4 Powerful Steps To Get You Motivated To Work Out
GUEST POST BY TAHLEE ROUILLON.
You know you want to move your body in a joyful way every day. You know it feels good when your workout is done. You know it’s good for you in more ways than one, but damn, lately you just don’t feel like starting.
We’ve all been there. I still struggle too. And personally I find pithy suggestions like “find a workout buddy” unhelpful when I’ve got zero motivation. I just end up cancelling anyway.
So here are 4 steps to help you get your workout on and sustain your motivation.
1. Embody your intentions
Are you really clear, I mean crystal clear about why you workout? I believe behind any goal or motivation is the desire to feel a certain way. A certain good way.
For example, your goal might be to run 5km in under 30 minutes, but why do you want to achieve that goal? How do you want to feel when you finish? Proud? Accomplished? Confident?
Let’s say you choose confidence. How does that feel in your body? What does a confident body look like? Can you embody confidence right now? Try it. Stand up like a confident person would. Feel the strength and grounded power of confident feelings flooding through your body.
Feel like going on the 5km run now? I bet you do.
When you get to the crux of your desires and you can embody that feeling, you can tap into your motivation in a more lasting way.
This is true for your long term and short term goals. You can decide and embody your core desired feeling for each goal and before each workout. Embody your intentions.
2. Power words
Ok, so you’ve tied up your shoelaces, and you’re pumped for your run. But now you’re halfway through, puffed and tired and thinking “Ugh, 5km is WAY too hard. What was I thinking?!” Choosing a power word or mantra that aligns with your core desired feeling can really help fuel the fire to keep going. If you keep chanting “I’m confident to the end” with every foot fall, there’s no room for the doubting voices to be heard.
3. Resistance is useful
Little tangent – I love the book (and movie) Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. There is an alien species called the Vogon that take over Earth with the words “Resistance is useless”.
But when it comes to your motivation, resistance is useful. I know that sounds contrary, but stay with me here.
When you’ve hit the wall and working out is something you least feel like doing, resistance is giving you a clue. Because one of two things has happened.
1) You’ve become catabolic
Catabolic simply means you’ve been overtraining and now you need a rest. Muscles don’t grow while you’re in downward dog, lifting weights or on your run. Muscles grow during rest. And if you don’t give them enough rest, your body will start trying to force rest on you. You’ll feel exhausted, get injured or you’ll start getting sick. Heed the signals, and take a day or two off from training. Your body will thank you for it.
2) You’re rebelling
Sometimes, despite my best intentions, I cross my arms and think “I’m not doing a workout and no-one can make me!” Which means something or someone has made me feel controlled. Perhaps it was even myself. My inner critic (who I call Shadow) may have whispered to me “You’re getting fat sister. You should get your workout on!” My response? See above.
The key word here is should. As soon as exercise becomes a duty rather than a joy, you can bet your bottom dollar you will find every excuse under the sun not to do it.
4. Get your mojo back
If you’ve been rebelling and sitting in resistance for a while, feeling unmotivated, dejected and can’t-be-bothered-ded, it can feel MONUMENTAL to get your motivation back.
First off. Can the shoulds! If Shadow got her way (and believe me, for years she did) she would march me straight down to the gym to “whip me into shape”. This would usually end in me going hell for leather, overtraining, and landing right back in rebel town. So not sustainable.
Loving kindness is the key doing a 180 towards joyful motivation again.
Forgive yourself for any “shoulding” and silence the inner critic. Recall what your intention for exercise is. Embody that intention. Then eeeeeeease back into your workout (especially if you’ve been off for a while) so you don’t end up too sore and are more likely to show up tomorrow.
Now moving your body joyfully every day can be an everlasting and effortless achievement.
How are your motivation levels when it comes to working out? Do you struggle with it too? Or, do you have any other tips you can add? Share away in the comments below.
Author bio: Tahlee Rouillon is the instigator of The Attitude Revolution – Change Your Mind About Your Body. It’s a place to learn heartfelt and practical strategies so you can do a 180 degree turn towards loving who you are and the body you’re in.
Positive affirmation for the day: I love myself enough to move my body every day.
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