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I finally got motivated to workout a few months ago.
And kept doing it.
I have never been so proud of myself, because I actually love it.
I know if I – the person who used every excuse to avoid it- can get motivated to workout, then ANYBODY can.
Yes, I mean anybody. I’m talking to you, the person who has a million excuses why they can’t or thinks their body won’t let them.
I’m here to tell you that thinking is flawed.
When you have pain, you NEED to workout if you want to be in less pain!
I want to tell you how to get motivated to workout, so you can finally take back your life.
Excuses Excuses Excuses
I know what excuses you are using to avoid exercising, because I have used them ALL.
- I don’t have enough space
- I can’t afford a gym membership
- I’m scared of the gym/ Don’t know how to start
- I hurt more after I workout, sometimes for days
- I don’t have time
- I get injured when I workout
- I don’t have the right clothes
- Working out is boring
- I gained weight last time I exercised
and the worst offender is “I will start on Monday, New Year, etc”
If you are finding yourself nodding your head because you have used these excuses, these steps are exactly what you need to change that thinking and finally get yourself active.
Steps to Get Motivated to Workout
Step 1: Stop Prescheduling Your Start Time!
I tend to cringe when I hear people say “I will start on Monday or after the holidays”.
Yes, I know, I cringe at my old self saying it too.
Because things like healthy eating and exercising, can’t be scheduled for later dates because these are lifestyle changes/ habits!
If you schedule something in the future that is supposed to be a habit, you are most likely going to fail.
Because the complicated pathways in our brain stores memories. And right now, it is storing a memory that working out means something that is temporary and can be put off, instead of something that needs to be a habit.
Which is why you keep finding an excuse to put it off once your “deadline” comes, and again the next “deadline” after that.
To break the pattern, you need to start right now. Today.
Get your rear up and go for a walk today.
This is what you do now.
Step 2: Making your Excuses Sound Ridiculous
When you link good thoughts with a task, and make all excuses fail in comparison, that is when you can get motivated for something.
So this step is all about making your excuses sound dumb, so they won’t be good enough to use anymore.
So for right now, let’s start mudslinging our excuses and making them look bad.
Excuse #1: I don’t have enough space
I once thought I needed a huge room to move around, but I really don’t.
You know what I have? I have a tiny living room, with half the space being dominated by my dog’s steps that go up to her window seat. I workout in that space every day, whether I do Insanity, Zumba, stretching, or another workout program.
Excuse #2: I can’t afford a gym membership
You don’t need one. The sidewalks outside and a tiny living room is all you need.
Excuse #3: I’m scared of the gym
It can be intimidating to be seen starting out so small, in a place where everyone seems to be in much better shape than you. I get it!
The showers seem small and stinky, it feels like everyone is watching you because you are the only one who isn’t sure what you are doing, you aren’t comfortable changing in the locker room, etc.
Here is the thing, we all start out not knowing what we are doing!
You DESERVE to be there.
Every single person there started where you are. Not one of them walked in when they started and knew what they were doing. They got that way from going back again and again.
You are comparing your start to someone else’s end. That’s not fair and you know it.
And who says you need to shower at the gym?
Put a towel over your driver’s seat and drive home to shower when you get done!
Buy some wipes to bring with you to wipe down your worst areas really quick before taking the drive home to prevent bacterial infections from lingering sweat. That’s what I started doing because I hated lugging everything back and forth. It was so much easier to shower at home.
Excuse #4: I hurt more after I workout, sometimes for days
This is the one I hear all the time because pretty much everyone in my family has some kind of chronic pain and uses this one.
And I used to use it myself often. Because it never failed, I hurt miserably after a workout.
In fact, when I would get into the habit, usually after the 4th day, I would end up in the hospital because I had a new injury.
So I get it.
But here is the thing I didn’t realize. When you have injuries that already hurt, you can’t start out the same as everyone else. You need to start out slower. Much slower.
I wrote an entire article on how to workout with chronic pain, so won’t go into it much here.
But I will let you know that working out is especially important when you have chronic pain and illness, because that is what reduces the inflammation that is causing your problems.
It will also help your muscles gain strength, so your muscles will move you instead of your pain areas.
Yes, you will hurt more in the beginning, but over time, you will feel stronger and in less pain. And that is what counts.
My dog’s vet once told me that her being in pain was not an excuse to quit her walks. She can have the rest of the day to relax if she needs it, but stop using her pain as an excuse because the exercise helps her.
This is true in humans too.
Excuse #5: I don’t have time
Yes you do.
I know that is blunt, but you do.
You are just prioritizing everything else over it.
Look at your phone and see how many hours a day you are on it.
How many hours are you watching tv per night?
Those are times you could be getting up and moving around!
You could be using that time to park at the back of the parking lots when you run errands. Walking up stairs instead of using elevators. Going for a walk with your husband/wife, dogs, and kids.
Although optimal, you don’t have to lump an entire hour session in one go. Split it up.
Do lunges while you walk to the kitchen. Do multiple 5 minutes walks a day. Dance while doing dishes. Do squats when refilling your water bottle.
All that matters is that you are active as much as possible!
Excuse #5: I don’t have the right clothes
You don’t need specific clothes to be active!
Wear some old sweats and t-shirts.
You don’t need to look like Kate Hudson or another IG influencer when you exercise. If you saw the picture of me I mentioned earlier on my FB and IG page, I never looked worse than I did in that picture.
You could tell I was wearing old, stained clothing. I didn’t brush my hair. I didn’t do anything to make myself presentable.
Excuse #6: Working out is boring
This is one I struggled with too. It doesn’t have to be.
Put on some music and start dancing. Sometimes, when we are doing dishes, I will start dancing and pull my husband to join me. Next thing you know, we are laughing and dancing goofy.
