“I don’t want to work out today!”
This is the time of year when it can get difficult to get your workouts in. When it’s cold and wet outside, you start to think maybe it’s OK if I just skip it today. You’re overbooked with obligations— under a higher stress-load than normal— and the thought of getting up with that early morning alarm or getting in your training after a long day at work feels like the last thing you want to do.
I am definitely not immune to those workout sabotaging thoughts. I also have to fight through those loud voices enticing me to just skip it today. One of my advantages though, is that being an expert in this stuff, I have many tools in my Mental Training toolbelt that I can use to help me boost my motivation and overcome that moment when I want to throw in the towel.
It’s natural to have times when you don’t feel like working out. Sometimes that feeling is a message from your brain to your body letting you know that you need to take a break. But sometimes it’s your stubborn inner-toddler reacting to being overbooked and trying to regain control.
And let’s face it – sometimes we just want to be lazy.
When this happens, you need to mentally shift gears in order to get yourself motivated to get in your training. Here are two of my favorite MT tools I use when I am struggling to get out the door. When you have a workout planned and you start to feel the pull of not wanting to go – do this:
Make a commitment
Sometimes the only thing standing in the way between you and your workout is physics. In particular, it’s Newton’s First Law of Motion. Objects in motion, tend to stay in motion and objects at rest, tend to stay at rest. This means that an object at rest will remain that way until some external force comes along gets it moving. In this situation you have to be that external force!
My favorite way to overcome inertia is to commit to putting on my workout clothes. I don’t have to commit to doing the workout, only to putting on the gear. Often that small act is the force I need to create the momentum shift. I’ve overcome inertia. I’m already dressed, so I might as well work out. No more perceived barriers. No more inertia. And so far, it has worked for me EVERY SINGLE TIME.
See it, do it
When you are thinking about an upcoming workout and feel a sense of apathy or dread, stop. Stop making a future decision based on how you are feeling in this moment. Spend some time visualizing yourself working out. Here are some of the elements you want to include:
- See yourself getting dressed for your workout
- See yourself leaving the house or work and going to the location of your workout
- See yourself feeling strong and enjoying yourself while working out
When you see yourself doing these things in your mind first, you’re more likely to make them happen. If you have to get up early and get your workout in– take time to visualize before you fall asleep. If you plan to head out after a long day at work– take time during your workday to visualize. When you take this small step, you’ve already mentally mapped it out. You’ve created a stronger neural pathway to reinforce the behavior you want when it actually comes time to choose whether or not you are will go work out.
What are your favorite ways to get out the door when you don’t want to work out!?