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You've probably heard that exercise is good for you. But still, if you don't enjoy going to the gym and you're always asking, "Why am I so unmotivated to workout?" then there's a good chance you won't.
But did you know that there are ways to make exercise something you actually look forward to?
Today, we'll explore some common pitfalls that will sabotage your fitness goals and how to avoid them so that working out is more fun than work!
Are you someone who dreads your workouts?
Do you have to drag yourself out of bed and into a gym, knowing you'll spend an hour or more doing something you hate? It feels like too much effort for too little reward, doesn't it?
If you feel like a slave to the treadmill, then you're not going to keep up with it. You're not going to stick to anything that feels like a chore. The thing is, whatever exercise you choose should be something you actually want to do! Because if you don't, you'll always find excuses not to do it.
Think of it this way:
Which one of these would you rather do?
Spend an hour on the treadmill or play a game of frisbee?
Trudge away on the elliptical machine or go for a bike ride with your best friend?
The point is that if your current workout feels like work, you should try something else. There are lots of ways to get fit and healthy.
Maybe you love running, but hate lifting weights. Or maybe you're not into team sports but prefer solo workouts like hiking or yoga. Whatever it is that works for you—do more of it!
So two things: stop forcing yourself to do workouts you hate and start having fun with them, and watch this video where Haley and I talk about how to fix your workout motivation.
You can't find the perfect workout plan, so you don't start one at all.
You can't find the perfect workout outfit, so you don't go to the gym.
You can't find the perfect time of day for a workout, so you never get started.
Do any of those sound familiar?
If so, you're not alone. We all do it. But the problem is that when we wait for things to be perfect, we never get anything done. And when we take the all-or-nothing approach, what we get is nothing—every single time.
So what do we do?
Let's start by admitting that there's no such thing as perfection. Now, I'm not saying that means you should stop striving to get things the way you want them. I'm saying that we often don't act on our good intentions because we're waiting for the right moment, when there is no right moment. There's just now. Aim for progress, not perfection.
If you wait for the perfect time to start, then before you know it, the day has slipped through your fingers and all you have to show for it is another workout you didn't do.
On that note, let's get real for a minute.
Is wanting everything to be perfect what's really holding you back? Or is this excuse just a way for you to put off taking action until later?
If "perfection" is stopping you from making progress, then that's what our one-on-one coaching program is for. We'll help you stop making excuses so you can break out of the status quo and start moving toward your goals.
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"I don't want to do it if I'm not going to sweat."
"I'm wasting my time if I'm not sore the next day."
If these are some of the thoughts going through your head when you're planning to exercise, then you might have the "no pain, no gain" mindset.
And the problem with this way of thinking is that it puts your workouts in the "chore" category with cleaning dishes and vacuuming. It's just something that you have to suffer through in order to get results.
If that's your mindset going into it, it's not hard to see why you're so unmotivated. So if you find yourself struggling with the motivation to get started, then you have to ask if you're working out for the right reasons.
Are you exercising just to sweat as much as you can and wake up so sore you can't move? Or are you exercising to improve your health, de-stress, feel better, and have more energy?
Of the two options, the second is where you'll find the drive to get things done. You'll find it easier to start and continue exercising when you do it for the right reasons.
The best kind of workout isn't the one that leaves us doubled over gasping for air; it's the one we look forward to and want to do.
If you're hoping to make time for exercise, there's a problem. Because it won't happen by accident. You can't just wish that one morning you'll wake up with extra hours in your day or that an extra hour will magically appear on your schedule. You need to schedule it and make sure it happens.
And I know that it's not that you don't want to exercise, it's just that there are so many other things in your life competing for your time! Maybe you have a full-time job and kids, maybe you're trying to launch your own business and build an audience on social media—whatever it is, there's always something else that seems like it deserves your attention more than spending some quality time on you.
So how do you find time for exercise? The secret is that you have to make time for exercise. You're not going to find time in the day—you have to put it on the calendar like any other appointment or meeting.
If you can't commit to 30 minutes every morning or evening, try scheduling a few 20-minute blocks throughout the day when you can sneak away for a quick run or head over to class at your local studio. Once those blocks are on the calendar, they'll feel real and solid. It's how you turn "I hope to make it to the gym" into "I'll be there at 5 pm."
You can stand on the edge of the pool all day, but if you want to learn how to swim, you have to get in the water. If you wait until you feel like working out to start, you'll be waiting a long time.
It's not enough to wait for the motivation to strike. You have to get used to the discomfort of starting—because that's when change happens.
We all have our own excuses for not exercising. It's cold outside. I'm tired. I don't have time. I don't feel motivated.
But here's the thing:
You don't have to feel like exercising to do it. Motivation is great, but it's not necessary, so stop treating it that way.
So many people make the mistake of letting their feelings decide what they do. When they don't "feel" like doing anything, they don't. But they have it all wrong. The answer is to let your actions determine your feelings. If you start exercising, even if you don't feel like it, your feelings will eventually catch up. You'll feel motivated after you start.
But if you wait until you feel like it, then there's a good chance that motivation will never come—and you'll continue to make excuses as to why exercise isn't important enough for you right now.
So the next time you don't have the motivation to get started, remember that feeling is normal, and then start anyway. Doing something you don't want to do is how you start feeling powerful and in control.
And if you need help doing the things you don't want to do, then join our one-on-one coaching and accountability program. When you have someone you are accountable to and who will check on you to make sure you did what you said you would do, you will find yourself doing things you never thought possible.
Exercise is not always fun, and sometimes you'll wonder why you have no motivation. But don't forget that it's only a part of the process.
The important thing is to avoid making the mistakes that keep you from doing what you want. Instead, do the workouts you'll enjoy and look forward to. Stop waiting for everything to be perfect and schedule time for you. And over time, you'll find that little by little, you no longer need motivation
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