Excuses are easy but don’t let that stop you! There are proven ways to change your mindset, improve your motivation, and get you off that chair. No matter where you are on your fitness adventure, you can put an end to workout procrastination. Here are some strategies that may help.
Positive reinforcement is easy and, more importantly, it works. While there are obvious benefits to being active and eating better, you can’t always see them right away. Offer yourself a conditional reward such as a relaxing hot bath, new workout clothes, or put aside $10 for a vacation for every workout that you do. If you don’t do the work, you don’t get the rewards!
2. Make it automatic.
There will be days when you are tired, stressed out, or just plain lazy but that doesn’t mean you can bail on your healthy lifestyle. Set up your life so that being healthy is the easy choice. For example, have enough gym clothes for the whole week and pack your gym bag the night before so you are ready to go before or after work. Plan weekly menus, buy healthy food, and take the time to prepare it so that you can just grab it and go when life gets busy during the week
3. Create accountability.
Some people can keep themselves accountable but it doesn’t hurt to have a training partner, join a team, or hire a trainer if that’s what you need. When we know someone else is watching and cares how we are doing, it can really affect our behaviour. For example, if you go to the movies on a hot date, you’re less likely to stuff your face with a giant bag of greasy popcorn than if you go alone. Same goes for working out – if you know someone is counting on you to be at the gym, you’re less likely to cop out.
4. Remember how good it feels.
Not everyone likes working out but I have yet to meet a client who didn’t feel better after a workout. Exercise produces chemicals that make us feel more relaxed and happy, uses up energy that is often bottled up as stress, and also provides satisfaction of knowing you did something good for yourself. Remind yourself of these positive feelings and take a minute after each workout to take a deep breath and feel good about what you just did.
5. Surround yourself with positive people.
Attitude makes a tremendous difference when it comes to life in general. If you think you can do something, you will find a way to make it happen and if you think you can’t, you will always find excuses. Positive people lift you up, inspire you, and see the opportunity in every difficulty; they embrace challenges as they come. These are the people you want to surround yourself with!
6. Positive self-talk.
What is self-talk? It’s the ongoing commentary going on inside your mind about yourself. It affects how you see yourself, your relationships with others, and pretty much everything you do. Most people are easy to self-criticize or lay on the guilt. Try becoming aware of the things you say to yourself and about yourself, then challenge those thoughts. It sounds cheesy, but telling yourself that you are an active person or that you are a healthy person really can help you make choices that support those beliefs.
Although I am opposed to corporate world domination, figuratively tattooing Nike’s slogan “Just do it” in your thoughts is also not a bad idea.