Most of us have trouble finding the motivation to get moving on a daily basis, and the list of excuses seems endless when we’re truly unmotivated. How do people do it? How do we get past the list of reasons we can’t, or shouldn’t, or wish we could but…?
If the thought of adding more activity to your day has you rolling your eyes and making a list of all the reasons why not, let us share a few ways to get out of that rut:
Use the Buddy System
Having a friend to keep you company and hold you accountable can make all the difference in basically everything - but definitely something that’s hard. Find someone you enjoy spending time with. Someone who will challenge you. Someone who will show up and be accountable with you. Share your goals with them and set some ground rules for working out together. Guidelines like, “If you’re going to cancel you have to give 24 hours notice” will prevent you from skipping out just because you ‘don’t feel like it’.
Change “Can’t” into “Don’t”
Changing the way you frame anything in your mind matters. When we use words like “can’t” it makes things feel restricted. Stating things this way implies that we’re not allowed to -- “I can’t have a candy bar.”, “I can’t skip the gym”, etc. Even when you’re saying this to other people - you’re listening to.
Try replacing “Can’t” with “Don’t”. “I don’t eat candy bars.” “I don’t skip the gym”, etc. Try it for a week. See how it feels.
Mix up your routine
Perhaps the reason you dread exercise is that you don’t love what you’re doing! If you hate cardio, how psyched can you really feel to lace up your shoes and step on a treadmill. Listen, exercise is important but what’s more important than the type of exercise you do, is the frequency in which you get moving. So if you hate cardio - stop wasting your life doing it in the gym, or at home! Find something you LOVE - and find a way to turn it into a regular routine.
Associate exercise with something you love
On that note, here’s another piece of advice - think of something you love and figure out how to associate that with exercise. Here are some examples:
Love the outdoors? Ride your bike outside. Go on a hike. Try a new outdoor activity - you might just fall in love.
Love food? Or beer? There are plenty of activities to do around those things! How about a walk for charity? A bike ride to raise awareness? These events often followed with celebratory post-food-and-beverage(s).
Love animals? Volunteer with your local shelter to take dogs out for walks or play with the cats.
Seriously, working out doesn’t have to be a drag and you don’t have to force yourself into it for the sake of shedding a few pounds. Hopefully some of these steps will help you hate exercising a little less, and lead towards a truly sustainable way to keep moving and reach your goals.