Feeling vs. Wanting
I just want to sit here. Well, maybe just sit here and write this blog. Mostly I just want to sit and do nothing. Even though it has been a couple of days since I last worked out, I still don’t feel like moving my body today. I’m feeling pretty blob like inside my stomach, and I fear my Fit-bit has forgotten how to vibrate as 10,000 steps seem like 10,000 days ago. So what does one do when we are not feeling it? Here are some guidelines that I use when coaching clients and myself when this comes up. Which reminds me, today is the day I need to follow my own good advice.
In coaching, we learn that when we are replacing a belief system it is important to separate what you “feel like” from what you “really want”. The feelings of inaction may be stemming from a negative belief system that still needs time to dissipate. So the first rule is to acknowledge the feelings, but to not necessarily react to them. Easier said than done, I know, but this will help. After negotiating this step, it is important to bring up all the reasons you committed to exercise in the first place. I won’t bore you with an exhausting list of all the positive benefits of exercise both mentally and physically. You know this, but just think about it now, especially when you lack energy, or in my case motivation. As I’ve heard in my coaching seminars- don’t confuse how you feel in the moment with what you want at the moment.
If you are able to acknowledge that you are feeling low energy or lack of motivation like I am, but still put on your shoes for the workout, you won’t be reacting to this feeling, but won’t be denying it either. This is helpful because then you will not feel like you are working against yourself, or doing something you don’t want to do, rather you are acknowledging the feeling, but doing what you really want; the big picture, being to stay fit and healthy! Bam. We could even say you are working out for your future self too. This is all for you, not against you.
Another tool that I often use to push myself out of the door is to download something juicy that I can only listen to when I run, or lift weights. Season 2 of Serial is ready to go along with a couple edgy podcasts and a new album. This really does provide excitement and pleasure when I am lacking it on my own. Remember too that sometimes motivation and desire don’t come until we have already started exercising. How many times has it taken an act of God to even get to the gym and half way through you are so glad you did. The motivation and desire have a lag time, trust in the process. So just writing this blog reminded me of my big picture commitment to health and wellness and I actually lifted some weights in between paragraphs. There is also the added benefit of feeling proud of yourself once you have completed a workout that you were not feeling like completing in the first place.
So in closing, do what you want, even if you don’t feel like it in the moment. Acknowledge whatever feeling you are having, but do it anyway! Remind yourself of why you are wanting to workout, write it down if it helps. Download that awesome new podcast, album, or movie, put your shoes on and get moving. Till next time fitness buffs and lazy bones.