I am one of those people who has to get his workouts done early in the morning, or there is little chance of it doing it at all. I know I’m not alone on this one. Just because we create positive habits and patterns doesn’t mean we are always motivated to get every workout done, every day. It is sometimes more appealing to stay under that warm comforter on a cold winter morning than to lace up my running shoes for 5 miles in the cold and snow.
Over the past several years, I’ve found 5 strategies to push myself into getting my morning workouts done, even when I don’t feel like doing it.
Tips for Morning Workouts
Lay out your clothes, shoes, and gym bag the night before. I always place my workout clothes and shoes in a pile close to my bed. I want to be sure that I can see it from my bed, and either have to step around it, or trip on it to get to the bathroom. Having it in view when I first wake makes my intention clear, even when my brain is foggy, tired, and under-caffeinated.
Never make a decision about a workout while lying down. I mean this literally. There isn’t a morning when I don’t at least contemplate staying in bed – I really like to sleep. If I’m tired, sore, sick, injured, or just feeling lazy, I refuse to make a decision until I’ve been out of bed for at least 10 minutes. If I’m really struggling, and the decision is not based on sickness or injury, I get dressed in my workout clothes before making the decision. Once I’m up and dressed, I’m more likely to get the work done.
The 10 minute rule. Even if you do not feel up to nailing that 5-mile run you had planned (or any other workout), commit to training for just 10 minutes. If you still aren’t feeling your workout, you give yourself permission to stop. The funny thing is that 10 minutes is typically the time it takes to break a sweat, and to work out the stiffness, soreness, aches, and pains. Once my clothes are sweaty and need to be washed, I almost always finish my run.
Schedule workouts with other people. Nobody likes being that person who calls at the last minute to flake on a workout session. Nobody. Peer pressure is real for adults too. Use it to pressure yourself into something good.
Public accountability. Do you like to post pictures of your workout on Instagram or Facebook? Good. Let your friends and followers know what your training plan is, or what your goals are. If you miss a workout, or fail to post a picture, everyone has that one follower who will call you out. I used public accountability (fear and potential embarrassment) to prepare for my first half marathon. If you tell enough people you are going to do something, at least one will hold you accountable.
What tips do you have for getting your workout done when you don’t feel like doing it?