Can’t seem to get yourself motivated to exercise? I get it. Sometimes the hardest thing is to start! I have a “calibration” strategy that works for me, taking me from “Zero to Hero”! If you need some exercise motivation, then let’s dive in.

We’ve all had those days that we don’t feel like exercising, but we know we should do it for a variety of reasons. We’ve already established WHY we need to do it, and perhaps we can recommit, but let’s back up from that thought for a second.

There are so many ways we can approach why we don’t feel like doing it, but the bottom line is that we may never feel like it. I have found that most of the time when I don’t feel like doing my work out is because I haven’t focused strong enough on the result that I want and how I want to feel.

In other words, if I care about how I feel, and I know it always feels good once I am done, then it seems that I would be able to get myself over the hump. Alas, some days are easier than others and sometimes it takes more calibration to get myself to the point of actually doing the workout.

We’ve heard that it only takes 21 days to build a habit of doing something. I have also heard 7 days. And 66 days. So, where is MY magic number? I am thinking if this were true, I would have this exercise habit already! Actually, what James Clear says seems more true than anything: “Something only becomes a habit when you keep doing it.”

So, that’s great, but let’s focus on today, as in getting myself to do this ONE workout right now. How do I bridge the gap between thinking about it and actually doing it?

Step #1: Set the tone

This is about choosing a workout that is fun!!! No grind necessary! If you’re like me, you have access to a lot of workout routines. And even if you don’t, there are so many routines on YouTube that are sure to light you up. I have my favorite workout routines, such as TurboJam. I also love to dance, and one of my favorite videos is produced by Les Mills titled “Dance Like Nina” (found on YouTube). Don’t get into the weeds of how challenging the video is and how many calories you are likely to burn. Remember, I am suggesting that you choose something F-U-N!

Step #2: Synchronize Your Soul

This is about just letting the music rip and allowing your soul to feel into it! I love a great stereo, so I like my music to jam. I connect my laptop to my system, push play and begin the feel the music. I am also listening to Chalene talk through the video with her advice of “Tell yourself you can do it!”, so I am well on my way. I may walk by the big screen multiple times, but even if I don’t, I can hear the music, and I am familiar with the workout, so I begin to sync with the music.

Step #3: calibrate

In this step, I am moving myself from “I don’t feel like it” to “I could totally get down with this!” I am beginning to feel the music and I begin to see myself doing the workout. I might even begin to hum to some of the songs and make some noise with the participants who are working out! Know that it’s okay to make some noise because your nervous system responds to that and your brain actually picks up this cue as excitement.

Step #4: connect to “amazing”


This is about leaning into the how I want to feel, and what I want to feel is “amazing”! As I am feeling better and better, I know I will begin my workout soon. This is where I focus on why it’s important to exercise. More importantly, I focus on WHY it’s important to feel good! I also focus on the idea that I will feel good (amazing!) and exhilarated as I am doing this fun routine. I focus on the idea that there is nothing better than feeling good, ever!

Step #5: See it as done + Crush it

This is about connecting to the feeling of having completed the workout routine. It doesn’t matter to me if it takes me 20 minutes or 30 minutes to calibrate to what I want to feel once I have completed my workout. I have used this time to prepare my water ready, my post workout BCAA drink will be ready and I have applied my workout cream or gel to get the most out of my workout.

exercise motivation

All of the things I have done as I calibrated, like working the cream on my thighs and preparing my water, are signaling to my brain that we are definitely doing this. As I am moving through the motions, I am envisioning myself completing the moves, doing the punches, making the sounds and feeling exhilarated.

And now I all I have to do is restart my video and get movin’!

This is what I most often use to get myself to start. But you might say, “But Rebecca, I don’t have 20 or 30 minutes to ‘convince’ myself to get moving!” Then to you, my friend, I would say, do the same steps, but faster!

Honestly, sometimes I start this process the day before, but it’s because if often involves a HIIT training session. Those sessions require a lot of energy and frankly, mind-over-matter, so I start my calibration process early. The advantage is that there is less “convincing” or calibrating involved because my brain has already been informed of what I am about to do. So, there is less deliberating and more jumping in.

Listen, I get it. If exercise wasn’t a focus in your childhood, it likely won’t be in adulthood. This means that we have to find strategies to get ourselves to do something we think we don’t want to do. The kicker is that we might not feel like getting that blood flowing, but the body thrives when that energy is evoked.

It’s so much easier to come into alignment with what I want to achieve rather than forcing myself to do it. This makes completing a workout routine more enjoyable – and the chances are increased that I will do it again in 2 days. And now I am doing it for the JOY of it rather than doing it because it should be done.

Be satisfied and eager for more. colorful heart

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