Do you ever have those days when you don’t feel like doing your daily exercise, getting to your working or sticking to your good eating regime? Or perhaps you have been off your routine for a week and can’t seem to get in the mood to restart. We all get into slumps and need motivation to get back on track.
If I miss a day of exercise I don’t get too bent out of shape because I will be exercising my whole life and one day off won’t matter, but sometimes other things get in the way and a day off turns into a week off and I notice it gets increasingly harder to get back to my routine.
The part of your brain that wants to avoid work, exertion and effort can be pretty powerful. Often it wants to keep you in a lazy state and can overpower your will to get up and go, but there is a way to trick yourself into movement in the right direction and it works to break out of any kind of rut.
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Here’s how it works using exercise as an example. Tell yourself that you will exercise for 5 minutes (or eat one good meal, do a little work, or one small movement in whatever the right direction is). Just 5 minutes, that’s it. So if you don’t feel like going to the gym – do body-weight exercises in front of the TV. Your procrastinating, lazy mind will likely tolerate this on the assumption it can get back to its old lazy ways right after wards. And it can, but if you take one step in the right direction, it might lead to another step. So starting with 5 minutes of exercise could get you into the flow of doing a whole workout. Or maybe not. Maybe that’s all you do, but if you do 5 minutes again tomorrow, and then the next day, you create a new habit and before you know it, you are out of your slump and back to your good routine. It is easier to go from 5 minutes of exercise to 20 than it is to go from 0 minutes to 20 which is why a lot of us fall off the wagon. Once you are at 20 minutes, it is easier to get to 60 minutes.
Consistency has more influence over you than intensity so you don’t need to have that one big workout that repays for all the missed days. Just get moving and turn one step into a slump buster.