Some mistakenly believe we must feel motivated before we can change.
There’ll always be a reason to not do what needs to be done. Maybe it’d be easier when school starts, when school’s out, after graduation, after the holidays, after the kid leaves for college, after I get that job, when the slow season arrives, when things pick up a bit; when I feel more motivated… see what I mean? There’s always a reason to not exercise.
I, generally, workout four to six times each week. (I have to because I don’t discipline myself to eat only healthy foods, and I carry what I affectionately call the ‘fat gene.’)
Recently, my 16 year old daughter asked me if I’ve been slacking off working out. I said, ‘Yes. I’ve only been working out three times a week, during my classes, for the past couple of weeks…Why?’ To which she replied something, with great tact, I might add, to indicate I look like I’ve put on a couple of pounds. I have. I’ve gained 5lbs in the last couple of weeks.
You want to know why? I have lots of reasons why I haven’t felt like running or walking or even getting out of bed, for that matter, on some days; but the honest to goodness reason is: I simply haven’t done it.
Why I haven’t exercised as I normally do is not the reason. The reason is I haven’t exercised: Period.
There’ll always be reasons ‘why.’ If you wait until the time and mood are perfect, you’ll never do it. If you do, you’ll stop when the perfect moment passes, and it will.
I know I’ve mentioned David Burns, PhD before, but I’m going to do it again (because he’s good). He’s written and taught extensively regarding cognitive distortions, and has taught millions of people how to overcome the negativity and depressive emotions that come from errors in thinking patterns. He says it’s a rare person who feels like doing the work at hand before doing it. Most of us drag our feet (even just inside our own heads), when it comes to doing what may seem an unpleasant tasks (like some mistakenly believe exercise to be!) What makes the difference between a doer and a do-nothing-er is; the doer just puts his/her feet in motion, without feeling like it. After his/her feet are in motion, he/she then begins to feel more like it, because of the rewards that come from the activity, whatever it might be.
In the case of exercise and eating well, the reward is strength and health; vitality and a sense of well being (in time). So, don’t wait until you feel motivated! Will yourself to do it. You’ll be glad you did!
Sally Windham is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor in Blanco, TX. Please send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org