! Try a new path on your running route. Or run your route backwards. Take only left turns – see where you end up after 30 minutes then head home however you want. Mix it up with calisthenics in the park. Break your workout in to chunks – 10 minutes running, 10 minutes another form of cardio (jumping rope, burpees, etc.) and 10 minutes mat work. Who says you need to do the same thing all the time! A little variety can add some spice to your workout and challenge your muscles in a new way.
3. Make plans to workout with a friend. I know if I have plans to meet someone else – I will not cancel. Sometimes on those early morning workouts that’s what gets me out of bed – the fear of letting down a friend! I also find working out with a friend is a great way to catch up and get a little social time too. Plus I tend to work harder – call it a little friendly competition!
4. New outfit – new inspiration. I don’t know if this works as well for guys- but it does work for girls! Sometimes a new top, shorts, even socks will inspire me to want to workout. But here’s the deal- if I am going to invest in new workout clothes- my workout better count. No slacked off, half-hearted workout in my new duds!
5. Be grateful – not everyone is able to workout. Many have physical limitations, illnesses or other issues preventing them from going for a run, doing pilates or whatever other kind of workout. When you are trying to decide whether to go or not- remember- you can now and some day you may not be able to. Be grateful and seize the day!
6. Set a Goal. Give yourself a goal and work towards it. I find goals very motivating because they give me something concrete and a timeline to work against. Your goal could be an upcoming race or event, it could be about a time or conquering a challenging workout element. Be as specific as you can so you don’t leave yourself loopholes! Here are some examples:
I will compete in the Summer Dash 5K and improve my time by 20 seconds.
I will practice pushups for the next month and within 30 days build up to 20 straight pushups with no breaks.
I will do cardio 4 times a week for the next month atleast 30 minutes each time. Each week I will add 5 minutes to my workout time.
Your goal can be anything you want it to be – but make sure you set a time limit and a specific result you are hoping to achieve.
7. Keep a log of your workouts. I like to add my workouts to my calendar and keep a log of what I have done, my times, improvements and so on. This also serves a double purpose – besides showing what I have accomplished – I can also very easily see when I am slacking off. My workouts are all added in orange on my calendar. When I see there’s not much orange for the week – clearly I need to change that! I never like to go more than a few days without a workout unless illness, injury or travel gets in the way. My calendar or log holds me accountable. Just seeing an my empty calendar serves as a reminder that I need to do this today!
These are just a few suggestions on how you can motivate yourself and get out the door. You won’t regret it – but you will regret not doing it! And thanks to Ragnar Relay for the motivational photo too!