Say No to Procrastination… and Yes to Motivation! Hard to believe it’s already August. Was this the summer you were going to get into shape once and for all? Or were you planning to ramp up your mileage to be race-ready? Didn’t find the time between work, family obligations, summer schedules with the kids, or life in general? What became of that time you had planned for yourself? Enough is enough! There’s still time to refocus and set your sights on shaping up or getting into marathon form for fall. Nix procrastination NOW and get yourself moving, expanding your skills, or increasing the miles in your workout. Here are some tips to help overcome exercise procrastination: Set Realistic Goals If your goals are realistic and achievable, you’ll find this will increase your motivation. If you over do it and feel achy and overworked, it won’t be a positive motivator. If you’ve fallen off the exercise wagon and not exercised in a while be sure to start slowly and build up gradually. This tip will vary for different individuals, as it depends on your level of fitness. It could be adding an extra block or two to your walk, a little more weight on the bar, another quarter mile to your run, 5 more minutes on the elliptical, etc. Whatever your goal may be, increase it gradually each day or every other day. This assures that you won’t overwork your muscles and you’ll get a feeling of gratification after you’ve achieved your goal! Devote a Minimum Amount of Time for Exercise Experts say when dealing with procrastination in any aspect of life, if you set aside 10 or 15 minutes to do the task, you can set a healthy process in motion. If you set a fixed period of time for exercise, this can help motivate you to overcome procrastination. This way, after the scheduled 15 minutes, you know you can stop whatever activity you’ve selected. By approaching a task in this manner, it’s likely you’ll gain momentum in the midst of executing the activity and then want to continue beyond the minimum goal. Give it a try — it’s worth 15 minutes to see if this works for you! Choose Exercises You Actually Enjoy This may seem like a no-brainer, but c’mon, you know what you like and what you dread. Focus on the activities you enjoy and think about what you don’t like. Shake things up a bit, opt for what works for you, and create a regimen around that. For example, if you don’t always appreciate getting hot and sweaty, you might add swimming to your routine. And if you do like a real good sweat, amp it up and add on more cardio and aerobic exercises. Don’t like the gym? Then take your workout outdoors. The choice is yours – so plan a routine that’s right for you! Exercise with a Friend or Workout Buddy While some find solo exercise mentally freeing or simply like the time spent alone, others may find it a lonely process. If you’re one of the many people who don’t enjoy exercising alone, seek out a workout pal at a similar fitness level with similar interests and goals. When you commit to meet a buddy for a run or at the gym, this will motivate you to keep to your routine. And, when you’re in good company, it also makes the workout seem to go by a lot quicker! Flexibility is Key Cut yourself some slack and be flexible! If you must schedule something during your regular fitness time, simply adjust your schedule to find another time to get your workout in. Whenever possible, try to keep true to the time you put aside for exercise and juggle appointments around it. If everything you do must to be done at X time on X day, you’re just going to give yourself more reasons not to work out. Think of it as fitness time management! While structure is important to keeping to a routine, flexibility will help you work things out to attain your goals. Get a Personal Trainer Another way to beat procrastination is by hiring a personal trainer. If you’re fortunate to have the cash, this can be a great option. However, for those without the bucks to spend on someone who will plan, guide and get you through your routine, you might see if your local gym has trainers on the floor that can assist in addressing your specific needs. Everyone is different with different fit levels, goals, and needs so understand that this requires an individual action plan. A health club is a great way to work at your own level and pace and achieve your goals in a professional, controlled setting. You can take group classes to see what works for you and ask staff trainers to show you how to use different machines to focus on the body parts that warrant the attention! Reward Yourself We can all use a pat on the back or a little something special from time to time! Once you find that you can meet the fitness goals you’ve set, reward yourself regularly to keep motivated and stave off procrastination. Try a yummy (but healthy) post-workout snack, purchase a new wardrobe item that shows your hard work is paying off, buy a piece of jewelry that commemorates an achievement, or celebrate with an evening out with your gym or running pals. Get motivated and get moving! It’s time to get out of your own head and stop contributing to your procrastination. Give yourself a reason to workout, use the tips above, pencil in some time, and go for it! It’s not a competition so by simply doing what you can, when you can do it, you’re already on your way.