It is getting colder, and with falling temperatures, most people (including myself) start struggling to keep their motivation for doing sports up. I have had 2 weeks of barely working out at all, using the all-time favorite excuse of “not having enough time”, and, well, I actually was in bed with the flu at the beginning of last week. I am usually not somebody who has to fight her inner self to do sports, but I am somebody who has to keep up the habit at all times, otherwise I start feeling extremely unhappy. There is just something that happens to your brain when you don’t do sports at all; the tendency is to always think that tomorrow, everything will change and you’ll get back to it.
For me, there are 4 things which help me to actually get off the couch when I’m in a slouch, and, while I’m sure you have heard some of them before, I am guessing you’re reading this post because you are in such a situation at the moment: So, read this post, and then get up and get moving!
1. Ask yourself: Why?
The most important issue keeping you from doing sports is not the motivation to get up, but the underlying reason why you are doing sports. I am really really bad at doing sports for myself (Read this post for more on that). I have a long list in my brain before I actually say “I do sports because it’s fun”…for example, I’ll tell myself I need to do sports to work off those meals I had the day before, I have to do sports to clear my mind, I have to do sports to be healthy…all of which are not wrong, but they are wrong if they are building pressure. Do sports only if you want to. It won’t feel good to go for a run if you are only doing it to punish yourself for eating out, or if you’re only lifting weights because you want to achieve that ripped physique.
Ask yourself why you want to do sports, what the true reason is. Only if that reason is because you WANT to do them for YOU, and for feeling good about yourself (not for anybody else, not for looking good), only then will your run/yoga session/workout feel revitalizing and amazing.
“But that won’t get me off the couch, will it?”
Just as you need to ask yourself why you are doing sports, you need to listen to yourself and your bodies needs. Of course, you aren’t always going to feel motivated because you know why you are doing sports…but it will be much easier to listen to your body’s needs if you aren’t putting the pressure of having to work out for a specific reason on it.
2. Go outside
The best motivator for doing sports is going outside – despite the weather. If you aren’t a runner, simply go outside for a walk…and wear your running shoes, in case you do want to start running or walking briskly. It usually takes me a while to actually leave the house, especially if it’s cold, but, once I am out there, I can’t get enough of the fresh air. Set yourself a certain time when you’re going to leave the house, and then REALLY DO IT, don’t keep telling yourself that you are going to go for a run “some time today”. Set yourself a deadline, and then go for it. Once you’re outside, it will no longer be an issue of motivation.
3. Buy new workout clothes
Now this may seem cliché or random, but I find few things as motivating as having a new set of workout clothes. For some reason they really make me want to do a workout as soon as possible, as then I get to wear them! I didn’t believe in that philosophy for a long time, but back then I didn’t really shop for “workout clothes sets” or anything. If you like the look of something, you’re going to want to wear it, and you’re going to want to workout that much more. Trust me on this – at least if you’re female.
And, you know, make sure you pose in front of the mirror long enough to be laughing loudly…that way you’ll start your workout with a smile on your face!
4. Don’t workout alone
Now this last piece of advice is not true for everybody. I, for example, enjoy running by myself, or at least I usually only like running with very few people, as I need some peace and quiet so that I can clear my mind while running. But, if I’m struggling to motivate myself to actually get out there, I benefit from making a workout date with a friend – there’s a much lower chance you’ll cancel on somebody. Strange that you’d treat others more respectfully than yourself, but, you know, the mind is weird that way sometimes. If you are truly struggling, call a friend, and plan a walk/a run/a tennis session/a visit to the fitness club. Often times, we struggle to do that because we worry the other person is much more fit or more experienced than we are, but, c’mon, that’s just another excuse.
The bottom line is: Know why you wanna workout, jump over the couch-hurdle and get yourself a workout buddy. And, now that you’ve read this post and have procrastinated your own work-out long enough, I really suggest you get yourself dressed and walk out the door. You’ll be thankful the minute you breathe in fresh air. I’m doing the same right now. 🙂
P.S. I’d like to dedicate this post to my amazing mother, whose birthday it was yesterday, and who is the biggest self-motivator concerning sports that I know. If I am ever seriously unable to pick myself up, I call my mom and she offers to kick my butt. She’s awesome like that.