Sunday, August 2, 2009

When the motivation is lacking...

This post could also be entitled... Dear Megan, This past Saturday...
We've all been there. The mornings when your alarm sounding with the news of "time to strap on your running shoes," makes you want to cringe. Or when pulling in the gym parking lot takes more effort than you thought possible. Sometimes exercising is just about the last thing we want to do, and when we get busy it can be the first thing we willingly push to the side. Sometimes finding the motivation to get back into the routine, or to get into the routine in the first place is hard to do.

We need to realize that people who work out are just as busy as people who don't work out. We find the time to do the things that we want to do. What is the difference? Those who work out find the mental ability to make themselves exercise, even when they don't want to. Yes, some may be more inclined to enjoying physical activity, but everyone has the same necessity for it. Once we realize the crucial importance of giving our bodies the exercise it needs we will be more likely to get moving. Avoiding exercise will only lead to negative repercussions such as disease, weight gain, loss of energy, decrease in self esteem, muscle atrophy, loss in bone density, and other ailments that can eventually lead to an earlier death.

So, what are some ways to help yourself find motivation?
- Think small. One step at a time. If you start your workout with the "I'm going to be doing this for 2 hours," mindset...you'll be struggling every step of the way. Just get yourself out the door. Getting started is 1/2 the battle. Once you get started take it 10 mins at a time. Once you complete the first 10 mins see if you can't push yourself to go 10 more, etc.
- Find something you enjoy doing. If you hate running and you're trying to pull yourself out of bed at 6 AM to do so, chances are, you'll roll over and dodge that idea. However, if you find an activity that is fun for you, your workout will be enjoyable, and will go by much quicker.
- Pump up the jams. I've talked a bunch about how much my music gets me through. My ipod is my best friend, I kid you not. Find your favorite songs, and change up the playlists frequently. For my list of favorite workout tunes, click HERE.
- Set goals and reward yourself. Decide how many days a week you want to work out and if you accomplish your goal reward yourself. Write your goal down and place in a spot where you'll be constantly reminded of what you're working towards.
- Remind yourself of your reasoning. Sit down and write out why it is you want to exercise, what your purpose is. Look at it often and when times get hard during your workout repeat these reminders to yourself. It's hard to do something when you don't have a purpose behind it.
- Distract yourself. If you're staring at the clock counting down the minutes until you're done it will feel like hours. Watch TV while you're working out, go to a public park where you can people watch, find a gym with a cardio cinema, read a book, or listen to music.

- Find a workout buddy. If you know someone is meeting you, you're more likely to show up. Sometimes that accountability is key in getting us going.

So, set some goals. Reevaluate why you are doing what you're doing. Mix things up. Get back into your groove. You can do it!