Do you ever have those days when you planned to do that run, walk, or bike, but your motivation is lacking?
I am a personal trainer, and I sure have these days which are increasingly more prevalent in the rainy and colder months. You know how the scene plays out… you promised yourself (and your personal trainer) that you would do that four mile walk on Sunday to get your 10,000+ steps in for the day. Unfortunately, Sunday starts off with an argument with your spouse or child, and some of the chores that you wanted to get done on Saturday were pushed to Sunday. On top of that, it’s chilly outside and starting to rain plus your favorite football team is playing at 1pm! Suddenly your motivation begins to wane, and you begin that silent negotiation in your head to justify forgoing your walk.
If you can relate to this situation and don’t have a mental strategy to kick start your motivation and achieve those steps, don’t fret just yet! A method that I have found to be successful is the “5-minute rule”. It is a very simple and effective strategy and goes like this:
WHAT IS THE 5-MINUTE RULE?
- I tell myself that I ONLY need to walk for 5 minutes and if I still don’t feel like walking after completing 5 minutes than I can stop.
- Most importantly, if I choose to stop than I allow myself forgiveness and don’t fill my head with guilt trips.
Ok, I know this may seem a little silly. However, I would encourage you to give it a try as you may be surprised by the results. For me, the hardest part is changing into my shoes and workout clothes and getting out the door. I seemingly find the goofiest things to deter me from starting my 5-minute journey. Yes, I admit that I have been known to refocus attention to my floors and suddenly have the urge to vacuum or to fold the laundry instead of walking out the door (and this occurs when I have all my workout gear on and ready to go)! When I do finally hit the pavement and complete 5 minutes, I almost never turn back because I start to feel the endorphins kicking in and my mind clearing. That negative zone that I felt earlier is vaporizing as I’m doing something positive for my health while listening to my favorite podcast or playlist. BOUYA!!
So, if you need a simple motivation strategy then give the “5-minute rule” a try and I hope you find it to be a successful addition to your fitness toolbox.
Deborah O’Brien, Personal Trainer at PRO Sports Club