As I write this, it’s raining hard outside. We don’t have too many of those days around here so when they happen, I try to embrace them. I’m not going to lie though, I notice a drop in my energy levels and motivation when the sun is hiding. Based on my interactions with many of you, I think it is safe to say that I’m not alone with that.
Lately I have been fascinated with how many times I have to be reminded of a truth that I know inside and out, before it sticks and becomes ingrained in my thought pattern. The specific truth I am speaking of today is how much better I ALWAYS feel after working out—no matter how low my motivation is going into it. You don’t have to understand all the neurochemistry of how this works to know that it is true. I have likely experienced this phenomenon hundreds of times in my life, yet I still periodically go through phases where a lack of motivation is a legitimate obstacle to working out.
So what’s the answer? Ignore the feeling and do it anyway. Take action. Simple but certainly not easy. As soon as I catch myself starting to think of reasons (excuses) to postpone or skip a workout, I shut it down and take deliberate action to move in the direction of working out. Put my shoes on. Fill my water bottle. Walk out to the floor. Anything that stops the thought pattern.
Fortunately for us, this is where the group dynamic can take over. You don’t have to convince yourself to do an hour’s worth of work on your own or come up with a workout that you might or might not do, you just show up. Some friends greet you as you walk in, a coach starts warming you up, and next thing you know, it’s an hour later and you’ve done the thing you didn’t think you could summon the motivation to do.
And you feel better. Because mood follows action.