As I write this, it’s the 20th of January, and I’ve been to the gym (or working out) for 19 days straight (I knew I wasnt going to the gym on new years day). This is surely the longest tracked streak, and probably up there in terms of length in all my bouts of going to the gym. I’ve found that the best time for me to go the gym is in the morning before work. Admittedly, it’s not always easy to go to the gym at this hour but I make it happen on about 5-6 days during the week. I usually give myself one day off during the week in the morning, and I run that afternoon.
The one thing that I’ve been noticing is that it sucks getting up all the time. I’m not talking about waking up, I’m talking about taking the action of getting out of bed. We all know that getting out of bed is probably the worst thing ever - and even more so when the weather is cold. After my battles in december with myself on getting out of bed (which I mostly lost) I gave my workouts more thought around christmas time and I knew that I had to figure out some sort of gimmick to get myself out of bed, because once I’m out of bed and ambulatory, I do just fine and make it to the gym.
I settled on the easy workout. I do a series of 4 workouts, two muscle groups at a time except for one day where I just do one. The workout where I just do 1 muscle group rotates, but the workout is always the same: legs. This workout takes way less time and isn’t nearly as rigorous as the rest of my workouts. So whenever I wake up and I’m having a lot of trouble making it out of bed, I just tell myself that I’m doing the legs workout that day, and after a minute or two I drag myself out of bed. Even though I may not actually end up doing the easy work out, getting out of bed is all that matters (for me). Once I’m out of bed, I’ll grab one of the scraps of paper I’ve got my workouts written on and head off to the gym, and it usually isnt the easy workout, I usually save that for the end of the week. I dont want to “burn” it on a monday.
The thing is, once I can get out of bed, I know that I could get to the gym, so I’ve learned to leverage that. I know that once I’m out of bed, I can get to the gym, so I’ve been trying to trick myself every day that I dont want to get out of bed (this is about 1 of every 3 days). I tell myself that I’m doing the easy workout (wether I am not) and that helps me get out of bed and head to the gym.
Readers: Do you use special tricks to get yourself to workout, or do you just try and force yourself all the time? Do you think something like that would work for you? If so, what habit(s) could you leverage (like my not getting back in bed after I get up) to make this goal a success?