Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I do two sets of 10 chin-ups on a chin-up bar like this one that’s hanging in our guest bedroom doorway and this 7 minute ab routine. As workout routines go, it's extremely quick and easy. 10 minutes total. No driving to a gym. I can do it all in my pajamas. Zero thinking required.
But still, there are days - like today - when I’m simply not motivated to do even this easiest of workouts. I just wake up to find my motivation tank on empty and my willpower still snoozing.
This is exactly the struggle we so often face when we try to stick with healthy choices long term - even something as easy as healthy smoothies.
We know what to do and how to do it.
We have everything we need to do it.
We simply don't want to…
…even though in the grand scheme of things, we DESPERATELY want to eat healthy, stay active, and feel the satisfaction of having kept the commitment we made to ourselves. But in that sleepy morning moment, all of that big picture stuff is nowhere to be found.
It's just me vs. the monster named Low Motivation.
So how do I beat the monster when I'm still in my pajamas? I start by admitting defeat. It goes something like this:
LoMo (growling): There's no way you're doing 10 chin-ups this morning, for I have stolen your motivation! Ha ha ha ha…
Me: ...sigh….you're right. I feel totally lazy today and the thought of doing 10 chin-ups is completely unappealing.
Me: Maybe I'll just go hang on the bar and stretch for a few seconds. That always feels good. And maybe, if I feel like it, I'll do one chin-up.
LoMo: One chin-up?! What's the point of that? That's just silly. Fine, I'll let you hang and maybe do one chin-up, but no more than that!
Me: OK. Thanks, LoMo :)
And so I grab the bar and I hang. Then I do the one chin-up I've been granted. And then, almost always, I keep doing chin-ups, usually all 10.
The thing that LoMo never seems to remember is that its power over me weakens dramatically as soon as I start my thing. The simple action of reaching up to grab the chin-up bar, lying down to do my first crunch, or starting to pour water into my Vitamix container to make a smoothie automatically throws up a defense shield against the monster and kick starts my motivation.
Today I admitted my defeat to LoMo, then went on to do two sets of chin-ups, one set of 10 and one set of 5, as well as my full ab routine. Some might point out that I did 5 fewer chin-ups than I'd planned, and so the day wasn't a complete success.
I'd say I did 15 more than I would've done if I'd tried to go toe to toe with LoMo, and so I choose to celebrate my victory in full.
If you've read many of my articles or emails, you've probably heard me talk about the value of having a small version of your thing that you can do even when your motivation dips, and of course, that's what I'm talking about here as well. Hanging on my chin-up bar is my small version of my exercise routine. The 1-Ingredient Super Smoothie is my small version of a healthy smoothie.
Do what feels right and makes sense for you, but one way or another have a plan ready for those days when LoMo comes at you. It's scary and powerful, but you can beat it if you're ready.
Have an awesome day!
If you enjoyed this article then you might want to check out my Guided Smoothie Tour weekly email series. Here's what you get on the Tour:
If any of that sounds appealing, then let me know which email address to use and we'll get you started. If not, no worries at all. Either way, have an awesome day.