There will always be days when the thought of dragging yourself to the gym makes you want to curl up with a good book and a large mug of hot chocolate. The evenings are still dark, and the weather’s cold – and by the end of a long day at work, the last thing you feel like doing is pounding away on a treadmill.
Just do five minutes
If you’re your January enthusiasm for the gym is already waning, try a simple mental trick. Tell yourself “I’ll just go in and get changed.” Then do it! If you really don’t fancy working out at that point – fine, head off home!
Chances are, once you’re into the gym and into your kit, you’ll be ready to go. If you’re uncertain, try telling yourself, “I’ll just do my warm-up.” And then “I’ll just do the first five minutes of cardio…”
You’ll almost certainly find that you manage your workout after all.
Plan your gym sessions
A slight twist on this is to commit to a certain number of sessions per week: for example, two workouts during the week and one at the weekend. Each Sunday evening or Monday morning, plan when these will be. If you’d much rather stay sitting on the sofa at the designated time, tell yourself you’ll go to the gym and get changed, even if you then come straight home.
Join a class
Another way is to go to exercise classes. Since these happen at specific times, you can’t put them off with “I’ll go tomorrow” or “I’ll go later.” And once the music starts and the people around you are working out, you’ll find yourself in the mood to exercise after all.
Not just the gym!
The “I’ll just get changed” and “I’ll just do five minutes” tricks work for any sort of exercise – not just the gym. Get up and into your kit when you’d rather stay in bed than go for your morning jog. Decide you’ll do a mere half-hour when the long weekend walk you had planned seem daunting. Once you’ve started, you’ve already won the battle against your inertia.