Then my dog sees how much fun we are having and comes to join!
Working out doesn’t have to be just walking on a treadmill, staring at a wall.
Go out for a walk and see how many neat clouds you can spot. How many different colors the leaves are.
Grab your family and do a family walk and talk about your days.
I will talk more about this later, but there are definitely things you can do to make it not seem like a chore!
Excuse #7 : I gained weight last time I exercised
Here is the thing.
If you are working out to see the numbers on the scale go down, you will be extremely disappointed for a while.
Tons of studies out there show that exercising alone will not make you lose weight. You need to eat healthier options with the exercising. A metabolism boost doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t giving it the right nutrients to metabolize.
So why workout at all?
Because what it does do is help your blood flow, which can reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, improved brain and mental health, along with a variety of other health benefits.
You also lose deadly visceral fat and gain lean muscle, which is why you might gain or maintain weight when exercising. Your body becomes stronger so you aren’t in as much pain.
Excuse #8: It’s too cold
Guess what, that actually helps you!
Unless it is some deadly temperature, or something that can give you frostbite if you are out there too long, this can give your metabolism a little boost.
We have something called “brown fat” in our bodies. Some of us have more than others.
This fat is activated when we are cold for a little while. When activated, our metabolism boosts.
And if you really just can’t stand the cold, even for a little bit, you don’t have to go out there!
Your tiny 3 ft by 4 ft space is sufficient to walk in place, do exercises, etc.
Step Three: Find Your Why
Now that we busted your excuses, you need to find a why that will change how you look at working out to where you see it as something positive.
This needs to be extreme, because anything else won’t get you off your rear.
You need to think about what will happen in the future if you don’t do it.
I saw myself sitting on the couch, not able to leave the house, stuck in a wheelchair, because my pain was so bad. I saw myself having a heart attack or stroke and my husband being stressed out trying to work and take care of me. I saw myself not being able to go to the bathroom on my own. I saw myself being an inconvenience to everyone I loved. I saw myself being depressed and suicidal.
I know this seems dramatized, but some of that was already happening. And I couldn’t live that life.
I deserved better.
You deserve better.
Your family deserves better.
So my why was to get strong enough to make sure I never end up in a wheelchair. I need to live my life the way I am meant to.
Make your why bigger than yourself. Make it count.
Just saying you want to lose some weight for a wedding won’t help you here. Make it bigger.
Imagine how scary your life will be if you don’t do it. Then you will find your why.
Step #4: Extended Your Workday
Make your workday include your work out.
If you work from 8-4, make it in your mind that you work from 7-4 or 8-5. Spend that extra hour working out.
You HAVE to work, right? Then when you extend your workday hours, it is something you HAVE to do.
Taking care of yourself is a part of your job, so it makes sense to add the extra hour to your workday, every day, to make sure you do.
Then it will become you HAVE to workout because it is part of your job.
If you decide to get motivated to workout in the mornings before work, make sure as soon as you get up, you put your workout clothes on.
This will help tell your mind that it is ridiculous not to work out if you put the effort into putting your workout clothes, making you even more likely to do it.
#5: Get Excited About It!
Find something you are excited to learn more about and download the audiobook or podcast that talks about it.
The trick is, don’t listen to it UNLESS you are working out.
Listening to music, to me, doesn’t get me FIRED UP every time.
I listen to music all the time. In the car, at home while doing chores. That isn’t going to motivate me to go to the gym or go walking.
Watching tv while working out doesn’t motivate me. I watch tv all the time when I’m not working out.
You can’t associate something you do all the time with working out because your brain KNOWS you don’t have to workout to do those things.
I don’t listen to podcasts and audiobooks all the time. That is my workout time. And I am excited for it because I chose a topic I am super interested in. I want to go workout because I get to do something I don’t do any other time.
(FYI, They have podcasts and audio books on self development, comedians, story telling, cooking, finance, anything you can think of.)
Trust me, the time just flies by.
I realized I’m disappointed when the workout ends. I want to know what happens next!
So I keep going back the next day.
So pick something to listen to or watch that you are excited about that you WON’T DO ANY OTHER TIME.
Want a sure thing?
If you want a sure bet of one thing you will keep you motivated and excited to workout, get Tony’s Robbins Ultimate Edge program.
It is 100% worth the investment and THE reason why I kept working out and changing my life for the better. There is a reason this is the #1 personal development program in the world and you will be glad you made the investment in yourself.
I have not known one person who was disappointed in the value this program delivers. It will change your life.
If you know someone who has this program, borrow it. I don’t care how you get it, but I am passionate about the fact that it will change your life and you will be grateful you listened to it.
More Tips to Make it Fun
Another thing you can do is sign up for adult leagues at your local YMCA or community center. You can play a sport, swim, learn karate, learn dancing, pretty much anything that will keep you moving for really low prices and sometimes even for free!
If it sounds like fun to you, sign up for it!
Grab a friend and go play tennis. Go walk that trail through beautiful state parks you always wanted to visit and take pictures.
Make it fun and something you can’t do any other time.
That is probably one of the biggest tricks to get motivated to workout!
How to Get Motivated to Workout?
Make it part of your workday. Something you HAVE to do.
Waking up one hour earlier isn’t so bad. After a few nights, I was able to reset my body clock and go to bed an hour earlier.
Instead of dreading the thought of exercising, find a way to get excited about it!
Even if you don’t think you are an audio book or podcast person, try it. You have nothing to lose!
Download audio books for free through your local library’s website, with your library card.
You can listen to podcasts for free through an app on your phone.
I know I am going to be motivated to workout tomorrow.
And I can’t wait.
You won’t be able to either.