Finding Motivation With Small Commitments
No matter your lifestyle, finding the motivation to do your workout each day can be a battle. I work at a gym so you would think that I don’t have any excuse to skip. Well let me tell you, my catalog of excuses is thick and full of doozies. To be perfectly honest, I rarely ever want to work out until I am actually doing it. For me, the trick is fighting through the excuses for just long enough to get started then usually the lazies start to fade away. My constant lack of motivation isn’t always easy to overcome but over the years I have learned a few tricks that work for me. Maybe finding that drive day after day is easy for you, but if it isn’t and you sometimes find yourself struggling, take a couple minutes and read this post. Never know, it just might help.
Years ago I had a friend that was a bit antisocial. He didn’t ever want to go do anything with groups of people. Once he got there and relaxed he would be fine, but getting there was a challenge. The trick he used was to drive by himself to the gathering or event. That way he could always leave if and when he wanted to. He rarely did, but the reassurance of having a way out gave him enough peace of mind to go. While his petty antics were frustrating, it taught me an important lesson about self motivation. Full on commitments are hard, small commitments on the other hand are more appetizing and easy to swallow. Going to the gym can sometimes feel like a big commitment which may be a difficult obstacle to overcome. When this happens to me I have learned to allow myself to back off and like my friend, find a level of commitment that is not so daunting.
There are definitely certain body parts or exercises that I like doing more than others. When the excuses begin to roll in and I am tempted to skip a workout, my first line of defense is to start breaking down exactly what I had been planning to do and consider different ways to modify my workout to make it take less time, or reduce the intensity. That may mean skipping certain exercises or eliminating entire body parts all together. If I was going to do chest and back, I may cut back out and just do chest. Quads and hamstrings may turn into quads only. Whatever it takes to find a combo that is appealing enough to get me through the door. I have literally had to negotiate with my lazy self so hard that one time I ended up committing to only 5-minutes of cardio. Seriously, I was only going to do 5-minutes on the stepmill then leave. That is what it takes sometimes. The good news is that yes, all I did on the stepmill was 5-minutes, but it got me moving enough to then go lift weights.
I play this game with my mind and body more often than I would like, but it has been a big part of my overall consistency and like I’ve said before, consistency is the name of this game. Fitness is more about just going than it is about always going hard. Exactly what will work from day to day to get me over that hump I never know, but the point is I don’t give up. I am willing to be honest with myself and admit my weaknesses. Only then am I able to figure out the most effective ways to overcome those failings and prevent them from becoming obstacles to my success. Personally, I believe that exercise is the best investment that I can make for myself and my family. No amount of money can buy me health, only exercise and a healthy lifestyle can bring me that. If you believe like I do that exercise needs to be part of your life, but you sometimes struggle with finding that drive to get into the gym, ease up on yourself and try some smaller commitments. It works for me, maybe it will work for you as well. Good luck!