Motivation. 3 Quick Tips and Some Deeper Thoughts
Not sure when to workout.
Feeling overcome with stress.
These are all common feelings right now during coronavirus. They are the number one issue both members and non-members are having with working out.
A little while ago, I was on a Zoom call with a member, and they asked me how I stay motivated. I've been doing fitness for a long time, heck, I even own the gym. But that really doesn't say that much, there are plenty of out of shape gym owners. What motivates me? How do I keep working out five days a week? My response? I'M NOT MOTIVATED 90% OF THE TIME. Yes, its true. Nine times out of ten I'm not motivated to workout. Yet I do.
Here's how I still get my workouts in.
1. They are scheduled in my day. When the virus first shut down the gym and my routine changed as I was working from home, I worked out less. Until I found my schedule. Or I should say, I created my schedule. For me, I block off 11am to Noon to workout in the basement. This allows me to get work done in the basement in the morning, then break for my workout and then lunch. Bonus points - Lunch is right after which serves to feed the body post-workout! Some days I go for a run at 5am. I don't decide that at 4:45am, nobody WANTS to go for a run at 4:45am ... I decide it the night before and schedule it! I'm always so thankful I went once I'm done!
2. I take pre-workout some days. A little boost of caffeine can be just what you need to get up and get moving. Pre-workouts range from crazy chemical compounds to a plain cup of coffee. I recommend more natural stuff like Ascent preworkout or coffee.
3. I tell myself "Just go warmup". Sometimes even with the caffeine the motivation is lacking. The idea of doing a tough workout just seems like the last thing you want to do. So, tell yourself a half-truth. Tell yourself you are just going to warmup. Whatever it is, just warmup. THEN decide about the workout. It always takes me a while to warmup and get in the mood to workout. Don't expect to just "be ready to workout" mentally and physically, more often than not our bodies need some pre-text, like a warmup, to get in the groove. "Just go warmup". If I'm going for a run, I tell myself "just go lace up your shoes".
Those are the simple, actionable steps you can take today to help start your workout. There are other pieces to think about though, that really help drive home the motivation to workout.
4. Know your WHY. Why do you workout? Why did you start? Remember this. When a new member joins CFS, we know we have about 90 days to turn their motivation into a habit, because motivation fades for everyone. For example, one reason dads join the gym is because they find they can no longer keep up with their kids. They want to be able to play with them without getting winded. Well, if they join CFS and get fit, and a year later they can keep up with their kids, what is motivating them now? Nothing, they've achieved their WHY. So they either need to remember their why, remember what it was like before they were doing fitness, or they need a new goal, a new why.
For me, I have a few whys:
- Being physically fit has allowed me to see the world. From being in the Navy to travelling for triathlons and marathons, fitness has gotten me out and about and to new areas in the world that I otherwise would not have done, and I love that.
- Being physically fit will keep me living my life, free of restrictions, for as long as possible. Another way to put it - I don't want to be stuck in a nursing home when I'm 75 because I opted to be lazy. I want to enjoy my retirement, travel, explore, play golf, or any other activity. Health is freedom.
- Being physically fit inspires my kids and family to also live a life of health and wellness. I want my loved ones to have the best opportunities in life, and those come with being healthy.
- Working out improves my mood. My family thanks me for this :-)
I want to leave you with two quotes:
"Comparison is thief of all joy."
"The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret."
Don't worry about what others are doing. Social media is full of highlight reels of people doing amazing things. It rarely shows the daily struggle and what it took to achieve that. And if working out today seems tough, imagine working out a year from now after quitting fitness. Which will be more difficult?
If you want to read another blog I wrote two years ago on motivation that has to do with positive self talk, setting goals, and more, click HERE