Several weeks ago I plopped down on the sofa and let out a long sigh. My wife gave me the usual look when I sigh, rolled her eyes, and asked what was wrong. My response, “I feel like the well has run dry and I’m struggling to come up with content ideas for my blog.”
My wife has never blogged a day in her life and can’t relate to the struggles of writers block. I decided to attack the problem from another angle. “You want to lose weight and get into shape, as someone new to the subject what are some questions you might have?”
I have to give my wonderful wife credit, I could see it on her face that she wasn’t interested in helping me flush out blog topics but she tried. She came up with about four questions, only one of which I felt like I could write something about.
How do you motivate yourself to exercise
when you just don’t feel like doing it?
As soon as the words came out of her mouth the wheels of my mind began to turn. I wanted to blurt out “You just do it!” Some people are self starters and have the incredible ability to conjure up motivation from nothing. Sometimes I feel like I can do just that but her question struck a chord with me. I’ve been there, wanting to do something but feeling oppressed by the urge to do nothing.
For months I simply did nothing and watched myself grow larger and larger with each passing week. My motivation was at an all-time low and I cared less and less about my weight. My wife deserves all the credit for being the one to snap me out of my funk.
For weeks she went to a local fitness studio and worked out a couple nights each week. Some nights she stayed for back to back classes as I laid around the house binge watching Netflix. One day, while staring at myself in the mirror, reality slapped me in the face.
Suddenly I was motivated and formed a plan to begin shedding weight. I joined a gym, set myself up with a program, resolved to eat better, and got to work. The first week was very hard but the motivation stuck with me.
As time passed, the excitement began to fade. My wife’s schedule turned chaotic and she began missing classes. It would have been easy to slip back into old habits but I was determined to make a change in my life.
As my motivation dwindled I had a crazy idea. What if I were to create layers of protection? I’m a terrible creature of habit and know that if I could build exercise into my routine it would drive me crazy if I deviated from that plan. The next layer was to create public accountability by expressing my goals and checking in with total strangers on my blog.
Since early May that system has worked for me. Some days my motivation is low and I don’t feel like working out. What keeps me moving forward is knowing that I have a great support system online (thanks to you wonderful people) and that I’ve made it so that I can’t get home from work without driving past the gym and feeling guilty for doing so without stopping.
My system won’t work for everyone but the key to all of this is to play to your strengths. Living a healthier lifestyle isn’t something that can be accomplished in a couple of weeks. You need to build on it one day at a time. If you stumble, don’t stress over it. Do the best you can and build on it tomorrow.