I have never been a morning person. If allowed, I can sleep in until noon every day, which makes working out in the mornings one of the hardest things I have to do. See, I know that I don’t necessarily have to get up and work out – my day will go on, and I can fool myself into thinking that I will work out when I get off of work. If I am getting paid to be awake, then it’s no problem.
The problem is, unfortunately, I am not getting paid to work out.
Everyone tells you, "make a pact with a friend" and you will be more likely to stick to that commitment. Let me tell you right now – that is the biggest lie I have ever heard. I don’t know about you, but my friends and I enable each other way too much, and if one of us doesn’t really feel like working out, we’ll skip it, no problem.
Birds of a feather
The actual trick I have found, is to make plans with those friends that you aren’t close to, ones that are less likely to enable you. I currently have two jobs, and one of them is working front desk at a spin studio. That means that I have a plethora of co-workers frequently take the classes when they are not on the clock. Those are the friends that I make workout plans with, the ones that I will see frequently, and hold me more accountable. Plus, I do enjoy their company – so I end up having a great time while doing something that strengthens my body and makes me feel great (afterwards).
Another hack is to surround myself with people that genuinely do love to work out, or have a passion for any sort of physical activity. Having people around me that fill up my Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook feed with workouts that they did, or inspirational quotes really does make me much more excited to feel the burn.
Listen to your heart (and brain!)
Aside from external motivations, one of the most important things I can do for myself is just taking the time to listen to my body. I find that the regular doses of endorphins that I get from a workout positively affect my physical and mental health when I work out at least three times a week. I have taken the time to notice that when I don’t work out for more than a week, my coping mechanisms can begin to deteriorate. Close friends have told me that they can tell when I’ve not got moving in a while – because I just seem less exuberant and more susceptible to feeling derailed – which is absolutely not how I want to feel – or a vibe I want to share with others (though sharing is important, and negative feelings are inevitable and necessary to sorting through the things life throws our way).
Lastly, while there is no single, surefire way to motivate anyone to do anything, the number one change that I have made, is finding a physical exercise that I enjoy doing – in my case, once I discovered spin classes, hiking, and rock climbing; things that I genuinely enjoy doing, that was when I
was finally able to regularly work up a sweat – an maintain some serious self-care. – MB
Mariana is 25 years old, and extremely restless. She never has a totally free moment. Mariana is an avid collector of cookbooks that she rarely uses, and loves spin class, hiking, and rock climbing. She teaches elementary school kids, and if she is not working out or teaching, you can find her drinking wine with her friends and watching way too much reality TV. You can find her on Instagram @mariana.berto.