You’ve probably lost count of all the excuses you’ve managed to come up with for not exercising. Excuses are just one way your brain tricks you into putting off a workout – but there are ways to beat procrastination and get back on track.
Beating procrastination can take a lot of effort, but it’s worth it. I’ve struggled with it myself but to achieve my goals I had to come up with solutions. The same techniques can be applied to completing work tasks, sticking with a fitness regime, or even getting your house chores done.
Here are 12 steps you can take to stop procrastinating and make your life easier.
1. Notice when it’s happening
The first step to beating procrastination is to learn to notice when it’s happening. Learn to recognise the thoughts that come into your head when you’re on the verge of putting something off or skipping it completely. Once you come to understand why you are having these thoughts – “I don’t want to work out because I just don’t feel like it” or “I’m tired and I don’t want to fail” – you can take further steps to put these thoughts out of your head and focus on what you need to get done.
2. Let go of perfectionism
You are never going to be perfect! In your rational mind, you know this. You know that even if you skip one workout in the middle of the week, or don’t finish a full session one day, it’s still worth it to keep trying to do better. Doing something is always going to trump doing nothing. Some days, you aren’t going to perform as well as others. That’s OK. What’s important is that you try. Set realistic goals for yourself … and stop trying to do everything perfectly.Doing something is always going to trump doing nothing. Click To Tweet
3. Just start with a little bit
If you really don’t feel like doing your workout, you can almost “trick” your brain into getting it done anyway. When you’re having a bit of an off day, 30 minutes of exercise can seem too overwhelming for you. So start with less. Tell yourself you’re going to work out for 10 or 15 minutes instead. Getting started is sometimes the hardest part. If you finish out that 10 or 15 minutes and don’t feel like doing any more, again, something is better than nothing. But what often happens is that you’ll get to the 15 minute mark, and you’ll just end up continuing on through the rest of it anyway. Just get started and see what happens.
4. Get accountable
Public accountability is one of your greatest tools for beating procrastination. Many times, you feel more accountable to other people than you do to yourself. This is why posting your goals on social media and keeping in touch with people who want to see you succeed can be so effective. Procrastination stops being an option, because you don’t want to be seen as the kind of person who doesn’t follow through with their promises. If someone knows what you’re up to and is waiting for updates on your progress, you’ll be much more likely to say no to your excuses and start sweating!
5. Set reminders for yourself
Procrastination can be sneaky. Sometimes you’ll have a workout all planned out, right down to the time you plan on starting it, and you just end up forgetting to do it. Setting reminders for yourself can help you avoid this kind of procrastination. Setting reminders on your phone or posting sticky notes in places you’ll see them throughout the day can help you keep that sacred part of your schedule in mind until it’s time to get it done.
6. Work out the same time every day (if you can!)
If you can get up in the morning and get your workout done right away, I strongly recommend you do so. It’s much better to get up and do it before all your excuses start to creep in and other things get in the way. It’s not always possible to do this, so if you can’t get your workout in first thing, your next best option might be to try working out around the same time every day. This will make you much more likely to stick to it and form a routine that almost becomes automatic.
7. Visualize yourself working hard
I like to approach visualization a bit differently than most. Visualizing your end goals can be a good starting point, but if you really want to stop procrastinating, you’re going to need to take it a step further. Start visualizing not just where you want to end up, but also visualize yourself performing the action steps it’s going to take to get there. Don’t just visualize how good you’re going to feel 10 pounds lighter: picture yourself working out and eating right and making small bits of progress each week until you’re there. Similarly, iff you struggle with procrastination, visualize yourself taking steps to beat it.Visualize yourself performing the action steps it's going to take to reach your end goal. Click To Tweet
8. Treat yourself … afterwards!
Things like checking Facebook or reading a chapter of a new book often end up being the things we do to procrastinate. So instead of doing those things in place of a workout, treat yourself to activities you’re looking forward to AFTER you get your workout done. You’ll enjoy those activities more, for one thing, and for another you’ll feel much more satisfied that you got done what you planned on finishing before you treated yourself to a reward.
9. Prepare beforehand
It will be much harder for you to give in to your excuses if you’re already prepared for your workout. If you can at least get up and get dressed, even if you don’t plan on working out right away, then you’re already halfway there. Taking that first step makes you much more likely to follow through and just get it done even if you’re not completely motivated to do so.
10. Track your progress
Being able to see the progress you’re making will help motivate you, especially on days you notice yourself starting to procrastinate. Write down your goals and your accomplishments. Keep track of your workout sessions and each small milestone, because there might be a day you just don’t want to exercise. But you can look at the journal you might be keeping and see how far you’ve come since you started, and that might be just enough to get you going again.
11. Believe your efforts are working
Your workouts are not a total waste of time! Believe, or find evidence, that what you’re doing really is working. If you do keep track of your progress, you have results right there in front of you to prove it. If you commit to sticking to some kind of workout plan, and eating well, and taking care of yourself – and you stick with all of that – it’s going to work. Don’t just believe it will; believe it already is, whether you can see or feel results yet or not.
12. Embrace the new you!
The old you might not have liked to exercise and didn’t always set and meet goals, but the new you does. The new you loves your new workout routine, and how good it makes you feel, and your fitter, leaner body! Embrace the good changes your dedication to your workouts are bringing to your life. Embrace who you are and how your new actions and attitude are going to improve your life.
You can stop procrastinating and get fit and happy, right now! If you need a little extra support, or want access to tons of workouts you can do from home, join me today.Embrace how your new actions and attitude are going to improve your life. Click To Tweet