The alarm rings. It’s 7 am and it’s time to get up and work out.
Except – you really don’t want to.
If you struggle with getting motivated to work out, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re human.
No one who works out every day feels like working out every day.
If you’re wondering where they get the motivation and willpower, guess what? They don’t.
See, emotion comes from motion. It’s not that people who work out every day wake up motivated to work out, it’s that they practice habits which get them in the gym regardless of how they’re feeling, until they build enough momentum that the routine of working out becomes a daily habit that happens as much on autopilot as going to bed at night.
In other words, if you sit around waiting for motivation to come, you’ll be sitting there forever. Sometimes you have to set up systems in your life to make motivation the next natural step.
If you just can’t face a workout, these tips will get your hot little hiney into gear so you can stay on track with your fitness goals.
#1: Make it a routine
Schedule regular workouts at the same time every day. Make them as much a part of your day as getting dressed, brushing your teeth, or eating breakfast, so you feel just lost without a workout. Actually block out the time in your calendar like it was a non-negotiable appointment.
#2: Just commit to 15 minutes
If you really can’t face working out, commit to a shorter timeframe, like 15 minutes. If after 15 minutes every movement feels like torture, give yourself full permission to shut it down.
Here’s the thing – 9 times out of 10, I swear once you’re moving and in your activewear, by the time that 15 minutes rolls around you’ll just keep going.
And if you’re just really not feeling it after 15 minutes – it’s still 15 minutes of heart pumping movement you wouldn’t have had if you didn’t train at all.
#3: Workout with a friend or a personal trainer
Listen, accountability is everything. Line up an accountability buddy to do a class with you, or who will check in with you and kick your butt if you flake.
Even if you don’t feel like it, if you have a friend counting on you, or a paid session with a trainer lined up, you’re more likely to stick with your workout because you don’t want to let someone else down.
#4: Set a goal with a deadline
If you have a goal to run 5 km by the end of March, or to improve your squat weight by 20% by the end of the month, every workout counts. You won’t want to ditch your workout because you know you have a deadline to meet.
#5: Have a killer workout playlist
Headphones in, world out, beast mode on.
Zoning out to your favourite music while you sweat is part of the reward itself. Good music will always get you in your workout zone – and keep you there.
Create a killer playlist you can’t wait to listen to on your next workout.
#6: Excuse proof it
Get prepared AF for your workout, so it can almost literally happen on autopilot. Fill up your water bottle, put your gym bag by the front door or in your car, and lay out your workout clothes ready to go.
If you work out at home, shove the coffee table out of the way, roll out your yoga mat and set out your weights ahead of time, so you can literally get dressed, walk in, and press play.
Make it SO easy to work out that it takes more effort to skip it.
#7: Remember that NOBODY feels like working out every day
Frustration about not being motivated makes you even less motivated to work out. It’s a vicious cycle.
Remember: there’s nothing wrong with you and it’s completely normal not to want to work out every day.
Personal trainers have days where they don’t want to work out. Professional athletes have days where they don’t want to train.
It’s part of being human.
Yet – they still do, because they have a big goal and a big WHY behind that goal.
Feel the resistance and do it anyway. Remind yourself why it’s important to you.
#8: Know your WHY
On that note, remember the reason you’ve committed to this journey in the first place.
Maybe you want to feel more confident in a bikini – or maybe you’re doing this to improve your health and prolong your life.
Maybe you’re doing it so you can have more energy for your kids, so you can improve your mental health – there are myriad reasons for working out.
The key is to find the reason – the REAL reason why you’re doing this. I don’t mean just some arbitrary goal you think you “should” have.
I mean a WHY that is so important to you, it makes you emotional to think about.
Hone in on what that is, write it down and keep it front of mind every day.
The more strongly your why is anchored in your mind, the more motivated you’ll be to stay on track.
#9: Think about how great you’ll feel afterwards
Have you ever regretted a good workout?
No, me either. No one has.
Yeah, the beforehand is a pain, and sometimes the during kind of sucks too.
But afterwards? You always feel like a freakin’ superhero.
Your body feels strong, and light, and energised, and kind of sore in a good way.
Your skin is glowing, your blood is pumping, and you feel ready to take on the world.
If you’re tempted to skip your workout, think about the amazing exercise benefits you’ll also be missing out on.
Remind yourself how amazing, strong and energised you’ll feel in just an hour from now if you work out.
And then go after it!
#10: If you’re sleep deprived or sick, give it a miss
Are you “not motivated”, or are you feeling under the weather?
There’s a big difference.
Sometimes, it pays to listen to your body and give it the rest day it needs and deserves.
A week or so ago I was battling with just the worst insomnia where I was getting 2, maybe 3 hours of unbroken sleep a night.
After about a week of no sleep, I could hardly think clearly enough to make an espresso (which I desperately needed after a night of no sleep). Like, I could not have driven a car.
That day, I gave myself a rest day.
