It happens to Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
We’re committed to exercising on a regular basis because we understand how it helps us move better and feel better―not to mention doing so with increased energy and decreased pain and injury; what’s not to love, really?―and yet at some point we stumble on a day (or several days) where we just can’t muster up the mojo to get our butt into gear and get going.
While strategic rest days are definitely an integral component of any balanced training program, this isn’t what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about those inevitable cases of the I Don’t Wanna’s that can sometimes derail us and that―even worse!―we unfortunately too often use as another excuse to beat ourselves down.
So let’s approach this differently, shall we?
Here are 5 ways to make it a little easier on yourself, and to make these I Don’t Feel Like Working Out blues happen less and further in between!
1. HAVE YOUR STUFF READY TO GO
This is something I’ve shared privately with my Special Crew, and that I want to share with you too. See, I have this super lazy trick when it comes to getting myself ready to work out, which I call the pile.
It’s literally a little pile of workout outfits (always more than one), already assembled and ready to grab and go.
See, just like prepping food or planning meals and advance can help us make better choices on a daily basis, being able to just grab our stuff without having to think too much about it saves us a lot of precious energy. The pile allows me to be confident that whichever outfit I’m grabbing will be comfortable, complete and appropriate for whichever activity I’m intending.
And not having to spend any energy whatsoever on choosing what I’m going to wear allows me to use that energy elsewhere… namely in my workout!
2. HAVE A PLAN, BUT REMAIN FLEXIBLE
When you’re not feeling inspired, trying to go in without a clear plan is a pretty good recipe for disaster. The amount of mental energy required to simply decide what you’re going to do simply isn’t worth it. On the other hand, when you come in knowing exactly what you need to do, your chances of success are immediately higher.
Remember, however, to remain flexible: if a certain exercise just isn’t working for you, don’t hesitate to find an adequate substitute for it, so that you can finish your workout and go on with your life!
3. COMMIT TO TEN MINUTES
Inertia is a powerful thing, but then again so is momentum! When you’re not feeling it, committing to doing only ten minutes of exercise can be a helpful solution. Once your ten minutes are over, you have the choice of stopping, or continuing a little longer.
Sure, there may be time where ten minutes is really all you can do, but I can say from experience that the temptation of adding just a couple minutes to that total is a real thing, and soon you’ll have done a decent workout without even realizing it!
4. HAVE AN IF-ALL-ELSE-FAILS BACKUP PLAN
Sure, your ideal workout might be one that happens at the gym. But what if you simply don’t make it to the gym (we all know that happens!)
Having an if-all-else-fails backup plan―which could be doing a bodyweight workout at home, running the emergency stairs at work, or simply going for a walk at lunchtime or in the evening―can guarantee that you’ll get some movement in. There’s tremendous power in daily movement, don’t forget it!
5. REMEMBER THAT SOMETHING ISN’T NOTHING
Stop believing that you need to go all-out for it to count. The short bursts of movement that you were able to integrate into your daily life (because they were easy to get in) are worth a lot more than the long-ass workout that you never got around to doing.
Forget perfection and focus on consistency… that’s where the magic happens!