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7 Steps to Psych Yourself Up Even When You’re Just Not Feelin’ It

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Now that it’s Christmas in July, you’re heading toward a new year’s mentality, right? Time to eat better, exercise more. Or, maybe not. If the sweltering weather is keeping you on your couch or in bed a few minutes longer each day and you’re adopting a carefree summer attitude, you might need some motivation to fit in your workouts again. Here’s my advice for ways to get pumped up to work out.

  1. Find Your Tunes.

Don’t let your stale music mix be the reason you skip a workout. There’s research that suggests music can distract you from pain you may feel during an intense workout and help you increase your effort, says the Huffington Post. The article also points out that music can also elevate your mood, help you keep pace, and make you want to move more.

Cue up your favorite tunes before you set out to sweat. Make a playlist from iTunes, Google Play, Pandora, or Spotify (check out this list of the seven best Spotify mixes). Have fun with it. Pick your favorite feel-good songs and mix them with some world music, James Brown, or rap to keep things interesting. Go back to those favorite jams from high school and create a fun old-school mix. If you get excited about what will blast from your ear buds, you’ll be ready for your next sweat session.

  1. Work on Your Wardrobe.

Don’t let dull duds get the best of your fitness routine. If those pilling yoga pants are getting you down during Downward Dog, hit the stores for cute Lycra blends and breathable tops. I recommend Athleta, Beyond Yoga, Lululemon, Daub + Design, and Fabletics as well as searching through TJ Maxx and Old Navy. If you look fab, you’ll feel more excited to go to the gym.

And this doesn’t just apply to the ladies, either. Guys, splurge on some new athletic wear and be amazed by the difference those sweat-absorbing, well-ventilated shirts have when compared to the T-shirts from your old softball team or college pizza delivery job. Banish those stained, stretched clothes from your dresser and add them to the rag pile. Enjoy flaunting your new fashion when rocking kettlebells. Exercise clothes look great when they are used for exercise!

  1. Remember Your Purpose.

Don’t forget why you started to work out in the first place. Remembering your purpose can be a huge motivator to get off the couch and build up a sweat. Whether you wanted to be healthy for yourself and family, train for a fitness event, or look better in (or out of) your clothes, channeling your initial motivation will inspire you to keep up your efforts. Keep working that body; you’ll be happy that you put in the effort when you achieve that ultimate goal. 

  1. Try a Few Minutes.

It’s easy to use the excuse, “I don’t have time,” when you are looking for a reason to skip a workout. But give yourself just a few minutes — start with just five — and see if you feel like doing any more. Often you will want to keep going. 

  1. Buddy Up.

Find a workout buddy and see if that gets you more motivated to stick to your fitness plan. For social types, working out alone can be boring and isolating, but finding a friend to talk to while moving can be a huge incentive to fitting in that workout. Knowing there will be a social aspect to the hour you reserve for getting that heart rate up will make it more fun to get going. 

  1. Try Something (It’s Better than Nothing).

Just like I suggested in point four, don’t let your lack of time or motivation get in your way of trying some type of exercise (however minimal). Avoid an all-or-nothing mentality. A 10-minute metabolic conditioning circuit is better than the 60-minute run that you’re avoiding because you’re tired or unmotivated. Try a Quickie.

A few sets of burpees, bearcrawls, or trisets will keep you in the fitness zone even if you aren’t feeling up for your usual routine.

  1. Change It Up and Learn to Move On.

Finally, change it up. It you’re finding that you constantly have to talk yourself into working out, it might be time to find a new routine. Maybe get that buddy to try a new class or a new type of workout. A few years ago I went on another one (and my final one as far as I’m concerned) of my quests to become a runner. I attempted to make running two to three times a week a part of my regimen. I constantly procrastinated, sometimes to the point that I would run out of time. Going with a friend made things better, but she was only available once a week, and even when I went with her I still hated running. Then I found a kettlebell class I liked and left running in the dust.

I love kettlebells. I love working out with a group. I go every week with one of my gal pals. Even though I might procrastinate to the point that I have five minutes to get dressed before she picks me up, I always manage to make it to class unless I’m sick (or opening a fitness studio ). All of these factors plus finding a workout that I really love — even though sometimes I don’t feel like going — have made me adhere to the workout in a way that I never could with running.

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I hope these seven recommendations will help you find your happy place again and keep fitness in your life. When your lull passes and you’re still in shape, you’ll be one happy camper.

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