Exercise has amazing benefits for insomnia. It can promote a good night’s sleep and regulate your circadian rhythms.
But if you’re extremely sleep deprived, you’ll put extra strain on your already stressed out body, and you may even injure yourself.
In those cases, it’s better to skip the gym for a day or so, and catch up on Zzzzs with an early night instead.
Similarly, in some cases, gentle exercise can help if you’ve got a minor cold or are on your period. It can also improve your immune system in the long run.
But if you have difficulty breathing, have any chest symptoms, a headache, or nausea, working out can make your symptoms worse.
It’s much better for your health to take the day off, go see your doctor, and curl up on the couch for a day of hot tea, sunshine soup, and Disney movies.
Remember: the aim of the game is health and fitness, and sometimes in the spirit of health and fitness your body needs rest as much as it does movement.
Your progress will not be lost if you skip one or two workouts to heal and recover, so make sure to take that rest day if you need it.
Nobody feels like working out every day. But the secret of people who seem motivated every day is that they set up systems to make daily workouts a habit.
By using one or two of these tips in your own routine, working out will become a daily routine and sooner or later, you’ll be the one getting asked, “How do you get the motivation?”
Now, onto the Captain’s Log for yesterday. If you’ve just joined us, I’m on a 90 day fitness journey and I’m logging every day of progress, including my meals and workouts, as I journey back to my health.
I’m a certified personal trainer who struggled with yo yo diets and extreme workouts until one day, I just couldn’t take it anymore and gave up on my weight altogether ... that is, until a recent health scare that landed me in the hospital (you can read more about my story here).
Now I’m on a mission to finally take charge of my health and fitness, lose weight in a healthy, self loving way and get into the best shape of my life. If you’re on a similar journey, I’d love to stay in touch.
Keep reading to read yesterday’s log, scroll to the bottom to read the previous days, and if you’d like to stay updated on the journey and receive the FREE guide that’s helped me get amazing results so far, click the pic below to be taken to the download page.
With all that said, here’s yesterday’s log.
Breakfast yesterday was simple – oat flakes and All Bran (3/4 cup) with ½ cup of milk and a completely black espresso. I just haven’t been in the mood for convoluted breakfasts lately.
I guess sometimes simple is best.
Lunch was epic. It was a whole situation.
Firstly, I had a turkey and salad sandwich with ¼ avocado on multigrain. I also enjoyed the little wedge of quiche I had leftover from last night’s dinner.
For “lunch dessert” I had the rest of the watermelon Greg cut me from last night. So delicious.
I had a big workout planned later, so I wanted to get in plenty of fuel.
I just couldn’t decide what to have for dinner tonight, so I went with marinated steak and the same side salad I’d made the night before. It turns out that particular salad goes great with steak.
I don’t eat a lot of red meat, honestly, but every once in a blue moon I do crave a giant steak. This one was tougher than leather, if I’m being honest, but it still tasted delicious.
I know Greg certainly appreciated a steak dinner too!
I washed my dinner down with this amazing Byron blue tea that I’m currently obsessed with. If you add a splash of lemon/lime juice it turns purple.
It’s such a trip. It looks and tastes like a cocktail but it’s so good for you.
For dessert I treated myself to Jalna Greek yoghurt and passionfruit. Listen, this wasn’t the healthiest yoghurt money can buy, but it was freaking delicious.
I mean, it tasted like cheesecake.
Unlike cheesecake, however, it was relatively low in sugar and was full of gut loving probiotics. Tick!
I put on all my sequins and did this amazing 70s inspired disco workout today. It really got my heart rate up and a day later, my body is S-O-R-E.
I love how happy dance style aerobics workouts make me. I actually feel good when I do them.
It’s a far cry from my days running on a treadmill just hating life (and cardio). Now I’m a self confessed Cardio Queen.
Well, my glam babies, that wraps us up for another day. Can you believe we’re three weeks in already? I can’t wait to share my progress next week!
Let’s huddle in for the motivation message.
If you miss a workout, it’s likely not going to destroy your results any more than doing one workout will get you results.
See, it’s not what we do or don’t do one time that affects our progress.
It’s what we do consistently.
Our progress is measured by the amount of times we didn’t want to show up, and showed up anyway.
By the amount of times we squeezed in one more rep, even though our muscles were shaking.
By the metres we kept running, even though we felt like we couldn’t go even one more step.
Our greatness is measured in the moment we saw our comfort zone and decided to step outside it.
And this is not a conversation about pushing past pain limits, injuring yourself, or ignoring your body’s cues to rest.
This is about self belief. It’s about digging deeper than the current moment and knowing that you can do this.
Knowing why you’re doing this.
Knowing how good you’ll feel afterwards – and how much your life will change in the future – and choosing that reality.
Every time you choose your future self over the comfort of staying where you are, you move closer to your dream.
So keep going, beautiful.
Until tomorrow, keep shining bright.
- xo Rhi
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