I don’t want to bore you with listing the many benefits of exercising. I’m sure you can recite them by heart.
Truth to be told, we humans do things not because of what we know, but because of how we feel.
You know that you can lose weight, look slim, and feel energetic thanks to exercising. What would your life look like if you felt like exercising and reap the health benefits?
I don’t have a secret gene or superior DNA, but I exercise every single day. What’s more, I get up at 5.25 am every day and go for a walk even if I don’t feel like it. So, read on to find out how I motivate myself to exercise!
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Why You Will Never Feel Like Exercising
First things first. If you want to up-level your wellness and embrace a healthier lifestyle you need to accept one of the most important facts in life. And that is that motivation is a myth.
When I was battling burnout, depression, and grief, I came across a TED talk by Mel Robbins. In that talk, Mel Robbins said that motivation is a myth, and it literally changed my life.
Don’t feel bad for thinking that if you only had the motivation you would conquer the world. I thought that too. But waiting for motivation is like waiting for Godot from Samuel Beckett’s story.
If you are not familiar with the play, I strongly encourage you to read it because it is fascinating. But what you need to know right now is that if you are waiting for motivation to get you moving, you will be waiting for a really long time.
Why? Because you act on things when you feel like it. If you are like most of us, humans, you won’t feel like exercising. Sure, you know is good for you. But we rarely act because of what we know.
Let’s look at how knowledgeable you are. Or even how knowledgeable we are as species. We know that smoking kills, yet we smoke. We know alcohol is a poison, yet we drink. We know that driving under the influence can get us in trouble, yet we do it.
So, basing your will to act when you feel motivated can consume a lot of your precious energy. Eventually leaving you with none. And we all know how much lack of energy costs you. That is why you need to motivate yourself internally rather than wait to feel like exercising.
Here are 3 ways I get myself moving in the morning, even when it’s cold and dark outside:
I start each day with meditation. But during the warmer months, it is so much easier to welcome the day, get comfortable in my meditation nook and stay in stillness.
Unfortunately, when it’s cold and dark outside and when I don’t feel like getting up, I need to bring on the big guns. And that means guided meditation.
Meditation is about exercising your mental state, therefore the more comfortable you are when you mediate the better. So, to get myself motivated to exercise in the morning, I meditate in bed. I use energetic, inspiring, and motivating meditation that will get me pumped and moving.
You can try to mediate in silence, but I find that if I don’t have a voice talking to me, I fall asleep almost immediately. Listening to a guided meditation will keep you engaged and get you ready to get up and exercise.
#2 Put Your Emotions Aside
It is almost impossible to feel like getting up when it’s cold and dark (hello 5.25 am!). So, mastering the motivation to exercise at this moment is wasted energy.
That is why you need to park your emotions and bring your logic in.
To be logical about your exercising is to be strategic about it. I always prepare my exercise clothes the day before, so they are ready when I get up. I have already planned my walking track, so I know what to expect. Heck, I even check the weather the night before so I know I can’t use that as an excuse in the morning.
What is your type of exercise? Do you go to the gym? Then book yourself a class beforehand. When you know that the class is running at a certain time you will feel pressured to go.
Or do you exercise at home? Have your exercise space and equipment ready. Select your workout music the day before so you can hit play the moment you put your exercise clothes on. Eliminate any moments when you start questioning the status quo or let your emotions take over.
#3 Reward Yourself
Let’s face it, you do things because there is some sort of a reward. Most of us go to work because we get paid for it. We enjoy catching up with friends because we love the benefits of social connections. We run marathons because there is a gold medal at the end.
We simply do things because we expect to be rewarded for it. Because cold and dark mornings are not my thing, I need a reward to get into the cold and exercise.
For the duration of winter, I changed my walking route and I walk every morning on the waterfront. The added bonus is that I get to see the sunrise every single day. This amazing act of nature is so beautiful that it gives me energy.
On days that I walk in the morning and get to witness the sunrise, I’m more creative, motivated, and energetic. I get more things done and I’m more upbeat. This means that I will eat healthy and will have healthier self-talk.
This also means that I will be productive, feel accomplished at the end of the day, and experience firsthand the benefits of exercising. This will motivate me to get up at 5.25 am the next morning.
So, how can you reward yourself for exercising in the morning?
Maybe you get to enjoy listening to your favourite podcast when you exercise? Or maybe that is ‘me-time’ without the outside noise. And if you really need a serious reward, maybe every time you exercise in the morning, you pay yourself $5 that you put into a piggy jar and eventually buy those shoes you really wanted to buy but thought were too expensive.
Just remember that rewarding can easily backfire if it is not done right. So, use whatever reward is healthy, inspiring, and doesn’t lead to co-dependency. And keep in mind that rewarding is more a short-term motivation technique.
How to Get Yourself Motivated
Now you know that motivation is a myth and waiting for it is wasted energy. Forget about feeling like exercising, especially when it’s cold and dark outside.
You are better off coming up with a strategy that will move you into action. Start your day by staying in bed and listening to a guided meditation that will give you the mental kick you need. Be prepared, so you are ready to hit the ground running rather than let your emotions talk you out of exercising.
And when you have a harder day, reward yourself for the efforts. You’re worth it. So, how are you going to get motivated to exercise today?
Are you part of my community? Join my newsletter to get the latest action steps on how to eat a healthy plant-based diet, de-stress, manage your time better, prioritize yourself, and anything in between so that you INCREASE your energy, SAVE time and INVEST well in your wellness!