â€œProcrastination is the thief of time.â€This is a truth that most of us are all too aware of, yet we just canâ€™t seem to stop doing it; especially when it comes to our minimum required amount of exercise time.
Why? Because exercise is hard work, and like most things that are hard work, getting started is the most difficult part. So, we put it off till later; till the afternoon, till tomorrow, till next week, and then we say weâ€™ll work it into our New Yearâ€™s resolutions. But before we know it, the New Year is upon us and we still havenâ€™t made exercise part of our daily routine.
Ultimately, the only way to kill procrastination is to stop leaning on excuses (no time, no money, bad back, weak ankles, too tired, too old, not athletic), stop waiting for the perfect time or that inconceivable moment when youâ€™ll â€œfeelâ€ like working out, and just start doing what you can today.
While itâ€™s not going to be easy, comfortable or pleasant, you can bend your unwilling body to do your bidding; itâ€™s simply a case of mind over matter.
Here are some excellent tips to help you kick that exercise procrastination for once and for all:
1. Give yourself a challenge
One of the best ways to kick procrastination is to set up a challenge for yourself. This will be the motivating factor that gets you off the couch and onto the workout mat (or running track or tread mill, or whatever). It can be anything from losing X amount of weight to running X amount of miles to completing a triathlon, mud run or marathon.
Once you have picked your challenge, write it down and put it somewhere where youâ€™ll see it every day. Another good way to make sure you get it done is to tell your friends and family about it, because you can be sure that they wonâ€™t let you forget.
2. Set realistic goals
As much as you need to challenge yourself, you still need to be realistic about how much you can do and in what amount of time, especially if the most exercise youâ€™ve been getting up until this point has been walking from your front door to the car.
You canâ€™t go from zero to awesome in a week, and if you set a goal that requires you to do this you will be setting yourself up for failure.
Just to clarify, this isnâ€™t a free pass to take it easy; you should aim high and be pushing yourself harder and getting stronger every day. But you should also break that bigger goal up into smaller, more realistic ones.
For example, if you want to run a marathon, give yourself sufficient time to increase your strength and stamina, and speak to a fitness expert who can give you advice on how long it will take and what exercises you should be doing.
3. Set a minimum amount of exercise every day
Even if you only work out for 20 minutes every day, you will be doing more than if you put it off until tomorrow. Set a minimum amount of time that you have to exercise every day, and donâ€™t go to bed unless you have reached that minimum.
If you wait for the right circumstances or until you feel like working out, you will never get it done. It can be an hour or even just 15 minutes; the important thing is that you donâ€™t let yourself off the hook even one single day.
Doing this sets a healthy process in motion, and once you get into the habit, you will automatically start increasing that minimum because the benefits will start to be noticeable.
4. Schedule a specific time to exercise
Everyone is different, so the right time to work out will never be the same for everyone. Some people feel they perform better in the morning, while others get better results in the evening or in their lunch break.
Figure out when you are at your best and then carve out a slot for exercise during that time every day, and make sure that other know that you are unavailable during that time.
Having a specific time set aside for exercise, where you have nothing else planned and no one will bother you, makes it easier to push through the temptation to procrastinate and make it happen.
About the Author:
Aileen Pablo is a health and fitness blogger from Open Colleges,one of the leading providers of dietician courses. Aside from blogging about food and nutrition, Aileen is also fond of writing topics about education, business, and interior design. If you want to feature her on your blog, drop a line at aileen (at) oc.edu.au.