It’s winter. It’s cold. The struggle is real, people.
We all know exercise can make you feel better when you’re feeling down or unmotivated, but how the hell do you make yourself get out there in the first place? Here’s some tips you might find useful for pushing yourself into action, especially during the colder months.
Focus on a goal
Whether you’ve just begun your exercise journey or you’re an Olympic athlete, we’re all doing this for a reason. Whether it’s weight loss, strength, fitness or just general wellbeing, when you’re struggling it’s so important to remember what you’re doing this for! If it’s too difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, set smaller, more manageable goals. Want to lose 20kg? Set (non-food!) goals for yourself every 5kg.
Make a plan
Planning in advance can be the difference between jumping out of bed and running straight out the door, or hitting snooze six times only to fall back asleep. On the weekend, try using a diary to write down your exercise goals for the week – knowing what you’re doing to do and where you need to be in advance cuts out the thinking when you’re tired after a long day at work, or need to jump out of bed at 6am.
It sounds bizarre, but try to think of yourself as a robot. Making a plan sets you up for robot mode – don’t think, just do!
Prepare the night before
Exercising early in the morning? Lay your gear out the night before! Again, this all contributes to your ‘robot’ mode – the less thinking you have to do, the better. I’ve even got some clients who sleep in their workout gear during the winter so they can just get up and go!
Even if you’re not working out in the morning, the more prepared you are the more likely you are to train. Pack your bag the night before so you can get up, go to work, and head straight to training.
Ask for support from family, friends and workmates
Accountability is key. The more people who know about your goals, the better. Think about it; are you more likely to skip training if nobody knew you were going, or if you’d told your partner or work friends? They will be the people who pick you up when you’re feeling down, kick your butt when you’re being slack, and be your cheer squad when you smash your goals.
But remember, it’s important not to be too dependent on them for support. We’ve all been there – you’re at a farewell or birthday morning tea and some well-meaning friend says ‘Go on, you’ve been so good, you deserve a treat!’ This is where you need to channel your inner cheerleader!
Book a training date with someone
You wouldn’t stand someone up if you’d made time to catch up with them socially, would you? Then you probably won’t if you’ve booked a training date, either! Not only will it make you show up, it can be a fun, healthy way of catching up with a mate, and often makes you work harder than you would on your own. Go for a hike, run together, or organise something you couldn’t do on your own, like a boxing circuit or heavy weights session where you need a spotter.
Rock some tunes, wear cute outfits….find out what motivates YOU.
We all have different things that motivate us. Can’t stand the sound of your own heavy breathing during a session? Make sure you’ve set up a rockin’ music playlist you can smash your workout to. More likely to train if you’ve got a super coordinated, high vis, pink from head to toe outfit going on? Then you have my permission to go shopping and rock that velour trackie! Find out what gets you motivated and embrace it!