You want to take care of yourself; you really do. You know making exercise a part of your regular routine is one of the best ways to do that. You know how it decreases your stress and gives you more energy, reduces your aches and pains, and helps you give your best to the rest of the world.
But you can’t always seem to stick with it. Unexpectedly, life gets in the way. You’re drained after a long day of work. You forgot you signed up to bring the snacks to the baseball tournament. The kids’ 5th extra curricular activity has priority. You had to answer that last phone call, and now you’re late for class. You missed lunch because of a meeting that went too long. You can’t push through a workout without any fuel!
What’s worse is you’ve tried to be consistent a million times. You feel like you should just give up and maybe you don’t even deserve the time for yourself.
Sound familiar? Well, if it does, you are not alone! We’ve all been there at one time or another. And we promise, you deserve a way to make it work.
After years and years of working with people just like you, we scoured the science for how to make positive life changes. We’ve come up with some proven tactics to help you give yourself a break and start gaining the rewards of a consistent workout.
#1 – Treat Yourself Like You Would Treat a Friend
We talk to ourselves all the time. Maybe not out loud (or maybe out loud!), but we have a lot to say to ourselves. And many times it’s really negative.
“How could you walk out without the keys? (eye roll) Stupid!”
“You forgot the snacks again. You’re going nuts! (facepalm)”
“Can’t you pull it together?”
“Candy bar again for lunch? No wonder you can’t lose weight!”
Any of these sound familiar? If they do, think about how you would respond to your best friend in these scenarios. We don’t think our best friend is stupid just because they are overwhelmed and forgot the keys. So, why do we talk to ourselves that way?
When you are trying to stick with a life change, you need friends on your side to support you. That means you too!
If you miss a workout, try talking to yourself the way you would speak to your friend who just missed doing something they really wanted to do for themselves.
Instead of self-condemnation, what if your response was more like this? “You missed your workout today? That stinks! Since it’s something I know you really want to do, let’s make a plan to make sure you can get there tomorrow.”
Don’t talk down to yourself. You are a unique and special person who deserves respect. Give yourself the respect you’re due.
#2 – Congratulate Yourself For What You Have Accomplished
Celebrating success is a huge part of making positive changes in your life. When you miss a workout, you could beat yourself up (see tip # 1), or you can celebrate making steps toward your goal.
At YogaSol, we choose to celebrate life and love and change and every opportunity we can find. Life gives us enough opportunities for disappointment. We like to look for opportunities to thrive!
If you made it to the studio one day out of the week, celebrate that one day. And enjoy knowing you have the opportunity to hit it again the next week.
Here are some fun, non-food ways you can celebrate your success.
#3 – Remember Your Why
“There are two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”
– Simon Sinek, Start With Why
Everybody has a reason why they want to workout. For some people, they have a physical goal. For others, it’s to have enough energy to have fun with the kids at the end of a long day.
We’ve seen our classes help many people overcome injuries or chronic pain.
“After two decades of dealing with weak knees and an intermittent howling nerve, both conditions were gone.”
Other benefits we’ve seen from consistently practicing?
Mood boosts, more creativity, increased focus, reduced risk of depression, minimized urges to overeat, increased confidence, fewer sick days, better memory…and we bet there are even more.
Ask yourself why you wanted to start working out with us in the first place. Then remember that every day when you’re making a decision about whether or not to come to the studio. You can ask yourself if it’s worth your why.
#4 – Don’t be a tyrant
No one wants to do something they feel like they have to do. That can quickly make your practice become a drudgery. And we want your practice to be a pleasure. For us, it’s definitely a treat!
Negotiate with yourself. Remind yourself of why, and then ask yourself if you’re willing to go to class one day this week…or two days…or three…or five. Whatever it is, tell yourself what you would truly be willing to do to reach your goals.
Be reasonable with yourself during your negotiations. Maybe this week you’ll make a plan to come to one class. And maybe in a month, you’ll want to come to two classes in a week. And maybe in 3 months, it will be 3 classes in a week. You always have room to grow!
#5 – Talk yourself through excuses
It’s easy to talk yourself out of coming to class. Life happens to the best of us. But if you can talk yourself through how you’re feeling, you may still find ways to make class happen.
Here are some of the most common reasons people miss classes and ways to talk yourself through them.
“I’m Too Sore”
If it’s one of your first times making it to the studio OR you haven’t been in a while, prepare to be sore! Your body is breaking down tissue and rebuilding muscle. One of our instructors always says, “If it’s burning, it’s changing!” And change is good!
We encourage members to come back to class the very day after they feel sore. We think the best way to beat soreness is to stretch in the hot room. We also like to celebrate the awakening you’ve made in your body. Just remember, sore muscles are your body’s way of saying thanks for the change.
“I’m Too Tired”
Remember how you felt after your first class? Probably completely exhausted but also invigorated. Most of our members tell us they get more and more energy with a consistent practice. Sometimes, showing up is the biggest hurdle.
You may feel like your energy is completely drained, but ask yourself if you’d be willing to give a class a try. And see if you feel better afterward. If you do, keep reminding yourself of that feeling the next time you feel too zapped to make it to class.
“I’m Too Hungry”
No doubt, taking a class will take some energy. If you missed a meal during the day, that can make you feel light-headed in the hot room. And we keep telling you to be sure not to eat in the 2 hours leading up to your class. Now, what do you do?
We definitely do not suggest coming in on a full stomach. And an empty stomach could also do you in. So, we say, have half a banana on your way to the studio. Half a banana can stave off your extreme hunger, and help you get to and through class. But it’s not too heavy on the stomach, so it’s unlikely to revisit you during your workout.
Next time you’re too hungry to workout, give half a banana a try. We’d love to hear if it made a difference! We know it’s worked many times for us.
“I’m Not Feelin’ It”
Many of our members say if they waited until they felt like working out, they would rarely make it to the studio. But everyone agrees, once they get started, they feel so much better.
If you’re not feeling it, try asking yourself if you’re willing to come for the first 15 minutes of class to see if you start feeling it once you’re there. Give yourself an out. You can say, if, after 15 minutes, you’re still not in the groove, you can leave.
You’ll be surprised how often you’ll end up staying!
“I Have Too Much To Do”
Because adulting IS hard! We all have responsibilities. And so many times, it does get hard to prioritize our health. While it seems counter-intuitive, all the health studies show that putting exercise first actually helps you be more productive. When you have a ton to do, that’s probably when you need exercise the most.
Next time you have a full dance card coming up, give yourself a work-out break. Ask yourself if you’d be willing to try it for week or two. Measure your results. See for yourself if you end up getting more done or less. Our money’s on more!
If you’re ready to stop giving up on your workout and start sticking with it for good, give these tactics a try. We know you’ll feel better! And armed with these tips, we bet you’ll reach your workout goals. When you do, we’re available for the dance party!