Do you ever ‘should‘ yourself, frantically ISO any/every excuse to get out of your workout, be it at home or at the gym (e.g. “I should be at working out right now, but [insert excuse of choice, here])?” *raises hand* Believe it or not, I’ve been ‘there,’ too, and guarantee that it’s only a matter of time before it happens again (because, real life).
And while these days are infrequent because I listen to my body and rest when I need it, physically and/or mentally, they still happen. It’s only human. But some days, it’s not a matter of needing a break; it’s merely a matter of procrastinating my workout over other tasks that, in that moment, are seemingly more important. For whatever reason.
So imma bout to let you in on my lil’ secret that may help you the next time you’re dreading a workout or avoiding the gym like the plaque. Throw on some appropriate activewear, get your mind right and get yourself to your workout space – be it the gym, your CrossFit box or your home gym space. For me, that’s currently my apartment gym (dumbbells and cardio equipment only #keepitsimple). Changing into appropriate attire can itself propel you to action – if you’re comfy AF lounging in your PJs, dressed to the nines (not that I know what that’s like #TeamYogaPants #always) or feeling stuffed into your jeans, you’re much less likely to get moving).
So, now that you look the part #fakeittilyoumakeit and have chosen to strategically position yourself in an environment conducive to your success, do what I do and practice The 10-Minute Rule: do something for just ten minutes. Don’t worry about doing the best exercise for fat loss, a ripped physique or to burn off last night’s more indulgent than usual meal. I don’t do food guilt, and I don’t want you to either. It’s just food. It’s only eating. And fortunately, something we *get to* practice every.single.day. I digress. Back to your ‘something’ of choice. Do what you love. Lift heavy, sprint fast, do bodyweight exercises, a quickie tabata, yoga flow, stretch, foam roll, hop on your favorite cardio machine, jump rope or, if you love nothing, do the easiest thing: walk.
Why do I love this approach? Because something always beats nothing. Ten minutes of movement could be all it takes to get you going, feeling good; it could be the catalyst for more. And even if something doesn’t lead to anything more, at least you’ve done something, which keeps you in the habit of, well, doing something lol. Because how easy is it for one day [off from exercise, or tight, not perfect nutrition for that matter] to turn into two into ten into ‘Ahhhh! It’s been 3, 6, 9, 12 months or more of… nada.’ Yep! Been ‘there,’ too. Action begets more action leads to progress leads to success. The more action you take, the more likely you are to keep taking action.
Don’t forget: Early success is important. Be realistic with the goals you set for yourself. If you start with what you think you’re most likely to do (e.g. 10 minutes) versus what you think you should be doing by someone else’s standards (e.g. 60 mins., 5x/week) #doyou , you’re more likely to do it. In time and with consistent practice, you may be more likely to try those things that were, at one point, more difficult. They become easier because you’ve earned it.
*Bottom line: Small wins add up to be really big wins. Every step, be it forward, lateral or reverse, is still a step. Just keep stepping and never, ever give up.
Next time you’re not feeling your 20-, 30- or dare I say 60-minute sweat sesh, give my 10-Minute Rule a try. Let me know how it goes on my Facebook page, or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram (@emilynminer) in a post-10-minute selfie!