We’ve all been there. Stress. Sore muscles. The comfort of the couch. A rainy day. Or worst of all, anytime running’s programmed. These are all possible reasons we might want to skip a workout.
If I recognize myself thinking about one of these things or fall into the habit of looking for an excuse, it’s usually a sign that I need to implement my Proven World-Famous Self-Motivating Anti-Laziness Tactics (P.W.F.S.M.A.L.T. for short). Highly-acclaimed by frequent users, I suggest your adoption of the following to keep you moving in times of doubt.
1. Just Sign Up.
- I use the Zen Planner app to sign up for a class that fits my schedule. If I’m booked for a class, I know there’s a spot for me and I need to be there. I could cancel, but the app doesn’t let you do that within a few hours of the class time. I won’t cancel if I’m ambivalent about attending.
Maintaining my reservation defaults my brain into moving toward the gym.
2. Get Dressed. Even If You’re Not Sure.
- If the sweet, sweet sounds of James Bay singing Hold Back the River on my alarm clock wake me up in the morning and I don’t want to go to class, I just put on my workout clothes – regardless of my attitude. If I have my workout clothes on, I think, “I might as well sweat in them before they go in the hamper.” Especially if I pick out something in my favorite color, purple. That always motivates me to go.
3. Add “Gym” to Your To-Do List.
- If I have a lot of things on my to-do list, I’ll add “Gym” to the list. This helps me think proactively about my schedule and gives me something to look forward to. Checking off the “to-dos” yields a sense of accomplishment. I keep exercise on the list to keep it top of mind and a priority for my day.
4. Recall the Benefits.
- I know how good I feel at the gym. I love the exhilaration of pushing myself to the limit. Before I know it, an hour flies by and the class is over. I know I’ll be able to get my mind off the day’s stressors because the only thing I’ll be thinking about is breathing and doing the reps. No matter how good I feel walking into the gym, 99 times out of 100, I feel even better walking out.
If I have to trick myself into showing up by avoiding the “cancel button” or by putting on my gym outfit and heading out the door, I know it’s going to be worth it. And maybe that’s the number one rule of P.W.F.S.M.A.L.T. — never forget the intrinsic benefits from one workout at Defined.
Now imagine if you made a habit of it?