If you’ve stopped working out during all of this, you’re not alone. We’ve just had Christmas and New Year where we’ve rightfully taken a bit of a break from our usual routines, and to top it all off, we’re in another national lockdown. Still, we want to inject you with some positivity and adrenaline to kick-start that motivation and have you excel in your home workouts this time around.
This isn’t about willpower or just doing it though, and the reason you aren’t working out isn’t because you’re lazy or weak.
There are influences working on you that you might not even know about, but that doesn’t mean they’re out of your control. In fact, thankfully, they probably are in your control, and all it takes is awareness and action to change them. These aren’t just for exercising either — you can apply them to any part of your life.
So, let’s look at how to kick-start your workout regime and start exercising again.
Identify crucial moments
We all know it — the moment we choose TV over a workout.
Acknowledging these moments is the first step to kick-starting your workout routine, because when you’re able to identify this, you can dig a little deeper into why you’re making these decisions.
Find the crucial moments that you choose not to work out and become aware of them, and, in those moments, think of your goals. Thinking in terms of long-term satisfaction and success rather than short term emotions will help you make the right decision. Recall your goal, connect it to the moment, and let it sway you towards the right action.
We are a lot more likely to take the right action when we connect it to a future goal, so finding this is important. While it’s perfectly fine to ditch a workout every so often, remember that consistency is what you need to reach your goals.
Change your self-talk
When it comes to changing a habit, the first thing you need to look at is yourself. With this, an absolute game changer is self-talk — what you tell yourself on a day-to-day basis — because what you think can change your actions and your whole reality.
This could be why you’re not getting off the sofa to do some squats. Telling yourself you don’t feel like it, that there’s no point because you don’t have the equipment, or that you don’t want to — you’re focusing on the negative excuses for why you can’t do it.
Instead, put some positive things into your head. Say good things to yourself and tell yourself things that will get you off the sofa to do some exercise. When it comes to finding motivation, the things you tell yourself are huge, but they can’t just come from someone else — it’s something that must come from you.
You are who you’re influenced by
People around you influence you, even though you might not even notice it. Maybe when you think about doing some push-ups, your girlfriend asks you to watch TV, and how can you say no?
Well, you don’t need to say no, but you can take the people swaying you away from your goals and sway them towards helping you instead.
Ask if they want to join you in exercising or just be honest: tell them that instead of watching TV tonight, you want to work out. Explain to them that it’s something you want to do and you’d love if they joined.
If they don’t, no bother, but try to get them on your side. Bring them on board with healthy eating, for example. Have the people in your immediate circle work with you and your goals, not against them, as this will help you succeed too.
People say we’re the sum of the five people we hang out with most, and that’s even truer if you’re spending all day every day with them, so get them on your side and improve yourselves together.
Look at your environment
The last thing influencing you is your environment. Maybe your work situation or the state of your home is keeping you from working out. Maybe you don’t have a proper place to exercise. Maybe you always keep biscuits in the cupboard, and you just can’t help but eat them.
So, look at your environment. Do you have your phone right next to you when you get bored? Does TV distract you from working out? These are subtle, but powerful things that might be causing you to fall out of routine.
Checklists are a powerful way to get you back into one. Put up a checklist of exercises you want to do every day and tick them off every time you do them. Then, when you pass the checklist, you see what you’ve got to do, and you’re more likely to do it. Writing it on paper is more effective than writing it on your phone because, on paper, it becomes a part of your environment.
Changing your environment in little ways like this can affect you more than you might realise, so give it a try.
Find what works for you
With these, experiment with what works for you. Identify your crucial moments and try changing different things to see what works and keep changing as you go. No one thing will work for everyone, but if you find the right formula for yourself, your success will skyrocket.
Most importantly, remember to go easy on yourself. 2020 was tough on us all, so just do what you can to stay happy and fulfilled.
Take home message
There are loads of things that might be influencing you to not workout and it’s normal. You’re not lazy — you’re just falling for the same excuses that we all fall for at some time or another.
Just remember that through changing your views, your friends and family’s influence, and your surroundings, you can dig out that motivation to get back into exercising, improving your mental wellness, and achieving your fitness goals more effectively than ever before.