After eating a candy bar on a stressful day, I usually think to myself, "Well, I’m spending the night at the gym."
But guess what — it rarely happens. By the time I’m out of work, I want to take a nap, which turns into hours of sleep until work the next morning.
If you’re in a similar boat and feel my pain, I’ve got some suggestions from experts on how to get out of this slump:
1) It's not about finding the source, it's about creating momentum, according to Perpetua Neo, a psychotherapist. When you’re beginning the process of working out again, at first just work out on the days you feel like exercising. Track your behavior and feelings to understand why you may or may not want to exercise, then work around that.
2) Get the ball rolling by breaking your workout down into three simple steps. The plan to exercise may start as a complicated jumble of thoughts, but in order for concrete plans to happen, it’s beneficial to write down your individual three steps, Neo said.
For example, the plan could be to buy shoes, ask a friend where they work out and join that gym. Then decide on what type of class you’re going to take, including time and place.
3) Have a discussion with yourself about what would be your worst fears and your greatest rewards. Figure out the worst end result of not working out, and use that fear as fuel to get yourself back on track, according to Neo. You can also picture the end result of sticking to a consistent workout plan, and use that image of a healthier body as your reward.
4) Make sure that you’re reminded of your goals every day. For example, you can write them out, or print them out, and post them on the walls or your door — anywhere you can see them, Neo said. If you decide to tell everyone and even go to the extent of tattooing your goals, you may have more motivation to stick to those goals, now that they’re clearly out in the open.
5) Make your exercise program simple. For example, Neo said she puts one kettlebell upstairs and one downstairs so she sees them all the time. This reminds her to do a set of 70 swings three times a week.
6) Plan ahead.