Finding inspiration to work out when you’re not in the mood can be challenging. You’ve been meaning to workout for days, but keep finding new reasons to put it off. You just don’t want to.
Some of the benefits you receive from exercising include a rush of endorphins for an uplifted mood, increased mental function for better memory, and even improved sleep.
Exercise gives you a rush of endorphins for an uplifted mood, increased mental function for better memory, and even improved sleep.
So why is it so difficult to remember the good parts when you’re considering getting moving? Getting past those mental roadblocks begins by reframing your perception of working out.
Learn the 30-Second Habit That Will Give You Workout Inspiration and Make You Look Forward to Exercising:
The habit is as simple as taking less than a minute post-workout to journal. Here’s what you do: use 30 seconds after each workout to write down your “exercise wins” – anything that made the workout enjoyable or worthwhile.
Did you see a majestic hawk flying overhead while you ran? Did someone’s swimsuit pattern give you an idea for an art project? Did the exercise help you release a situation you’d been ruminating about? Does your body feel calm or your mind content now that you’re done?
Write it all down.
Keeping track of all the positives that came about due to your workout can have a huge impact on how you actually feel about it. Below are three reasons this list of positives will empower your outlook on working out.
1. Associate Exercise with Positive Moments or Feelings
Take the example of seeing a hawk soaring above you while you’re running. Would you remember this moment if you didn’t write it down?
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By actively choosing to make note of the good stuff, you’re enhancing your ability to remember, which makes you less likely to forget it and strengthens the association between positive moments and exercise.
Next time your body tells you it’s time to go for a run, instead of finding excuses to skip it, you’ll remember the joy of seeing that hawk flying above you — a moment you never would’ve experienced if you had decided not to exercise.
The Happiness Advantage author Shawn Achor has studied a similar practice. According to his famous research, writing down three things you’re grateful for each day orients your brain toward gratitude and positivity, and its effects last much longer than the time it takes to record your daily list.
Writing down your exercise wins uses the same premise to orient yourself toward positivity around exercise.
2. Become More Aware of the Positive Impacts
There’s so much going on around us all the time that it’s impossible to notice or pay attention to everything. But if you know you’ll be writing down the positives from your workout after you’re done, you’re more likely to keep an eye out for new things to write.
In turn, this means your actual experience of exercising is more positive because that’s where you’re focusing your attention. In other words, you might not even notice the cool air against your skin or how much better your mood is — unless you’re looking for things to write.
By noticing the positive moments and feelings during your workout, your brain actually becomes more attuned to those positives in the future.
Even better, recent research on neuroplasticity shows that what we pay attention to changes the neural structure of the brain, so by noticing the positive moments and feelings during your workout, your brain actually becomes more attuned to those positives in the future.
3. Create an Inspirational List to Reference Any Time
No matter how much you start to associate exercise with positives, there will still be days when you just don’t feel like moving.
Luckily, you’ll have a list of every amazing moment you’ve experienced because you chose to do it anyway.
Need more workout inspo?These Funny Workout Memes are Sure to Motivate You (Or at Least Make You Smile)
Can you really read This workout felt amazing!, or I enjoyed the incredible weather, I loved seeing my dog so happy, I got to see the sunrise, or I feel so much more awake now! without wanting to strap on your workout shoes and get going?
Ready to Jump-Start Your Workout Inspiration?
Try it out!
Create a new note in your phone, or buy a pretty new notebook just for exercise wins. Then really pay attention to all your senses when you exercise, to strengthen your awareness and find the greatest number of positive moments.
Notice the scent of wildflowers on your run, the warmth of the sun on your shoulders contrasting with the cool water while you swim, or the breeze on your cheeks on a bike ride.
Be mindful of all the small moments that bring you joy — and then write them down while they’re still fresh in your mind.
At worst, you’ll lose the time it takes to write a few words. At best? You’ll transform your outlook on exercise forever — and look forward to your workouts all day.