The alarm went off, the pillow feels good - and you're falling back asleep. A little voice inside your head is quietly telling you to get up, but somehow you manage to justify ten more minutes, then ten more minutes, and finally...ten more minutes. By the time your conscious is loud enough to get you out of bed, you wouldn't have much time for a workout anyway, so you kick the fully prepped gym bag off to the side, walk down the hall to start a pot of coffee, and head to the shower. Another missed opportunity to whip your butt in gear.
You want to workout, but haven't found a way to keep the momentum going. Here are six tried and true ways to make sure your workout plan stays on track.
1) Make a Plan: You don't have to necessary write it down and stick it on your refrigerator, but knowing your intentions to workout for the week is really important. It's also equally important to make it a little detailed. In my humble opinion, there is a big difference between unmotivational planning and motivational planning.
Unmotivational Planning: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri: Run
Motivational Planning: Mon - 4 Tempo Intervals @ 10 minutes; Tues - 5 Mile Easy Run; Thurs - Eight Treadmill Hill Repeats @ 3 min/3% incline; Fri - 6 Mile Easy Run
Running is just an example. Your workouts can combine anything - Zumba, Spinning, Weight Training...you name it - just give it definition by putting a framework around it. You'll see your end goal, and be much more likely to accomplish it!
2) Tell Your Friends: Get social. Tell your friends. They're the only ones who will harass you if you don't get it done. Try to remember that your friends want to see you succeed, and they'll be happy for you if you accomplish your goal. What's more, you'll probably inspire a few people along the way.
3) Make a Date: Whether it's with friends, or class "usuals" who are expecting to see your smiling face, schedule your time with one or more people. I once went to a triathlon symposium at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs where Mark Allen was speaking. Allen is six-time Ironman champion, and an amazingly inspiring individual. I asked him what motivated him to train. His answer? Knowing that the friends he said he'd meet at 6:00am would never stop giving him a hard time if he didn't show up for a workout.
4) Do What You Love: Maybe the most popular thing isn't something that appeals to you. That's ok. There are countless ways to stay fit and healthy. Find a workout you enjoy. If you dread working out, you won't be motivated. If you're not motivated, you won't stick to it.
5) Train Smart: You're there - motivated and ready-to-go! You sprint out of the gate and a week later you're injured. We all get a lot of gratification out of a good, energized workout, but doing too much too soon can (and most likely will) injure you. So unless you want to get sidelined before you start seeing results, work out to your ability, not beyond it...you'll get there soon enough.
6) Don't Self Sabotage: Sometimes I think this point should get moved up to number one! You stayed up too late. You drank too much. You let your emotions get the best of you. Whatever the reason, try to keep your eye on the prize and exercise a little more self-control. This point applies to eating right as much as it does to working out.