How to force yourself to workout
People usually have good intentions when it comes to their workouts. New Year resolutions get set every year, and forgotten by mid-February. New workout regimens get started and forgotten 2 weeks in. Over time, I?ve noticed a common theme amongst the things that keep people from staying consistent with their workouts, which I want to discuss today. If any of these apply to you, let me know in the comment section.
I will say this though, if you have absolutely no interest in staying physically fit, then this post probably doesn?t apply to you. Feel free to explore a different category on the sidebar to the right.
Let?s dive in.
Reason 1: You don´t have a schedule
So you?ve decided to take control of your health. Maybe you?ve downloaded the apps you?ll use, bought your brand new workout clothes and all the equipment you?ll need. Then you figure when you have the free time you?ll do your workout.
No. Just no. Sorry, that won?t work. Why? Because, let?s be real, you?ll never have the free time. You have to make the time.
Action Plan: Pick a specific time and days when you?ll workout. And don?t just pick arbitrary times like, ?Immediately I wake up? or ?Once I get home? because those times may vary. It?s just like with setting goals. Set Specific goals, so it?ll be easier to know when you?ve met them. Some examples of workout schedules are:
- Every weekday at 6am
- M.W.F at 10 am
- Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 7pm
Reason 2: You are not setting yourself up for succes
And that is really to bad, because you have to be good to yourself, bring out the best and enrich the world with all the ressources that you poses.
Maybe that first reason doesn?t apply to you. You already have a specific workout time picked out but for some reason, you?re not sticking to it.
You know that you?ll workout Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 7am but when you wake up you just lay in bed and think about working out. And the next time you look at the clock it?s time to get dressed.
Welp. There goes today?s workout.
Action Plan: You have to plan for success. For example, my yoga mat stays rolled out in my living room. It might seem like a small thing, but eliminating that extra step of unrolling my mat before I get on it increases the likelihood that I?ll practice.
I mean, for sure it might all be mental, but it works! If you?ve chosen to work out in the morning, lay out your workout clothes the night before. If you?re going to the gym after work? Pack your gym bag the day before. Fill up your water bottle. Pick your post-workout snack.
Eliminating some of the mental effort, makes your workouts easier.
Reason 3: You don´t have a regimen
How is a regimen different from a schedule? Well, picture this. I have my schedule, I?ve set out my clothes the night before, and my mat is all laid out. So I wake up, get dressed, get on my mat and then I have to think about what I?m going to do next. Ugh! Remember, you want to reduce the mental effort required.
If you already know beforehand what you?re going to do, all you have to do is, do it!
Action Plan: Pick and write down the specific workout you?ll do on your workout days. Figure out the specific apps, youtube videos and tools you?ll need. That way, when the time comes, you don?t have to expend mental energy trying to figure out what needs to be done.
Reason 4: You are only setting long time goals
If all you?re looking forward to is when you can do that handstand, or 20 push ups. A hundred squats or lifting 50 pounds, you?ll get discouraged real quick. Ok?
Goals that are long-term and arbitrary are also daunting. Does this mean you shouldn?t have any long-term goals? No. It just means you need to have short-term goals in place that lead up to that long-term goal.
Action Plan: Set short-term goals that are easily attainable. So maybe your goal was to work out every week day this month, well, take it one week at a time.
- Focus on working out every weekday this week, and reward yourself when you achieve it.
- 100 squats? Focus on doing 20 squats a day for this week.
- Forearm stand? Focus on practicing dolphin pose daily for a month.
Keep focusing on those short term goals, and before you know it, you?ll achieve your long term goal.
Reason 5: You keep saying: I don´t have enough time to work out.
Look. None of us have enough time ok? Trust me, I understand. But the fact is you make time for the things that matter. I have a co-worker that wakes up at 5 am every day just so he can get his workout in.
Is this what you have to do? No. But stop looking for hour-long blocks of time in your day to work out. Sometimes, short bursts of exercise where you go all in can be more effective than working out for a full hour.
And 5 minutes is better than seating on your couch binge watching Netflix (I know how tempting it can be, I just fnished 2 seasons of Nashville in a week).
Action Plan: Be strategic about fitting your workouts into your day in small increments. I used to do 20 squats each time I went to the bathroom when I first decided to get physically active.
I would do squats for 20 seconds while washing my hands. It might not sound like much, but I went to the bathroom like 3 times a day. Multiply that by 5 times a week, I was doing 60 squats a day/300 squats a week.
So, don?t wait till you have a full hour to commit, get creative!
- Do push ups during the commercials of your favorite show.
- Do burpees and jumping jacks for 5 minutes before you get in the shower.
- While dinner is simmering, do a low-lunge/lizard sequence on both sides to stretch your lower body.
Get in to it. Start being good to yourself. Use energy to get more energy.
If you think you can do it
or you think you can´t do it
You are right
Love, health and wisdom