I used to be under the impression that when you found a workout you liked, that got results, you stuck with it. Maybe, once you felt up to it, you added in some other activities on the side; spin class, hiking, rock climbing or soccer. Your daily grind would remain to keep you up for those other activities. Some people successfully do this. Turns out, my personality doesn’t work like that, and I get BORED- with a capital BORED- after a very short time. I think that this feeling of boredom is fairly common.
So….how am I supposed to get through a twelve-week workout if it feels like a chore after the fourth week? To me, twelve weeks feels like a lifetime because I can’t imagine it ending. If I have nothing planned after those weeks, I usually just loop that workout and start again. I feel a little bit optimistic when I see the results the workout brings, but I find it too easy to get out of routine and to prolong the process, which leads to quitting and starting “over”. I’ve found a few tricks that help me around this ridiculous mindset and the cycle of starting over and over again that it causes.
1. I Plan My Next Workout.
It sounds so silly but it works. I know that I need to exercise to feel great and have the energy to keep up with my kids. I don’t see it as an option for my lifestyle, but I often get bored or discouraged during a routine and take a “quick” two months off. (Please tell me I am not the only that does this!)
As a result, I feel like I am starting over every two months. I am very stubborn and won’t move on to the next thing until I have finished my first commitment. If I have told myself I will finish that 12 week workout, nothing will deter me, even if I take multiple breaks and end up starting that program from the beginning multiple times.
You can imagine how sick I am of doing that! The solution that works for my personality? Planning my next workout. Right now, I am doing a DVD series that I borrowed from a friend. It’s 60 days long, and I am halfway through, so, naturally, I am getting antsy. The other day, I planned my next workouts (Zombies, Run 5K and Yoga, if you’re curious) and now I am finding it easier to finish the 60 days happily. The long term planning, somehow, helped me feel more in the moment and happier about finishing up this workout. Now I don’t feel as if this workout will never end. I will not loop it at the end OR be at a loss as to how to continue being fit. Some people use marathons, a fitness show or an event for this same purpose! But, if you are like me and just like working at home, this can give you a similar feeling of a goal and help to motivate you to continue.
2. I Make Several Kick-Ass Playlists.
Who doesn’t look forward to looking out if there is the promise of good music? Looking forward to hearing a certain song can make it easier to get up at 6:30am and get to my workout.
3. I Promise Myself I Can Quit After Ten Minutes.
Today, my alarm went off and I felt like throwing it away. I really didn’t look forward to my workout. I have started up again after a one week break and I was sore, tired, and comfortable under the sheets. I told myself to get up and try, and that if I REALLY wasn’t feeling it after ten minutes of doing my workout, I could quit. Better to quit than to hate every minute and possibly hurt myself because I am too tired to focus on good form, right?
I’ve done this to myself several times. I use this self-speak and every time I fool myself in to doing my full workout. I have never quit after the first ten minutes, ever. It’s funny to me that this even works. But it does, so I keep using it.
4. I Think Of My Role Models.
The “What would (fitness star/athlete/Olympic medalist/trainer) do?” is a very powerful mentality. I think it every time I don’t want to workout or I’m not pushing myself enough. I think that if they can do it, so can I, and that everyone starts somewhere. Yah, sure, if it is an Olympic medalist I am mentally picturing, they probably surpassed my fitness level when they were 10 years old, but everyone starts somewhere right? Reach as high as you can with your goals, I say, as long as they don’t accidentally demotivate you! Keep it in perspective, and stay safe, but try to push yourself. That is what I tell myself when I feel my workout lagging.
I hope these suggestions helped. I use them often, especially now that school has started and I am working out in the gray, dark, dreary mornings again. (I love waking up so early, can you tell? 😉 ) None of these suggestions are new, by any means, or rocket science, but hopefully they help get you thinking of what keeps you motivated and being healthy!