The idea that everyone else, or really anyone else, ALWAYS feels like working out is a big, fatty fib. Nobody always FEELS like doing the right thing or the healthy thing.
I’ve heard Joyce Meyer say “I don’t give my feelings a vote.” And while we absolutely cannot make decisions based on our feelings, feelings are a real part of life that we have to learn to deal with. I will be the first to admit, I do not always feel like working out. Some days I love it and look forward to it, but not every day.
As a highly competitive person and an extrovert by nature, I thrive in the competitive sports arena. During cross country practice in college, I LOVED sprint days because it meant I had a chance at winning. I could push myself and out sprint not only all the girls on the team, but the guys as well. I loved being in competitive sports. But I am no longer a competitive athlete. I don’t always (read: rarely) have someone working out alongside me that I can push myself to compete against. Nate and I have different fitness goals, so we also have different workouts and schedules. I don’t have a gym buddy that keeps me accountable or a coach yelling at me to push harder. I don’t have a fitness class or trainer to encourage me to just come and workout anyway.
But, I have learned some really helpful tips on how to motivate myself anyway and have successfully stayed in shape for years
(including working out all the way through pregnancy and recovering extremely fast).
So, here are some tips to help on those days when you
really, REALLY just don’t wanna workout…
1. Consider changing your workout plan for the day to something a little more enjoyable.
I am a firm believer that you can and should find an exercise program that you enjoy. I like running a few miles. I do not like running 8 miles, so I don’t do it on a regular basis. (If I were training for a specific goal that required that type of distance running, I WOULD do it because discipline wins). I love High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. Insanity Max 30 is my all-time fav. So, I do that and enjoy it… most days.
2. Give yourself a pep talk.
For real. You believe the most what you hear yourself say. Sometimes a little, “I can do this. I CAN exercise. I like exercise. Exercise is GOOD for me” kind of pep talk is just what I need.
3. Consider taking a rest day… not a rest week, a rest DAY.
Sometimes our bodies just need extra rest. And that’s ok. Listen to your body. But when you take a rest day, do something that actually brings restoration to your body and your soul. Read a good book or a good blog ;) Spend some extra time telling God all the things that you are thankful for. Don’t spend your time trolling Instagram instead of working out.
4. Do something less strenuous to start with, and then move into your original workout plan.
Sometimes all we need is to get going to get motivated to REALLY get going. Just REALLY don’t feel like going for that 3-mile run you had planned? Start with a good stretch and get to walking. Often times, a few minutes into it you will be more motivated to do the harder thing, like running.
5. Phone a friend
No, not your twinkie-eating, ice cream binging friend…Your healthy and fit friend… Call or text a friend who is dedicated to staying fit. You don’t need sympathy, you need a coach who is going to help you get where you want to go.
6. Remember why you started
I started exercising faithfully because it made me feel better, sleep better, think better, and look better.
When I really don’t feel like working out, I try to think about how this workout will benefit me immediately. I will feel better, think clearer, and sleep better that night.
7. Think about your goal
Is your goal to lose weight, be a certain size, fit into certain clothes? Great. Think about those goals to start out with, but short term goals produce short term motivation.
Think about fitness as a lifestyle and WHY you might
want to stay fit all the time.
I love being able to go hike for several hours whenever we visit the mountains or jump in and play a game of basketball at random. This kind of lifestyle fitness goal will help you stay motivated long after you have reached your goal size.
8. Do it anyway.
Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and do the hard thing. One of our favorite coaches, says,
Living a disciplined lifestyle is not always going to be fun, but it is absolutely necessary to fulfill your God authored destiny.
What about you? How do you motivate yourself to stay fit?
What is your favorite kind of exercise?