Exercise: sometimes you just. don’t. wanna.
Here are some things I do when I’m in that place of giving in to whatever I’m feeling that makes me not want to work out, or rationalizing about how I will ‘make it up’ later:
- Ask for support. Sometimes I’ll post in a ‘healthy stuff’ Facebook group I’m in, and just ask the other members to encourage me to go to the gym. Or I’ll text a friend that knows about my weight loss adventure and whine to them about how I don’t want to work out. The accountability and camaraderie help a lot.
- Fast forward an hour (mentally). It’s really easy to get bogged down in how you feel right now, but if you shift your perspective to how you will feel and what you will have accomplished when you’re done, it makes it easier to go.
- Just put on your workout clothes. Tell yourself, if you really don’t want to exercise once you’ve changed, you don’t have to. Sometimes getting over that initial inertia is all it takes. (Initial Inertia is my new hipster band name.)
And here are some more long-term solutions:
- Commit to an external goal. Here’s a secret: I seriously hate running, and will wiggle out of it whenever I can. But you can bet your ass I stuck to my training schedule and ran three times a week when I knew there was a 26.2 mile run scheduled for a date that could not be procrastinated.
- Make exercise dates with friends. You’re much less likely to flake on a friend than on yourself. True story.
- Go on autopilot. I’ve read a lot of different articles about the “best” time of day to work out, and I believe I have the definitive answer: the absolute most optimal time to exercise is WHENEVER WORKS FOR YOU. I know some people who get up ridiculously early every single weekday and do P90X, and others who unwind after a long workday by walking or running, and still others who squeeze in a workout on their lunch break. Experiment and find what works for you, and then make it routine. The less it’s even something your brain considers a choice, the more likely you will be to stick to your goals.