Thursday, February 13, 2014

Staying Disciplined

Here's a misconception: once you get into the groove of working out, it's easy to make yourself work out.

Uh, wrong.

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but HAHAHA, no. 

You know how often I really and truly want to work out? Like, maybe 20% of the time. As in, there is exactly one day a week (of the five I work out) where I'm actually gung ho about changing into gym clothes and getting in a sweat sesh. 

The rest of the days are spent in various levels of knowing I need to get a workout in, but not particularly wanting to because I <don't want to wash my hair/am le tired/am hungry/am lazy/want to watch Honey Boo Boo...> you get the idea. But I make myself do it because I know I'll be happy once I actually get started.

Also because I like to eat.

Hello, beautiful.

So how do you lace up and get 'er done when you'd so much rather be laying on the couch watching Law & Order SVU and eating string cheese? 

Here's what I do:

Half Marathon Training, Round 2
  • Make a game plan.  Not just "I'm going to work out 5x this week," but as in literally write out what time and what days you will be working out, and what you'll be doing each day. Put that sucker somewhere where you'll see it all the time. Tell other people your plan. Blog about it (there's a weekly goals linkup for that!).  If you tell yourself you don't have time, guess what? You won't have time. But if you're truly committed, you'll make time.
When someone suggests I come to Zumba with them.
  • Pick workouts you actually enjoy. If you hate running, it will be really easy for you to blow off running. Find a workout program that you don't completely and totally hate. Maybe it's spinning, or hiking, or Zumba, or even simply taking walks around the neighborhood. If you like what you're doing, isn't it easier to make yourself do it?
The only proof I have that I actually
woke up this early for barre class.
  • Eliminate your excuses. I am THE QUEEN of excuses. But it wasn't until I stopped making them and instead started fighting them that I finally began to see results. 
    • Can't motivate yourself to work out after work? Set an early alarm and get it done first thing in the morning. 
    • Bad weather headed your way? Switch out a road run for a workout DVD.
    • Intimidated by the gym? Find workouts on YouTube, FitSugar, or Pinterest.
    • Mental fatigue? Let it out on the pavement/in the ring/on the 'mill. Because working out is cheaper than therapy.
    • Bored of your normal routine? Mix it up with something new.
    • Don't like working out with other people at home? Schedule your workouts around the times you'll have privacy.
    • Busy? Aren't we all! Whether it's sacrificing 30 minutes of shuteye or bailing on drinks after work, you can make time. I promise. Block off time in your calendar, set an alarm, whatever it takes!
60lbs and one year of races later. 
  • Have a goal. It is scientifically proven that it's 437% easier to train when you have a goal in mind. I made that statistic up, but it's still true. Make a goal that's realistically challenging, something that will require training time, but not 5 years to achieve. Whether it's just signing up for and completing your first 5K, or letting Jillian kick your butt for an entire month, pick a goal and stick with it. 

  • Treat yoself. I'm reward-motivated, sue me. Give me a chart and goals and stickers and you better believe I will fill that entire thing in just to prove I can. My parents learned this one early on... I was bribed with a chore chart in order to earn my way to the IX Indoor Amusement Park (suburban Cleveland's answer to Disney World... and they had a freaking catchy commercial to lure in the kiddos). Set up a rewards system for yourself once you accomplish your goal, or even mini-goals along the way. Great rewards might be things like new workout clothes, new shoes, a manicure, a movie night, whatever keeps you motivated!
How do you stay disciplined with your workouts?


  1. This is great. I love your comment about wanting to work out, I don't think anyone does.

    Also, not sure how you get up at the ungodly hour of 5:30. BARF.

  2. Awesome post. Definitely am going to be reading this again and figuring out how to incorporate this stuff into my life. Your wisdom is much appreciated!

  3. Really...I feel like when I'm in the groove I really miss a workout. I plan it like it's a part-time job and if something gets in the way then I make time for it later.

  4. Yes yes yes! Awesome post once again! I love eliminating the excuses!

  5. "I made that statistic up, but it's still true" hahahah.. YES! I loved this post! It's everything I've had on my mind lately and everything I've been attempting to do the last few weeks! It's all true and it all works. Sometimes you just have to do it!!

  6. I do everything you have listed, I always make very detailed workout I decide 5 days a week, which five days, time options (depending on work) and what workout I will be more thing I do is I make plans with people I know are very disciplined so if I don't go they will drag me...though these days if it is planned I a robot ;)

  7. Great post- why is it that working out makes me feel so great, and yet it's so hard to get my dang butt out the door? haha!


  8. I just wanted to say I found your blog today and I love it! :)

    I make a lot of excuses to not exercise too. Actually, I get really motivated when I leave school and watch tv for a few hours and finally it becomes too late to exercise. I don't know why I'm so lazy since I have a small gym in my house ...

  9. Great tips! I absolutely agree that having a goal and/or upcoming race (I'm a runner) keeps me motivated!

  10. Awesome post! I'm loving your blog!