We all know that feeling. Knowing you “should” exercise but your brain keeps coming up with some really good reasons why you should put it off. When this happens over and over, you might conclude you are just lazy.
This is exactly the mindset that keeps the struggle with exercise motivation alive. Self criticism works for short term motivation, but has never, ever, been shown to lead to lasting motivation. It’s tricky because calling yourself names like “lazy” can work. Using guilt to get yourself up and exercising relies on willpower, which takes a lot of mental energy. It is just not a lasting solution.
So, if you only need short term motivation, use guilt. If you want to make it easier to keep yourself motivated for exercise, work with how your brain is designed.
Now, this wont be easy if you follow the advice of the most popular fitness trends out there. You know the ones that tell you to work at a super high intensity, keep pushing harder, ignore pain, keep pushing to get to higher levels of fitness. These ignore the fact that our brain is set up to seek rewards and avoid pain. This is why when exercise is associated with pain, suffering, exhaustion, embarrassment, fatigue, our brain is automatically set up to avoid it.
So, if you feel lazy and your brain keeps coming up with all those “excuses”, you are in fact not lazy, you are smart. And since you are smart, the intelligent response to that is changing how you exercise so it leaves you feeling better each time. When exercise instantly rewarding, motivation is much easier.
Keep Moving, Be Well,