I get it. I’ve been there. The temperatures are rising, which means Happy Hour with the co-workers or even sleeping in with Bae in the morning appeal more to you than having the force the effort to complete treadmill intervals for an hour or have someone scream at you to “GO HARDER!” when you’ve been chewed out all day by your boss. The problem is, you do it once or twice and manage to forgive yourself, but then those two skip-the-gym days turn into weeks, and suddenly, the jeans you slid into like butter on Memorial Day are bursting at the seams come Labor Day. But it doesn’t have to go down (or rather, UP) like that! I say this often, a big part of becoming or maintaining a state of physical fitness is about being mentally present, and honestly, sometimes we gotta play tricks on our brains to tap into our potential. So, I am here to give the 411 on how to get yourself motivated to work up a sweat when, in the words of Big Sean, "[you’ve] “got a million, trillion things that [you'd] rather f*ckin’ do!”
(And note, these tips aren’t just for those trying to make their way out of the sunken fitness place. These tips are also for my folks coming back from a long vaycay, the formerly injured, or for new moms who need a push towards getting their snapback months after your doctor cleared you to workout post-partum [IMPORTANT: I do not believe in rushing new moms back into working out; you just pushed a beautiful, bouncy miracle through a very small space. Go back when YOU are ready, only YOU know when exactly that time is], or save this article for when it’s the cold weather [and the accompanying "cabin fever"] thwarting your goals.)
Whatever your situation, time to change your attitude to reach your destined latitude!
ACCELERATE TO THE 5TH STAGE OF GRIEF. I know you’re probably thinking, “morbid, much?” If you’ve ever practiced yoga, you know that the practices asks of you to honor where you are in the present moment – in other words, acceptance. Real talk, unless you're the dizzy-but-meant-well pageant contestant from Miss Congeniality (the April 25th girl),
cheery affirmations don’t always work. Instead, take the more realistic approach: “I don’t want to do this right now, but I need this right now because (insert reason here).” We are so quick to validate a purchase we can’t afford, or giving up our better parts to f*ck boys (or girls - didn't forget you, fellas!) we have no business dealing with, so why not validate taking that one hour to yourself that Is absolutely 2000% proven to lift your mood, health, and booty?
2. KEEP IT CLOSE TO HOME. Many people like to break a sweat near close to their job location – especially the what I call Early Morning Workout Warriors. However, if your workout discipline is waning with every passing summer day, getting it in within a hop, skip, and a jump from your front door may be more beneficial for adherence reasons, for both night owls and morning glories. While the idea of remaining in proximity to the office after hours can deter one from hitting the gym, you may be compelled to either try out the Spin class that’s located near your subway stop, or lace up your kicks for a sunrise run around the neighborhood (before getting ready for the day in your own bathroom - no shower shoes needed! I hope ...)
3. GO WHEN YOUR FAVE INSTRUCTOR IS TEACHING – OR NOT. That super inspiring coach with the dope playlist (:: points to self::) is teaching at 7p? Write it your calendar and anticipate it like a first date – full of opportunity for a great time, wink! But ( And I may be shooting myself in the foot here), if your fave coach is instructing at 8p but you know in your heart that If you don’t go immediately after work then you won’t at all – THEN GO!. If you're worried about said instructor's reaction, send them a DM with your apology, and let them what the deal is.
He/she has to understand, because at the end of the day, this is about YOUR journey – NOT their per head incentive. (No shade!)
4. LIVE BY THE 20 MINUTE RULE. This ALWAYS works for me when I have no desire for the gym – I tell myself that I am only staying for 20 minutes. Why? Because it sounds a lot better than an half hour, and we instructors are constantly reinforcing the idea that “some activity is better than nothing” (remember what I said about mental tricks?) But what will happen is a) those 20 minutes are up and you don’t feel exhausted yet (or anymore, depending on your perspective) and you stay longer (HELLO ENDORPHINS! NICE OF YOU TO SHOW THE F*CK UP!) and then: b) Holy sh*t, look at your watch! An entire hour has passed by without you realizing it!
5. BEAST MO… REALISTIC MODE. More than likely, this may not be the session you’ll be attempting plyo pushups and box jumps. Again – you don’t want to be there anyway, so then WHY are you trying to make your workout even more difficult? This will only frustrate you. Instead, focusing feeling good about not succumbing to the couch. You may not have been inspired to go as hard or as long as you usually do, but in this singular instance; the battle is showing up, and you won. And I guarantee you’ll feel amped to return tomorrow full throttle!
Next time you find yourself evading the Stairmaster, try one or two of these tricks and I bet you'll find yourself sweating in no time!